Top 10 Horror Films

“I don’t like Horror they’re too scary” quit being a wimp and give one of these films a try! Horror is good for us, as it stretches our imagination and gives us a free adrenaline rush. Nowadays horror is just about jump scares and ghostly nonsense. In the cinema at the moment the films are mostly paranormal or zombie related. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against these types of horror, but there are lots of classics worth trying first which are more psychologically creepy. In my opinion a horror that leaves you thinking long after the film ends is worth watching instead of just a bunch of quick meaningless scares. I think Horror films also have to be fun to watch. Some I have included are quite retro and you don’t have to take them too seriously. I think if a horror looks old and dated, if the subject matter is still strong then it doesn’t matter.

Please comment if you have any greats that I haven’t mentioned or please tell me some of your favourites I’d love to hear them.

The Shining – If you haven’t seen the Shining then you need to watch it. The combination of Stanley Kubrick’s artistic genius, alongside the creepy acting from Jack Nicholson is a real treat. You can cut the tension with a knife and the eerieness is off the charts. If you think you won’t bother as you’ve read the book, think again. I’ve read the book and this re-imagining is so much better. This film does build the tension with music and there isn’t always a pay off so it can leave your nerves shot. ‘Paranormal activity’ (The original only) I think also creates an excellent build up of tension in this same way but The Shining has a much better story.

The Descent – this is quite a fun film to watch with other people. The dank dark potholing they venture down to is a great horror atmosphere. There is also the dynamic of the tension between the group and all the backstabbing to try and escape. The evil that lurks in the cave is definitely scary and not too hard to believe, when you consider some of the strange creatures they find on nature documentaries. There is a fair amount of gore in this film so the squeemish be aware!

Rosemary’s Baby – don’t be put off because this is an old film. The story is closer to a thriller but it deserves the title of horror because the subject is quite strong. My girlfriend is 22 and she found this film entrancing. This film has great moments of obscurity and surrealism which leaves you feeling uneasy. Definitely one to try out. This is perhaps a great starter for those less into violent horror.

The Exorcist – when this film hit the cinema my dad didn’t know what it was about, he was dating my mother at the time and thought if he invited her she would get scared and cuddle up to him. My dad ended up being the scared one and cuddled up to her instead. Now this film still holds a dark premise. The thought of the little girl being the object of the devils spirit is scary enough. You can see from this film why it upset religious people so much. The art in this film is excellent and the story is still punchy and fun.

28 Days Later – Danny Boyle gets on my nerves at times. I wasn’t that into Trainspotting and I didn’t get the fascination with Slumdog Millionaire, but this film I enjoyed. Set in a desserted London, this is a great modern take on a zombie movie. The people aren’t so much zombies but as living viruses fuelled by a rage virus. The story isn’t just about that though, it follows the survival of these oddly matched people. The drama is excellent and it takes you on a journey of hope. This one definitely leaves you thinking.

Occulus – this is a modern horror about a woman in search of this antique mirror that supposedly holds mystical paranormal powers. This film is a bit of a head fuck and sketched me out at times but is none the less gripping. This one definitely kept me awake that night as it plays on your mind. Definitely give this one a go.

Ring – the book is also worth reading and I have no gripes with the American version either. I would recommend watching the Japanese one as it has a dark side to it that is great. The story of a videotape that when watched will put a curse of you that kills you if you don’t make someone else watch it is great! The film is less about the horror but more about dealing with this awful situation and indirectly having to learn about how this came to pass. This film is a Great modern classic.

Bram Stokers Dracula – this isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I found the art of this film entrancing. Keane Reeves was a bit scary because of his British accent. Gary Oldman steals the show though with a fantastic eerie interpretation of Dracula. In terms of gore there are a few spoonfuls of sugar that I enjoyed. The visuals of this film are intense and won awards thanks to Francis Ford Coppola. Anthony Hopkins also does a great part of playing Van Helsing. Also, don’t have a go at this film for being oldie worldie it was supposed to be set in the past! It is 2 hours but for me they flew by.

The Silence of the Lambs – this is more of a thriller but again very good. Anthony Hopkins is outstanding and plays a superb Hannibal lecter. A film called ‘manhunter’ tried to capture the idea of Hannibal lecter but failed miserably. Silence of the Lambs has style and the story is enticing. Jodie Foster plays a strange vulnerability in her character but it does compliment the film. You watch as these two characters on different sides of the glass build up a strange rappore.

