Favourite Movies

Ponyo

I was originally going to write a list of my favourite five films but in the end I had to choose six because I just couldn’t eliminate one from the list and I also made the decision not to include any horror movies because I already wrote about my top ten favourite horror films here [x]. So this is a list of six films I love, in no particular order that I am happy to watch again and again and again.

The Maze Runner (Wes Ball, 2014)

I think this is on here because Death Cure came out not long ago and I’m not over it to be honest but I did love the first film a lot. I’m pretty sure I went back to see it at the cinema about four times. The sequel ‘Scorch Trials’ came out just before I went to university and I remember seeing it with my three best friends the day before I left. Then if I was having a shit day at uni and needed to get away from my flat mates I’d go and watch ‘Scorch Trials’ until it eventually left the cinema. I love this series.

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The Maze Runner is about a boy called Thomas who wakes up to find himself in a community of boys with his memory erased. He soon discovers they’re trapped in the middle of a maze and joins the ‘runners’ to try and find a way out.

To be honest when the original film was released I remember not being all that interested but because Becca had enjoyed the books she dragged us to see it. Immediately I was pulled into the story and a few weeks later I did try to read the book but I couldn’t get interested. I think I donated my copy of the book which I now regret because I want to give it another go so I might need to buy another copy. They’re great films and I could watch them over and over again without getting sick of them.

Into the Woods (Rob Marshall, 2014)

I don’t know if it’s just me but I didn’t see any advertising for this film like at all? I think when I went to see it I hadn’t even seen a trailer for it. I’m going to be completely honest with you and admit that I only knew about this film because at the time I was completely in love with Chris Pine and it was listed on his iMDB page. So when I noticed it was on at my local cinema I invited Jess and off we went.

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Into the Woods is a musical about a baker and his wife who are desperate to have a child but discover they can’t because a witch has placed a curse on their family. They’re tasked with finding items from classic fairytales to reverse the curse.

It’s a musical that has a lot more songs than speaking which I don’t normally like but Into the Woods is an exception. I love the soundtrack so much that I burned all the songs onto a disc so me and Jess could listen to it in her car. It got to a point where me, Jess, Hirst and Becca knew all of the songs and we all had our own parts to sing on long car journeys. This film is amazing with a brilliant cast and it’s definitely my favourite musical. This one I saw at the cinema about six times. I’d love to see the stage version one day even though I’ve heard it’s extremely different.

My Neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)

I could’ve included a ton more Studio Ghibli films but I had to go for my favourite which will probably always be ‘My Neighbour Totoro’. I didn’t actually like it that much when I first watched it because although I thought it was sweet I didn’t really see the point. But after rewatching it I soon began to love it and it became my favourite.

This film is about two young girls Mei and Satsuki who move to the countryside with their father to live closer to their hospitalised mother and the adventures they have with the forest spirits who live nearby.

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This is a film I love to stick on whenever I’m sad or having a bit of a shit day and it cheers me right up. I love everything about it, especially the soundtrack. I’m going to Japan later this year and if I don’t go to the Studio Ghibli museum I might be sad for the rest of my life. If you haven’t seen a Studio Ghibli film then you’re missing out, they’re truly magical.

Coraline (Henry Selick, 2009)

I feel like the majority of my list are children’s films but this is a film I would think twice about before showing to my children. I must’ve been at least 12 or 13 when I first watched this but I was still creeped out. Even now it gives me the creeps. The book is amazing too and just as scary.

Coraline is about a girl who moves to an old house in the middle of no where and feels bored and neglected by her parents. She finds a hidden door and crawls through to find a parallel world where things are more interesting and everyone has buttons for eyes. When the Other Mother invites Coraline to stay there forever she refuses and soon realises the alternate reality is just a trick to trap her.

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I doubt there are many people who haven’t seen this film and I think it’s honestly really good. Every so often I’ll get a craving to re-watch it and each time it’s just as good as I remembered. I was actually lucky enough to meet Neil Gaiman and now I have a signed hardback copy of Coraline – which I can never read because it’s too pretty so I had to go out and buy a paperback copy too so I could actually enjoy it.

