The favourite review.

The Favourite was directed by a Greek director, Yorgos Lanthimos. His other major films include, The Lobster, Dogtooth and the killing of a sacred deer. I have seen and got all of his films, and all three are great works. He is an Arthouse Director, and you can tell this film was directed by him. As he follows his same unique style of filmmaking.

It starrs Emma Stone, Oliva Coleman and Rachel Wiesz.
It is an artistic, historical/ period comedy drama. Set in Hatfield house, (Hertfordshire) and Hampton court palace. What I will just say quickly is, what a great film to start the year off with. I think this is probably the best film to come out in January. The favourite is set in the early 18th century, and is loosely based on queen Annes life on the crown portrayed by Oliva Coleman. Her confident advisor is played by Rachel Weisz. Emma stones character is the younger cousin of Weisz’s character.
It’s clear from the start that the queen is in a frail condition, due to gout. Emma Stone makes an appearance at the Hampton Court house, asking for work. Then from there on out it’s a game between the two cousins, in who will be the queens favourite. There are a few other sub plots going on, like the war with the French, the political debates that occur and a few romance stories too.
I won’t go too much into the films plot, as I do not like that style of reviewing. As I have looked at many other film reviewers, and a lot of the time they go on far to long about the plot, rather than the more personal opinion and the experience the film gave them.
So I will get to how I felt about the film. Well like I said what a great film to start the new year. Yorgos Lanthimos is one of my favourite directors. I first saw The Lobster and straight away I thought that this guy is different. Then I saw the killing of a sacred deer, which is even better. It was something so different and unsettling, and the same goes with dogtooth. Which was his breakthrough film, which is a Greek Arthouse film.
So he really is a unique filmmaker and the favourite just proves that he has maintained, that artistic nature. The favourite had me laughing so much, then it had me feeling sad in places. Then it also made me feel on edge. There are some really long shots which worked well, some incredible performances especially from Oliva Coleman. She walked on water in this film. She is Oscar worthy for sure I also liked Nickolas Hoult.
All of the performances were acted out great. This film was so beautiful with its over the top costumes, great camera angles and spectacular location. It just looked like a moving art piece. The favourite reminded me of such films like, Barry Lyndon, Draughtsmans contact, Amadeus, and Rob Roy.
All which are classic period dramas, however I saw a interview of Yorgos Lanthimos. He said the main films that inspired him for the film, were in fact Possession, Cries and whispers, Draughtsmans contact and Amadeus. So similar to what I thought possession was the only film that I thought was strange. I have seen possession and there are similar camera shots that I picked up on, that looked the same. But the subject matter is far different.
Anyway I really enjoyed this film it’s my sort of film, it’s not a mainstream big budget film. It probably won’t be liked be many people as they might think it’s just another average period drama.
Which it really isn’t what I think I love the most. Is this film knows that it is a period drama, but it breaks many rules of how period dramas should be shot. Normally period dramas are very strict, and framed very formal. Including very strict sophisticated dialogue. So it’s  almost like the favourite, is laughing and toying with the period genre. For me this is why the film worked for me.
So I will score this film a 9 out of 10. Only criticism would be, that there are maybe one too many long takes. I recommend this film to most it’s very watchable, funny and dark in some areas. I would probably say that older people might respect and enjoy the film more than young people.

We need to talk about Kevin review.

This is the film that made me decide, that I never want to have kids haha only joking. Ok so We need to talk about Kevin, was directed by Lynn Ramsay and starrs Tilda Swinton, John c Riley and Ezra Miller. This is a psychological thriller/drama, Mark Kermode who is a leading English film critic, who I really admire.Said this was one of the beat films in the last decade. Now after just seeing this film for the first time, I can see why he said that.