 

The Thing – cheesy? Check! Retro? Check! I love this movie. This was in the days where animatronics were used instead of endless CGI crap. The story of an alien monster buried in the snow in frozen animation waiting to be discovered Is fascinating. This monster can polymorph into any living creature. The dynamic of the crew not trusting one another is great and you can feel the dread that they do in just not knowing. This was originally a classic that John Carpenter reimagined.  I have intentionally picked this horror over Halloween because I think that Halloween was a bit of a novelty of that time and I struggle to find anything in Halloween other than just artistic merit. This film however is fun and worth a watch.

I have intentionally limited the amount of horror with intense gore or extremely messed up storyline for possibly another post. These films are really for everyone to try and if you don’t like Horror treat them like an amusement ride.

Tell me what you like about horror in the comments and please share some recommendations for me to try!

Advertisements

Being a complete Bastard  (A Guide)


Ever wish you were secretly hated by everyone you know?

Ever thought about a situation and wish you had the skill to undermine people and make them feel worthless and hollow inside?

Ever wish you could clinically disinfect every form of love you will ever encounter in your life until the day you die?

Then this article will help you achieve your dreams. But instead of aiming high you can aim for the gutter.

I have had years of experience in the company of many Bastard style characters and have adopted a few useful prickish techniques along the way. Below I will list some techniques that I have seen used in the past:

The Laugh and Walk – Ever been stuck in a conversation that you find boring as hell? Wait until they say something that is faintly amusing and laugh at them very loudly. This laugh will stun them momentarily giving you the perfect moment to slip away rudely like the professional Bastard that you are.

Friend palming method – The previous method works in a business setting where there is the illusion of better work to be doing. In a social setting this alternative method can be used. The conversation is growing tiresome and you want to get away from the bore sat opposite you hopefully for the rest of your life. Eye up your surrounding is there another person nearby that you are willing to sacrifice? Wait until the person speaking to you gets to a convenient place for you to interject and then you say the following “Oh my God, that is so creepy my friend was saying just the same thing only the other day” you then turn to your sacrifice friend and say “[Friend] you have got to listen to this story” as this boring person starts rambling on to your poor friend it is the perfect opportunity to walk away.

Charity Case – A spanner to a mechanic is what lying is to a Bastard. There will be occasions where for charity, people will make cakes to raise money for a good cause. The best looking cakes would be put at the front and when you ask for one they pick out the worst looking one from the back. What a con, right? When you get to this scenario (preferably with other customers waiting) you pick up the cake you want with your hand, contaminating it with your germs. This then forces them to give you the cake you want. To be a Level 2 Bastard you could always say that you have no money after you have handled the cake forcing you to be given it for free.

Reasonable Doubt – when you are this type of person you will manufacture a Web of lies both to make yourself look special and to make others look incapable. To be a successful Bastard you need to disguise your Arrogance with what appears to be an honest misunderstanding. You would perhaps ask seemingly innocent questions in a meeting which privately you know will shit all over the other persons point. By pointing it out our seem smart but by being self-effacing you disguise your deep rooted smug arrogance.

These are only a few examples of where being a Bastard can be used. The only downside of this practice is that you end up without real respect from normal people. Instead you rise to fame in the world of these Level 7 Bastards who think they are even better than you are. Being a Bastard is not always just in business it is also frequented in life by family who need to tell you how to live their dreams or that occasional person in public who expects the world to revolve around them.

I am convinced that everyone has a Bastard element to them, the selfishness is really in all of us. I think that to find true happiness, is not to extinguish those feelings but to use them appropriately with great responsibility. I bet even Batman was a bit of a douche sometimes, when he would get back to the bat cave and Alfred had done nothing all day. You can imagine it can’t you?

Batman: Alfred why is my study such a mess?

Alfred: It’s as you left it Bruce

Batman: Don’t call me Bruce, you refer to me as Mr Wayne you stuffy English prick! Do you know what I do all day? I SAVE LIVES. Gotham is a tough place, and I have to come home to find the same mess in my study, and you’ve tidied nothing.