My Sister’s Keeper (Nick Cassavetes, 2009)

I first watched this film in Science because we were learning about designer babies or something and I enjoyed it but it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me or anything. I’m pretty sure we watched it again in Religious Studies, but again not much impact. Then I went out and bought a copy for my Mom because she’d sounded interested when I’d told her about it. The more I’ve watched it the more I’ve fallen in love with it and now it’s one of my favourites.

My Sister’s Keeper is about Anna Fitzgerald who was born with a particular purpose – to save her sister Kate who has been diagnosed with cancer. But when Anna turns eleven she files for medical emancipation so that her parents can’t force her to donate her kidney to her sister. Soon she is caught up in a legal battle against her own mother.

My Sisters Keeper

My description doesn’t do the film justice but it is amazing and I always cry absolute buckets whenever I watch it. The acting is brilliant, especially from Sofia Vassilieva who played Kate. There’s nothing about this film that I don’t love and it’s a must watch.

Room (Lenny Abrahamson, 2015)

I always forget about Room whenever someone asks me what my favourite film is but it’s probably this one. This is another film that makes me cry absolute buckets and I just think it’s so beautifully done. I haven’t seen it that many times because I keep forgetting I own the DVD but I still think it’s my favourite film.

Room is based on the book by Emma Donoghue (which is also amazing) and is about a young boy named Jack who has grown up in the confines of a small shed with his Ma. He has never left Room and knows nothing about the outside world. But as Jack’s curiosity grows and Ma’s resilience reaches breaking point they hatch a risky plan to escape Room.

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I’d actually never heard of the book at the time and I learnt about the film from Jess who wanted to go and see it. I liked the look of the trailer so the two of us went to see it and I loved it. I loved it so much that I saw it two more times at the cinema and then bought a copy of the book. The book is also amazing but different to the film – sadder but more realistic. Overall I think I prefer the movie. This is another where the acting is amazing, Brie Larson 100% deserved her Oscar and Jacob Tremblay did an amazing job of playing Jack. If you haven’t seen Room then I honestly can’t recommend it enough.

So there we go, there are six of my favourite films in no particular order! Feel free to leave a comment with your favourite films, if you have any recommendations then send them my way.

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Top Ten Favourite Horror Films

As Halloween is coming up I thought it’d be fun to write a few spooky blog posts – they won’t be particularly spooky but I’ll be reviewing/talking about spooky stuff. As I’ve already reviewed the horror event at Tulley’s I thought I’d move into a list ‘cos you guys know how much I love lists! So here are my top ten favourite horror films!

10. The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014)

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This is the one horror film that absolutely terrifies me and I refuse to watch by myself. I feel like one day I need to overcome that fear because I do love this film but right now I can barely watch the trailer by myself. The basic plot is a widowed mother who is plagued by the violent death of her husband has to battle with her sons fear of a monster lurking in the house but soon realises a sinister presence is all around her.

When I saw this film at the cinema I was too scared to look at the screen during some scenes. However I do remember looking at my friend Jess and watching her yawn so I don’t know if it’s just me or if this film is genuinely terrifying or not? Yes, I do get scared during horror films but this took it to a whole new level. You know how watching a horror film is less scary when you’re watching it at home? Not the case here. I made my Mom watch it with me and I peed myself all over again. It’s a good film with great symbolism but yeah, not a film I’ll be watching alone this Halloween!

9. The Woman in Black (James Watkins, 2012)

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You’ve probably at least heard of this film right? The one with Daniel Radcliffe? Who hasn’t at this point? Most people have seen this one because it’s only a 12 therefore meaning more people could see it. I went into the cinema to watch it with my Mom naively thinking that as a 12 it couldn’t be too scary. I was wrong.

My friend Jess argues that this films not scary at all but her opinion doesn’t count because hardly anything scares her. It is scarier because of the amount of jump scares I still think it does a brilliant job of keeping up a creepy atmosphere whilst also having an interesting plot which is something most horror films can’t manage these days. I also think it’s pretty impressive that there are literally long scenes with no dialogue whatsoever yet it still manages to keep my interest. You can choose to agree or disagree but I really like it.

I also really love the stage show and I would argue I love the stage show more because it’s so cleverly done and it’s also more true to the book. Not that I’ve read the book the entire way through but I think the ending in the stage show is sadder than that in the film. Definitely a show I recommend!

