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Now On Netflix Review- Invaders From Mars, 1986

Available Now on Netflix UK

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Invaders from Mars is the kind of horror that’s fine for pretty much the whole family. It’s not overly terrifying or overly gruesome and if you take out the small amount of horror that is present you are left with a children’s film. Not that I’m slating Invaders from Mars for being that, it was one hell of a fun movie and I would probably watch it again.

I don’t know what’s wrong with this town but for some reason the only person who can tell that something’s wrong is a child, David (Hunter Carson), even though everyone is acting super weird and suspicious. Luckily the school nurse (Linda Magnuson) believes him and the two set out to save the day.

The plot is as simple as it could get, but since it worked for me I’m not going to say anything bad about that. Visually it’s a super fun film, there’s a lot going on but it’s never distracting- from cute/ terrifying aliens to the spaceship channeling disco ball landing there’s certainly a lot to look at in this film. It’s everything you would expect from an 80’s sci-fi horror flick.

3/5 – Pretty sure I almost took half a star away for the ending because it disappointed me greatly, but it’s an amusing sci-fi flick so what the hell- three stars!

Now On Netflix Review- Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, 1971,

Available Now on Netflix UK

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John D. Hancock’s low budget horror is a journey into paranoia and atmosphere of the creepiest kind. Okay, so it takes a while for this movie to really kick in but we’re treated to some wonderful psychological scares and spine- tingling visuals from the very beginning as we’re not sure if what we’re seeing is a result of Jessica’s recent stay in a mental ward or something far more terrifying.

The film will drip feed you daringly obvious signs as to where this movie is going but don’t be put off by that because as this film comes to an end there is some truly terrifying scenes. Jessica, played by Zohra Lampert is doing her best to over act everything but it kind of works with the knowledge of her characters unstable backstory.

You’ll be drowning in the mood of this film and absolutely suffocating on the ambiance, in the best possible way. In fact it’s probably Hancock’s brilliant building of these elements that makes this low- budget film so successful.

If you’re a fan of horror be sure to catch this!
4/5

New Release Review- The Curse of Downers Grove, 2015

Avaliable from 11th December on Netflix UK

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The Curse of Downers Grove begins with the vaguely interesting premise about a curse that kills one student a year before graduation day. We then quickly descend into a completely different film that has nothing to do with the curse until- I don’t know- the last minute maybe?

With the tag line; ‘HIGH SCHOOL CAN BE MURDER.’ you have to start wondering why add the curse in the movie at all. The Curse of Downers Grove is really about horrible jocks, who take drugs, vandalize and sexually assault women every chance they get. One in particular decides to take revenge on Chrissie Swanson (Bella Heathcote) who ripped his eye out in an act of self defense. The movie will use every trick it can think of to let you know just how terrible these boys are and it gets boring. We get it. They’re bad. Anything else going on?

Two of our protagonists Chrissie and her brother (Martin Spanjers) are fairly well rounded, unfortunately everyone else falls under a ‘we’re bad’/ ‘we’re good’ stereotype/ that one guy, who looks so much like young Heath Ledger that it was mildly distracting, who played ‘generic rom-com love interest’. That’s about it for this film. None of the acting was particularly great and neither was the story.

The Curse of Downers Grove is not one to watch. You’ll only end up sitting there wondering why everyone in this film is making unrealistic or stupid decisions.

1/5

For the love of Werewolves

Since the release of Late Phases on Netflix UK my love for werewolf films has taken on a life of it’s own. While I have yet to see a single film that completely nails the look of the wolf- man, I have seen plenty werewolf films that still deliver something between terrifying and awesome. So with that said, here’s a list of werewolf films I’ve watched this year that I think do the genre justice.

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New Release Review- Midnight in Paris, 2011

Available from 24th November on Amazon Prime Instant

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When couple, Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachael McAdams), take a trip to Paris Gil cannot help but use the opportunity as a way to gain inspiration for a novel he’s been struggling to write. Then, as if all his hopes are handed to him on a plate, he is transported back to Paris in the 1920’s- at midnight of course. He meets a whole host of famous writers and artists from Picasso to Hemingway, and the movie really begins.

As a student studying English at University the idea of being transported away to a time when these people existed, and then actually getting to meet them, was immediately fascinating to me. Even though I was consciously aware that this is not how these people would have spoken or acted they were still wonderfully engaging characters on film. Honestly an all round beautiful movie, but how could it not be when it’s set in one of the most magnificent cities in the world, Paris. Paris is just, if not more, important to this film than the characters are and we’re treated to some truly beautiful shots of it.

There isn’t one weak acting performance in this but with a cast whose members include Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein, Tome Hiddleston as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Corey Stoll as Hemingway (some of my favorite performances in the film) there wasn’t really any danger of that. Add that to an undeniably charming script and some great visuals and you find yourself watching Midnight in Paris. It’s hard not to like this film.

From being genuinely funny to quite profound, and sometimes even ridiculous, this movie doesn’t disappoint. It’s a vibrant depiction of Paris and a romantic look at life.

4/5