You should be afraid

When I was a young boy I was fascinated with dreams and how they can take complete control of us. Although I often had fun telling tales of the places I had explored in my psyche I was still unsettled by them. As a young boy I was easily spooked and just so much as a 10 second clip of a horror film was enough to keep me awake at night and lent itself to nightmares. Some of the imagery in horror films plays on out fight or flight modes and gets the adrenaline running.

I can remember when I was very young I would often sit awake in that darkness completely petrified. When you’re young a lot of basic things don’t make sense and you are constantly trying to make sense of the world. When you are having nightmares as a child you try to make sense of the madness and it is even more upsetting.

I can remember a nightmare where I was on the moon trying to run away from some crazy surgeons with butcher knives. As I ran into the horizon I could see the whole of space and could see the earth glowing in the distance. As I was running away a sea monster larger than the whole planet appeared and swallowed the entire planet I was on. When I awoke from that dream I sat awake for 10 minutes trying to come to terms with what I had witnessed.

The fear of nightmares used to ruin my sleep and it got the better of me. I used to go on this was for quite a long time. One evening I had a revelation. I was stirred from a nightmare like always and instead of staying in bed I stood up and walked to my bedroom window which looked out over the street I lived in. As I glanced out the window I saw the light from a large lorry zoom past and lit up the street. As soon as I saw that I realised that person is working. When I went to sleep I thought the whole world stopped but obviously it doesn’t. I started to think that actually the world is bigger than my nightmares. As I worried in bed people across the world were having the time of their lives, people getting married, holidays, new lives being brought into the world! I had nothing to worry about.

As I grew older I watched horror films, played scary games and I kept testing my limits with horrors. As I have grown older I have learnt to appreciate the thrills of being scared. Life can be very hard and you don’t have to be afraid if you don’t want to. No matter what scares you, you’re much stronger than you think you are! 


Excellent new Zombie movie! – Train to BusanĀ 

I love zombie films, and I have seen so many of them! I have seen classics like Night, Day and Dawn of the Dead by George A Romeo, the godfather of zombie flicks. I have also seen his more modern versions like Land, diary and survival of the dead which weren’t great. I have seen more modern takes on the genre like 28 Days later, Resident Evil and World War Z. The problem with Zombie films is that sometimes they lose traction and they can become a bit stale.

I have been waiting for something new to come along and out of nowhere this film The Train to Busan appeared. I found out it was released on Monday so I went and picked up a copy. The film is Korean with English subtitles but please don’t let this stop you if you’re not used to subtitles. The film was fresh and so much fun, it kept me gripped right to the end.

The film is about a married couple who’s marriage is on the rocks and they intend to get a divorce. They have a young daughter who wants to see her mother on her birthday and insists that her father takes her on the train to visit despite their feud. The father agrees and it is whilst they are on the train that a zombie outbreak happens. The tension of this film is superb whether it is trapped on the train with nowhere to run or desperately trying to get through changes at each station whilst being pursued by Zombies.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed World War Z, but where it went wrong for me was that Brad Pitt was like Rambo. In Train to Busan most of the people are relatively helpless and have to build up lots of emotional strength.

You know how in Diehard part of the charm is that he is trapped in Nakatomi Plaza and it gives a very intimate setting which adds to the tension. Train to Busan is the same way! the setting leaves it’s victims with nowhere to run.

The Zombies in Train to Busan are quite crazy and run like hell. When I saw their almost maniacal faces I couldn’t help but think of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead. My girlfriend and I have an appetite for gore in films and even though Train to Busan is a 15 rating we were not disappointed. Another beauty of Train to Busan is that the story is so good it doesn’t need tonnes of shock value and gore like perhaps a Saw film would.
My final point is that, normally in a traditional zombie film there is always some asshole that is in it for himself whether that is ‘Cooper’ from Night of the Living Dead 90’s remake or ‘Rhodes’ from Day of the Dead. Train to Busan has that too where some of the people would rather sacrifice others to save their own skin and it is great fun watching some of the rivalry and backstabbing.