I completely agree that this is definitely one of the best films I’ve seen in the last ten years, my favourite is still probably Django Unchained mind you haha. Anyway I don’t know how I never got round to seeing this film sooner, it’s only been out for nine years hah. This is a film about a mother and son, Tilda Swinton playing the Mum, and Ezra Miller playing Kevin. It’s clear that from the moment Kevin is born, there is something really not right with him.
You see a lot of the things that happen when Kevin is only a boy. It’s great how even the kid, looks just like Ezra Miller when he was young. I found it very hard to watch, how Kevin as a boy treated his mother. As I have a really good relationship with my mother, so domestic trouble stories like this. Hit hard for me, because knowing that these things have actually happened to people, is a really scary thing. It’s so sad to see how no matter what the mother does, Kevin is making her life a living hell.
You can see the evil in his eyes even when he was young. The film is told in a very artistic way, it’s a film you really have to follow. As it switches from past, to present and future all the time. There are numerous clues littered throughout the film. I love how the tension is building so much, that it really made me feel unwell watching it. When Kevin grows up to which it, is now played by Ezra Miller. Who can I just say really reminded me of, a notorious American serial killer called Richard Ramirez haha.
I don’t know why I thought this, but Ezra really, really suits this role. He really does look evil, and his performance is just incredible. His performance is by far the best in this film, and this film was also his first major role. Anyway Kevin don’t get no better, he don’t care about anything or one. He seems to show more love to his dad, played by John c Riley who I dislike as an actor.
I won’t go any further with the plot, now to what I thought in general with this film. Well I really loved everything about this film, I can’t fault this film at all. I think Lynn Ramsay’s direction is simply genius. The script is equally as good, so much thought went into this film. The subject matter is very real, and probably some parents can relate too. I found this film so powerful, and emotional. Ezra Millers portrayal as Kevin is beautiful to watch.
I sat all the way through this film, gripped all the way. I didn’t want it to end, and I remember saying out loud “ oh my god this film is fucking amazing “. How I never saw it before is a mystery to me. I do recommend this to anyone over the age of 15 haha. The subject matter isn’t very nice, and there are some very upsetting scenes.
However none of that matters, because it’s crafted so well and because the subject matter is close to home. Dealing with domestic problems, and essentially nightmare kids. I must say Kevin is not a very nice boy haha. So I have to score this film a big 10 out of 10, it is one of the beat films of the last ten years.

Melancholia review

Melancholia was directed and written by Lars Von Trier, and starrs Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and John Hurt. This is an Arthouse/ fantasy drama. It is set in one location which is a huge house, with a golf course surrounding it. It’s story centres or Dunst and Gainsbourg, who are sisters. Dunst is called Justine and it becomes apparent that she suffers from depression, hence the title Melancholia which means sadness.

Gainsbourg is called Claire which at first seems normal, however mean you get to the second act, you realise that she is battling her own mental demons. The film opens with a beautiful artistic sequence, which has no dialogue similar to There will be blood. What you see is there is in fact a planet which looks just like earth, which is called Melancholia and its about to collide with Earth. Destroying the entire planet.
The film then cuts to the present and its Justine’s wedding day. There is a large gathering of friends and family, you can see that the two families don’t get on and certain family members are nasty. It was amazing to see how for most people a wedding should be a happy time, but the way that Von Trier directs it makes it look so depressing. Justine gets worse gradually you can see how unhappy she is with life.
Anyway that’s enough with the plot now to what I think about the film. Well I have to say I really did love this film, I believe this is my joint top Von Trier film. Joined with Antichrist, Melancholia is definition of Arthouse. It’s the best modern Arthouse film I’ve seen since Antichrist. It’s quite easy for me to say that Lars Von Trier is my favourite Arthouse Director.
I love how he can take an idea or emotion, like the acts of evil/ murder, sex, addiction, grief and in this case depression. Then what Von Trier does is see how far he can bend the story, and tell the story in the most complex way possible. I like to think of Von Triers methods of approaching story’s. Are similar to the structure of trees. The thick trunk of the tree represents, the straight line of the flow of storytelling.
The sub lateral branches that form a wide canopy, represent the complex, artistic, metaphorical, symbolic meanings. These elements are acting as a distraction, in an attempt to throw you off the main trunk of the story. Then you have got the outer bark of the tree, which represent the film on a surface level. Then what happens simultaneously as you see the stories, natural flow of events turn into complicated off shoots or tangents.
The story is getting more and more deep rooted, gradually uncovering the true meaning of the film. Then this progresses from the bark to the cambium layer, which is just inside the bark. Then it reaches the next layer of the tree which is called the Phloem. Then after this point the story is getting very close to the center so the next layer of the tree is called The xylem, which is very near the center or core of the tree.
The final stage of this journey of storytelling reaches its climax, brining is to the heartwood, which is the center of the tree. So what this suggest is no matter what you see in this film, try and watch it with an open mind. Don’t get caught up with the canopy of this story, try and stick to the deep layers of the tree trunk.
This applies with all Arthouse films. I’ve had lots of practice watching complicated films like Melancholia. However now that I know to watch them in a different way, I found this film easy to follow. So to conclude I loved this film I do think this is one of Von Triers beat films, this is one of the best Arthouse films I’ve ever seen. So I will score this film a 10 out of 10.