Alfred: But Mr Wayne, the cave is spotless, do I get no credit for that? Your mansion is huge and I’m an old man.

Batman: I know you don’t clean the cave, you just play with my cool prototype gadgets and fuck around in the tank style batmobile. Besides! it’s supposed to messy with oil spills and my tools everywhere! I don’t just hang out after a hard day in the fucking cave do I? I go to my mansion you moron!

Alfred: Please calm down Mr Wayne or I will be left with no choice but to leave my employment with you

Batman: Don’t tell me to calm down, I’m fucking Batman. You know what, maybe you leaving me would be the best thing to ever happen to me! I don’t need my dead parents and I certainly don’t need you, get out!

Poor Alfred! I bet Batman would play on the fact that Alfred made a promise to Batman’s mum and dad. I think the fact that Batman was self centred and unreasonable is exactly why Christian Bale was perfectly cast for the role.

We must learn to not be horrible to people around us as this can trample over another persons self esteem. The world would be a much better place if we all worked together for one another. Being a Bastard makes us guarded and in the long run contributes to a sad miserable life.  No matter how much money you earn, you can never buy other people’s respect. Mob mentality is common place, and you’ll find it in most board rooms.

Resident Evil 7: Back on Track

Imagine if your partner had been missing for many years and the police had ended the search. Then out of the blue you receive an email from her with an address and a video of her attached filmed that day asking you to stay away. Already the set up is unsettling before the game even begins.

I have to hand it to Capcom, I was starting to think that Resident Evil was becoming the new Call of Duty where they just churn out the same shitty game over and over again? But they have taken a step to making something new and refreshing.
I am a massive Resident Evil fan and I was there when the very first game was released and have followed the series ever since. Although the games of 4, 5 and 6 were perfectly playable they didn’t match the original games for their dark unsettling vibe.

Resi 7 though is back on track. When I started the game I wondered if it would be unplayable because it has such an intense start and I was freaking out with fear. I persisted though, and the game is so rewarding if you are patient. It is a survival horror again, just like the old days! Limited ammo, endless flood of bad guys and wicked puzzles.

One cool addition is that like in the old Resident Evil games you can find videotapes strewn about the map. Unlike in the old games where you just watch them, in this game you take part and you play through the video like some sort of mini game. Some of the tapes are even creepier than the real game itself.

I don’t want to be one of those people who spoils a great game by telling you every last detail, just pick up a copy and try it. You should even try if you don’t normally like Horror games. I promise it is not all mayhem. I do want to make some comparisons to the old games though so the true fans can know what I noticed:

  • The game is in a dark dingy setting similar to the setting of the Resi 1 mansion
  • You have limited weapons and ammo
  • The maps have doors and room names and as you progress you unlock and explore the map (like resi 1)
  • There are special keys which are dedicated to specially locked doors
  • There is a weighted shotgun puzzle like in Resi 1
  • You don’t have to worry about typewriter ribbons because they have tape recorders around which are infinite.
  • There are cranks (oh I love Cranks)
  • There are herbs and sprays and you can combine things to make ammo or health stuff
  • There are weird camera angles that force your perspective in an uncomfortable way (like the old games)
  • The rendering of the game and the graphics are mind blowing. This reminds me of when Resi 1 remaster happened and it blew our minds.
  • There are old pictures and some sort of built in lore through notes, diaries. Super fans get off on this shit.

If anyone has noticed anymore similarities to the original Resi games let me know but I am so pleased. The game isn’t just a rehashing of the original games but is a fitting tribute. The newer type of resi had gone stale and even the whole TVIRUS Bullshit was getting in the way of thrilling potential. Great job Capcom you’ve won a gamers heart once again.

Ending point: wouldn’t it be cool if they did a action style reboot of Nemesis in the style of this new game, I think having a Nemesis style chase again would be intensely scary. They don’t have to make it constant bullet shedding but just a hint of a homage to Resi 3, that was a sweet game! The only reason I still own a game cube is for the original resident evil games. Which is your favourite? I think Code Veronica X doesn’t get enough credit!