I had lost faith in Zombie films, certainly considering that Walking Dead has just gone completely stale, endless talking and talking. People say wihdrawl walking dead “when you think about it though, that is what would happen in a Zombie Apocalypse, bandits would be the main threat over the dead”. That is true but it is not entertaining!
I dont give ratings to films because everyone can decide for themselves if they like something or not. Please give Train to Busan a try! Let me know what you thoughts are in the comments.

Top 10 Hed Phuq movies

Sometimes you’re in that weird mood. You’ve tried six times to engage with those weak films on Netflix, until it dawns on you that all of the best ones on Netflix you own in your home movie collection anyway! If you are looking at this list you are in a position to test yourself or open your mind up to more surreal ideas. Some of the films in this list are grotesque and take you to a horrible place but others are just unusual leaving you thinking. I have watched all of these films, some I enjoyed others I endured in a sort of pain-pleasure kind of way. But all of these films had aspects worth exploring and I would recommend them to anyone. If you are brave enough to try one, drop me a comment to tell me what you think or recommend one for me to try. Unlike mainstream films that lay everything out on the table giving you a tidy beginning, middle and end, some of these films are more artistically driven and almost don’t care about what you expect and are more interested in surprising you. All of these films have meaning, though some of it is buried as a subtext to art.

1. The Lobster – this film is about an alternative future where people who are in relationships live a normal life, but if you are single for too long then you will be turned into an animal by the government so that you don’t irritate people in relationships. If you remain single you get sent by the government to this support group that try to help you find someone before your time is up. This film is very funny and has a dry humour. Some of the ideas in this are very thought provoking. This film is a bit arty in places but not so much so that the narrative is clouded by it.

2. Pi – This is a low budget film by Darren Aronofsky but has quite a high concept about a solitary mathematician trying to find a pattern in pi. He believes if he can find a pattern in pi he can control the pattern of the stock market but what he ends up finding instead is mind blowing. My girlfriend didn’t like this film because she wanted more maths involved and approached it like she wanted to watch an educational film. Instead this film is more about the limitations of stretching yourself mentally and how this can effect who you are as a person. The film paints a bleak image but is inspiring.

3. Videodrome – David Cronenberg is not to everyone’s taste but I do like this film. The story is about a TV executive who accidently tunes into this channel which has torture porn on it. He becomes strangely obsessed with the channel and finds out a strange conspiracy surrounding it. Very dark, dingy and perverse. This film is a bit dated but still has quite a cool idea behind it.

4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – this film is bitter sweet but very surreal. Joel (played by Jim Carey) is a quiet reserved guy who manages by chance to meet Clementine (played by Kate Winslet) who is a loud larger than life character. Their relationship takes an odd turn when Joel finds out that Clementine had him wiped from her memory by a company called Lacuna that specialise in memory removal. Joel in his upset goes through the same procedure and the film follows his memories as they get wiped from his mind. Watching actors basically have a role reversal is quite fun, as Carey is normally cast as the whacky one.

5. Serbian Film – a friend of mine told me this was the most screwed up film he had seen in his life. He told me it was one of the most intense things he had ever watched, this naturally made me want to watch it and he is not wrong. This film tests your boundaries and plays with your perceptions of what is happening. The film is about a porn actor who is told he will be set up for life and never have to work again if he does this one film, but he is not allowed to know what it is. What ensues is a nightmarish ordeal.

6. Dogtooth – a film from the same director as The Lobster. This film is about an obscure family where only the father is allowed to leave the premises of the house. The mother stays home and sets challenges for their children and they all compete to see who wins their attention. Challenges include blindfolded swimming and hunting animals. This film is very messed up and is quite shocking in places. There is quite a dark humour hidden under it all if you’re in the mood to find it.