8. Hansel & Gretel (Pil-Sung Yim, 2007)

Hansel and Gretel

I first watched this film on holiday in a caravan with my friend when I was maybe fourteen or fifteen. It was late, my parents were bed and we were channel surfing when we came across this film already halfway through. We watched it to the end and although I hated horror films at the time I thought it was really interesting. I kept intending to get a copy and watch it from the beginning but I didn’t bother until I found the DVD in HMV in London last year. Even then it took me almost a year of owning it to finally sit down and watch it and I loved it all over again!

‘Hansel & Gretel’ is a Korean horror film about a man who gets into a car accident and finds himself lost in the woods. He meets a young girl who takes him back to her home and he meets her two siblings and parents. But when the parents leave the next day he starts to wonder if all is as it seems and he soon finds himself desperately trying to find a way out of the forest.

It’s not particularly very scary but it’s such an interesting plot and the house and everything is so pretty. It’s definitely one I’d recommend if you’re just starting to get into horror films because trust me, it’s not that bad. If you’re looking for something new to watch this Halloween I 100% recommend this one!

7. Annabelle: Creation (David F. Sandberg, 2017)

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I absolutely hated the first Annabelle film so I was extremely annoyed to discover they’d made a sequel. It was so bad that I don’t have a single positive thing to say about it. However as a horror movie reviewer I knew I needed to watch the sequel and to be fair the trailer looked kind of okay but then so had the trailer for Ouija 2 and just like the first one, that had been absolute trash as well. The point is I went to watch the film and my expectations were zero. And I ended up being pretty impressed.

This is a prequel to the original Annabelle film and it’s about a doll maker and his wife who welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home twelve years after the death of their young daughter. Soon they all become targets of the doll maker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

To be honest I think I was more impressed because the first film had been so bad, had this been a standalone film I’m not sure I would’ve enjoyed it as much. But I ended up really liking it, I thought it was cleverly done and slotted in well with the first film. It was also really creepy and it’s a film I want to see again.

6. Paranormal Activity Series

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Listen, you either love or hate the Paranormal Activity series and I am one of the sad people who actually really enjoyed it. Except for ‘Ghost Dimension’, that film can literally rot in Hell. I know that ultimately if you look at it, the series is complete trash that just doesn’t make sense but I still really like them. Here are my favourites in the series in order:

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (Christopher Landon, 2014)
Paranormal Activity 4 (Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman, 2012)
Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2009)
Paranormal Activity 2 (Tod Williams, 2010)
Paranormal Activity 3 (Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman, 2011)

‘Ghost Dimension’ doesn’t even deserve to be on the list, I hated it that much.

Yes they’re bad but I think they’re scary and they’re fun to watch when you’re just looking for a few cheap scares. I think the trouble is that because these films were so cheap to make the producers just kept firing them out to make money without thinking too much about the plot because with each new film they bend the plot to fit the new film and I kind of accepted this until the release of ‘Ghost Dimension’ which was honestly the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Even though they’re bad and everything I hate about horror films, I still really like them and I might re-watch a couple of the movies for Halloween. I’m feeling ‘The Marked Ones’, I love that film so much.

5. The Conjuring (James Wan, 2013)

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This is another horror film that literally just blew up upon its release. I was only just becoming a fan of horror and I didn’t go see it at the cinema because it looked way too scary for me. So I waited until one night when my friends Becca and Hirst slept over and we watched it in the living room. We all peed ourselves, it was honestly hilarious.

For those who haven’t heard anything about ‘The Conjuring’, and I doubt there are many, it’s about a family who move into a new house who are soon terrorised by an evil presence haunting the house. They contact the ‘Warrens’, a couple who have dedicated their lives to helping people who believe they are being haunted. It’s based on a real life case as both the ‘Perron’ family and the Warrens are all real people.

People were really hyping this movie, like there was talk of people going in with bottles of holy water, priests you could speak to after the film and people even reported supernatural occurrences happening to them after seeing the film. It’s not that bad people. Like it’s a good film and it is scary but it’s not that bad. It’s scarier when you think about how it’s based on a true story but how much of it is true, who knows?