Verónica (Spoiler review).

Verónica is a Spainish possession horror film, directed by Paco Plaza. He has directed a film called REC which was also a great horror film. This film was released on Netflix so it went under the radar from me. Thank god I managed to see it, because this is a great film. Spain are no strangers to great horror films, such as The Orphanage, Julia’s eyes, Devils Backbone, REC, The others, The skin I live in etc. It’s quite safe to say that Verónica can join this list.

Verónica is based on a true story, which was reported by the police. The events took place in Madrid, the film starts at the end for a brief moment. Just as the police discover Verónica, in a horrific state. Her body was taken over by an evil spirit. She invited bad spirits into her life, by playing the Ouija board. To which she does die and the police tried to investigate the flat. When they tried to touch a picture of verónica, it burned right in front of him.
Now apparently this all happened I’m not too sure if I believe all that, however I sort of want to believe that this happened. As I find possession films highly affective and scary to watch. I would go as far to say that the possession genre, is my top horror sub genre. With my favourites being:
The Exorcist, Possession, Exorcism of Emily Rose, Paranormal Activity, The Conjuring, Insidious, The last Exorcism, The devil inside etc.
The real case was a big thing in Spain, it shocked the country so much. It appeared on the news and on tv programs like (Cuarto Milenio).
I think that possession is possible and with this particular case, I find it hard not to believe, because why would the police make all this up?.
You can research it yourself there is plenty of information and real photos to back up what I’m saying. Anyway getting to what I thought of the film. My first thoughts were “this feels like a Babadook atmosphere “. It was very Babadooky from start to finish. The films flow worked very well and natural.
The performances were very good especially the female protagonist played by Sandra Escacena. I think she does a great job, and really looks like she is generally possessed. This film is really scary there are a few cheap jump scares, but not too many. The characters had an impact on me, I really cared for all the main characters in the film.
I like how all the drama takes place in a small flat, similar to the Babadook, in the sense that this is a domestic horror. It feels very real and made me feel very on edge towards the end. There are multiple creepy shots throughout this film. For the ending well it’s very entertaining and the scare level gets, cranked up to level 10. I had no flaws with the film, this is the best possession film I’ve seen, since The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
So that’s a very long time now so yeah I’m very glad that I saw it. I recommend this film to horror fans. It isn’t too blood thirsty so more people will enjoy this film. I will give this film a big 9 out of 10. This is probably the joint best Spainish horror film, joined with the Orphanage. The director clearly knows horror, he has done a great job of directing this true story possession film.

Revenge review.

First thoughts after seeing this film ‘holy shit this film packs a punch, left hook and an uppercut all blended together’. This film is half on French and English, directed by a French director. Revenge is of course a revenge movie, and I am a huge fan of the revenge thriller genre. With favourites such as Kill Bill, oldboy,

I saw the devil and I spit on your grave. Well the film has a very basic story, it centres on a man and woman. The main protagonist is the woman played by Matilda Anna. She is America and the man is French. They are both just friends with benefits. The first act starts off quite typical and a bit slow.
They are both flying in a helicopter heading towards a big house, in the middle of nowhere that the man owns. They all party and have fun the first night. The following morning her friend is no longer there, only the two friends of his that joined the following night to party. As the intended to go hunting together. The two friends however are not very nice people, there is something quite intimidating about them.
something really sick happens to the girl, when she is left alone with the men. Now If anyone has ever seen I spit on your grave, or Last house on the left you will understand what may happen to her. Anyway she makes a run for it to find that she meets the edge of a cliff. The man pushes her off the cliff to which she lands and gets spiked by a tree. This is when the film turns into a nail biting, graphic and artistic thriller.
This film for me stands out from your average revenge movie, because of how well crafted it is, with beautiful cinematography, editing, camera shots etc. This film really feels like it’s trying hard. Yes it gets extremely graphic and out right brutal, from the second act to the end. But it really keeps you on edge and it is truly a well crafted film. I loved every aspect of it, the storyline was simple. It contains an element of Arthouse about it, because there are many sequences that contain a deeper symbolic message.
There are some long takes and strange takes, that give you a different perspective of what is going on. As for performances they were all great and very real. The actors weren’t that famous so I can’t comment further on them. The direction was incredible the director has a great vision, and takes a great deal of care to detail. The script was both nice and simple, but with a mild artistic flare.
This film holds you on your seat with your mouth wide open, this is one of the best revenge thrillers I have seen in years. It is so entertaining I loved every minute of it, it’s a very intelligent, exciting thriller. However I will never recommend this film to the faint hearted, but if your someone who enjoys well crafted violent films then you will love it.
So I’m going to give this film a 9 out of 10. Honestly though this film is very, very, very, very etc violent, it really don’t hold back and it pushes boundaries, further than I am used to. But it still maintains class so I just loved it and can’t wait to watch it again.