Top 10 Feel Good films

I love movies so much. Some might say I was a film buff. When I was 20 my best friend bought me the book of “1001 Movies to watch before you die” and I have gone through them, trying lots of different genres of film. In this cold wet time of the year (I’m in the UK by the way) it might be nice to curl up and watch a good movie to cheer ourselves up. Here are my top 10 feel good films in no particular order. Give them a try and let me know, or drop me recommendations for your feel good films.

1. As Good as it Gets – a great film, brilliant story and the chemistry between the actors is excellent. There are some very gentle moments in this and we can all relate to Nicholson’s odd ball character. Family friendly and easy watching.

2. Scent of a Woman – this film is very touching and over the course of the film we learn to love Pacino’s character even though he is a bitter asshole. It teaches us the value of doing nice things for others.

3. Hector and the search for Happiness  – this is a slightly more modern film. Although this film is a bit cheesy in places, it’s heart is in the right place. This film is very uplifting.

4. Dead Poets Society- okay this one isn’t as cool as the other ones. This film is a little bit cheesy in places. I normally end up watching this one when I’m not well. I definitely relate to the scene with the dick head father. I went to a private school when I was young and this cuts through that stuffiness kind of like Scent of a Woman does.

5. Groundhog Day- Bill Murray is so damn funny in this film. I can’t imagine anyone else playing this part. There are funny, sad and uplifting parts. We all have our own experience of this feeling of life repeating itself, such a great story.

6. Good Will Hunting- This film has some bad ass moments. One of my favourite Robin Williams movies. Great story that has some major feels. The story is unique but borrows a lot of Philosophy.

7. Ferris Bueller’s Day off- This is my favourite John Hughes movie. If you’ve watched this one too much then try Breakfast Club, that is equally fun. This is a light fun film and the 80s style is still enjoyable now I think.

8. Meet the Parents – this was when Robert De Niro was still cool, and the comedy of this film is real enough not to be too slapstick. Make me giggle and I relate to that awkwardness of trying to be affable.

9. Ghost – this film is bittersweet. I wouldn’t advise watching this if you feel delicate because in certain moods it can make me teary. Still some fun to be had! I think the relationship portrayed by the actors is believable. Whoppi Goldberg is a pleasant comic relief. 

10.  The Truman Show – this was a frequent rental from blockbuster in my youth. It was normally when I was off sick from school. This film proves that Carrey is a versatile actor. The faint hint of craziness comes through. As a child (and secretly as an adult) I like to pretend I am the centre of attention and this film is great fun!
Is your favourite missing? Please recommend and I will try it I promise!

 

Post Traumatic Food Disorder

It is safe to say that my sugar free cravings and side effects have all gone. I definitely feel much better overall. There have been lots of temptations along the way but I have avoided them! Giving myself a target has definitely been a great motivation for this journey. I cannot believe that I have gone this far without drinking diet coke. Drinking water every night didn’t feel natural at first but now I just fill a glass from the tap without thinking!

I have also not had a proper dessert since I started this. The closest I came to having a dessert was a sugar free all natural banana bread, it didn’t feel like a dessert! I can see weight coming off the scales, but more importantly I can feel my clothes loosening. At Christmas even my baggiest clothes were feeling tight and that scared the shit out of me.

One evening my girlfriend decided to indulge in some cadburys chocolate. Cadburys chocolate is my weakness, it was such a cruel thing to do! But guess what! I DIDN’T HAVE ANY! My will power is getting very strong now. Whatever happens next, I know that I don’t have to be greedy and there is always an option to say no to things that are bad for me.

I know though that next week I am going to birthday parties in restaurants and that will be a new challenge. I am not sure if it is possible for me to pick something healthy or not? I want to try my hardest. In restaurants they tend to sneak in posts of hidden calories so I’m not sure. They’re both Italian restaurants so maybe an Italian Salad with no cheese? It’s like having chicken Kiev with no breadcrumbs or garlic butter!

I know that this can’t go on forever. Life is too short to COMPLETELY deprive myself of things I enjoy. I have decided I want to have something bad soon. I am conscious though that having something bad doesn’t mean opening the flood gates to eat every bad thing in site. I believe that a discipline would be to have something bad and then to revert back to this sugar free diet. I don’t want to turn into one of those health freaks that have tofu three times a day and weigh 2 stone.

I need something food wise to look forward to which is naughty but I don’t know what this is yet. If anyone has any tips on dieting when in restaurants I want to hear them!