I really like this film and the sequel. It’s made me want to visit the Warrens museum but I’m from England so it’s doubtful that will ever happen. This is one I would recommend watching on Halloween if you haven’t already seen it because it is scary and it’s just generally a good film. Definitely recommend!

4. Mama (Andy Muschietti, 2013)

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I can already tell that any horror fans reading this are going to disagree with my top four choices.

I love the film Mama. It’s got a special place in my heart as one of the first horror films I saw at the cinema and I have great memories of watching it and peeing myself with Becca while Jess was sat there completely calm. The film is about a man who spends four years looking for his missing nieces and brother. Although his brother is not found they do find his nieces who have been living alone in a house in the woods all these years. They are brought back home with to live with their uncle Lucas and his girlfriend Annabelle who soon believe that a supernatural spirit named Mama has latched itself to their family.

I don’t know specifically what it is about this film that I love I just know that I do love it. It’s probably just because I loved it upon first seeing it. To be honest at the time I loved almost any horror movie I watched just because I’d only just become a fan of them. I have a feeling if ‘Mama’ had been released this year I wouldn’t have been as big of a fan of it. But I really like it, I’ve watched it tons and tons of times and I’m not sick of it. I’ve heard there’s a sequel in the works and although I don’t really understand where they’re going to go with it I’m still looking forward to it!

3. The Boy (William Brent Bell, 2016)

The Boy

I saw a trailer for this film on Facebook and ended up counting down the days until it was finally released. I was so excited for it. I tend to get excited for horror movie releases but this was something else completely. The trailer did look really good though. ‘The Boy’ is about a young woman who takes a job in a large house in England as a nanny but is surprised to find when she arrives that the child she’ll be looking after is actually a doll. Before long she starts to feel a presence in the house and believes maybe the doll is alive after all.

After being so excited for the release I was convinced the actual film would let me down completely but it didn’t! I thought it was so good and had such an interesting plot twist that I hadn’t seen coming. I really couldn’t recommend this film enough. It’s not too scary, I made my friend sit down and watch it at my house and she agreed that it wasn’t that scary. I’d quite like a sequel to this film but equally it might ruin it. It’s so good though, I recommend watching it if you haven’t already.

2. The Visit (M. Night Shyamalan, 2015)

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I think this is another one that you either love or you hate and I just happen to love it. When the trailer was first released I thought it looked interesting so when the film came out I saw it at the earliest opportunity. It’s about two siblings Becca and Tyler who go to stay with their grandparents whom they’ve never met. However they soon become frightened by their grandparents’ increasingly disturbed behaviour throughout the visit.

I feel like whenever I watch a film I turn into a bit of an idiot because I never know what’s going to happen in most cases and this film was one of those occasions. I sat down to watch this film with my Mom and within minutes she’d guessed the plot twist which I was really annoyed about. Luckily for me I just did not see it coming and it makes the film more enjoyable.

Everyone has their opinion on this film, some people hate the comedy aspect whereas I really enjoyed it and thought it made the film a lot better. A lot of people seemed to dislike Tyler as well but like his rapping is the best part of the film, I don’t? I might re watch this one soon actually because I think it’s brilliant.

1. Orphan (Jaume Collet-Serra, 2009)

Orphan

Okay I used to be obsessed with this film. If I made a new friend and they hadn’t watched this film I would sit down and force them into it. I once watched this film three and a half times in one day. I know more about this film than any other film in existence. I wrote a report on it in my film studies class. Although I haven’t watched it in a while this film will forever be my favourite horror.

Orphan is basically about a couple who adopt a nine year old girl and welcome her into their family. However before long their newly adopted daughter Esther starts showing disturbing behaviours and her new mother, Kate, looks to find out more about Esther’s past before it’s too late.

I don’t care what anyone says, I love this film and I think it’s brilliant. Anyone who is friends with me knows how much I love it. I actually haven’t seen it for a while now, I need to re watch it even though I know the whole thing word for word now. If you haven’t seen ‘Orphan’ then you’re honestly missing it, it’s brilliant and I highly recommend it!

So that’s my top ten favourite horror films, feel free to leave a comment if you agree, disagree or if you wanna tell me your top ten! I’d love some recommendations because I feel like I’m running out of horrors to watch now. Or let me know what you’re planning to watch/do on Halloween because I still haven’t decided and there’s less than a week left now!