7. Requiem for a Dream – If you ever want to teach your children not to take drugs then show them this film. Actually don’t, you’ll scar them for life. This film depressed me for a week after I first watched it because the message is so hard hitting. Ellen Burnstyn is absolutely amazing as the lonely old woman and I truly believe her sorrow. This is heart wrenching.

8. Jacob’s Ladder – a psychological horror that inspired the video game Silent Hill. This film is based on a real event where men fighting in the Vietnam war had drugs put into their food supplies in an attempt to make them fight harder against their enemies. Instead it backfired and they all turned on one another. This film is set after the war where Jacob has residual flashbacks and has horrible nightmarish hallucinations. This film is largely unknown in the UK but is a must watch.

9. Twelve Monkeys – Terry Gilliam wasn’t just a great addition to the comedy of Monty Python, he was also a great director of incredibly odd films. I have nothing against ‘Brazil’ but Twelve Monkeys is excellent. This film blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. It supposed to be set in the future after a virus wiped out almost the whole world in 1997. The main character is a prisoner being sent back in time on a special mission to try and save humanity. The problem he has is that when he gets back he starts to question whether he is really time travelling or just losing his mind. This film has a great humour to it and does leave you thinking.

10. Inception – a slightly obvious addition to the list but it is such a great film. Christopher Nolan decorates this film with style but it doesn’t distract us from the story. The story is about some specialists who have a military piece of hardware that allows you to plant dreams into someone’s psyche and then enter their mind. The whole concept breathed fresh life into cinema at that time. When the film ended myself and others sat in the cinema completely blown away by the ambiguous ending. Definitely give this a try. Unlike some of the others there is no nastiness in this one.
Did I miss any greats from my list? Do you have any comments on the film or recommendations please let me know below!

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!

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!

He’s Getting Oldman

Above is a picture of Gary Oldman playing “Zorg” in one of my favourite sci-fi films “The Fifth Element”. Remember how cool he was? He was so outlandish and funny. When I was growing up in the 90’s Gary Oldman featured in loads of cool films. When you look at films he has featured in over the years you see that he has a great sense of humour and picks some really funny characters.

Above is a picture from his original screen debut where he played sid vicious from the Sex Pistols in the film ‘Sid and Nancy’ this set him on his way. A lot of his later characters had an odd ball streak running through them.

‘True Romance’ was a bizarre role where he played what some might refer to as a ‘Wigga’ a white person who pretends to be black. Some might say that he is almost unrecognisable in this role as he is so off the wall. Oldman brings such a great dimension to the role that you forget it’s even him. A similarly crazed role is where he plays ‘Norman Stansfield’ in Leon: The Professional’ which in my opinion is one of Luc Besson’s best film. Check out this scene where oldman embodies stansfield. I love it when he is talking about classical music, and when taking about Beethoven he says “after the overtures, he gets a little fucking boring” so much crazed aggression. Norman Stansfield is the epitomy of a character you just love to hate. Gary Oldman captures this character beautifully.

In the film ‘Hannibal’ which is a follow up to Silence of the Lambs, Oldman shows his creepier side. He has always brought a strangeness to his characters but this one is quite sinister. I love how versatile he is as an actor. I was quite amazed when I found out he was British! An honourable mention is his part in Dracula which was equally creepy and we’ll acted. He also was great in Harry Potter, though I’ve never been much of a Potter fan.

As of late Oldman has been taking a more calmer form of character. He played Jim Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of Batman. Oldman was very good on this but it did feel like a back seat. I can’t speak for ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ because I haven’t seen it but I hear it is excellent. Could it be that capturing an actors talent can be found more in the strength of the writing than in themselves. Actors normally aren’t as outlandish as the characters they portray. Here is hoping that Gary Oldman will reprise his zanier funny roles sometime soon. Does anyone have any good films with Oldman I have forgotten? Can you recommend any, I’d love I hear them.