The beauty of Arthouse films.

This is not a review but my personal opinion, on what arthouse cinema is, and why I love it so much. Arthouse basically is a sub genre of mainly dramas. That being said arthouse can also be horror, comedy, sci fi, historical and romance dramas. Art films started way back in the 1920s with the land mark film (The passion of Joan of ark). Directed by Carl Theodor Dryer. Most film critics would say this was the pioneering art film.

Arthouse films are aimed at a more niche market, and are typically serious independent films. Rather than a mass market to which a larger majority will enjoy.  With genre’s like action, adventure, family, sci fi etc.

You will never find a serious art film, showed all around the world, in cinemas with most audiences loving it. Arthouse films are generally very artistic, beautiful and experimental. This is enough to put your average movie goer off. People who aren’t in tune with art films, generally end up walking out, after five minutes of watching the film.

Filmmakers in this genre rarely use special effects, a big budget or mass marketing/ advertising. Most of the time it’s the complete opposite, using only intelligent non linear story telling, strong performances, beautiful music and stunning visuals.

I for one instantly got gripped into arthouse film. I started very late however, as when I was young I had no idea about serious films. My first memory of seeing a unique art film, was probably Antichrist. Although not for the faint hearted, as this is a heavy duty film. What I did find was a film like no other. I saw through the graphic violence, and knew not to take everything I saw literal.

Since then I have seen many art films, such as. Tree of life, under the skin, Badlands, There will be blood, Eraserhead, The fountain, Elephant, to the wonder, The Three Colours trilogy, Stalker, Song to Song, Melancholia, Knight of Cups etc.

It’s safe to say that Arthouse films are my second favourite genre of film. Horror still remains number one , but art films are close behind. The style, feel, energy and ways of telling stories are simple mind blowing.

My personal top three Arthouse directors are as follows. Lars Von Trier being number one, Terrence Malick is number two and lastly Andrei Tarkovsky. Most film critics would say that Tarkovsky is the greatest art director ever. With groundbreaking films like Stalker, Solaris, and Andrei Rublev.

For me I just prefer Von Trier’s films. His best works are Dogville, Melancholia, Antichrist, Dancer I’m the dark, Manderlay, Nyphomaniac 1-2 and I have yet to see his latest. Which is The House That Jack Built. So try it for yourself don’t always feel the need to watch what everyone else, is watching. Don’t fall victim to, the mainstream world.

Simply try searching online about artistic films, and you might just be in for a treat. However like I said this sub genre of film, is not for everyone. It’s a matter of loving it, or hating it.

It’s just about trying to think outside the box, on a separate tangent. Von Trier stated that when he makes his films, he takes a simple idea. Then see how far he can go with it, but bending the idea all the way to the end of the film. That for me sums up what, the beauty of Arthouse cinema is.

Key horror films, that came out from 1960-2018.

This is not a review but a summary, of how the horror genre evolved in my own words. I won’t go back to the 50s, as I have very little interest in horrors from that decade. As they are dated now, and I can’t take them seriously now. However really old horror films, should still be highly respected. As they helped mould the genre, into what it is now.

For me horror didn’t really kick in, till 1960. Alfred Hitchcock definitely redefined the genre, with Psycho. This film introduced a great sense of realism to the genre. Where as before there were only, films such as. Earth vs flying saucers, the Frankenstein films, and numerous other farfected monster films.

So when Psycho came along, this was a new type of fear. So it really did mark the turning point, or shift I’m horror. With the follow up being (the birds). Which was another critical success. Other films in the 60s that stood out for me was, Rosmarys baby, peeping tom, repulsion and the haunting.

Then came the 1970s which for me was my favourite decade for horror. With key films being the Texas chainsaw massacre, Carrie, Halloween, suspria. However there are three films that really helped to shift, the horror genre to another gear. I will start with the most obvious film of the 70s, that being William Friedkin’s Tge Exorcist. When this film hit cinema’s it really didn’t go down well. This was another new fear that is being displayed.

The second film was the Texas chainsaw massacre. I did list this film earlier the reason I think it changed things. Was because of the sheer level of skill used, to create probably the best displays of fear. With a film that has no real meaning, other than it is just a experience, joined with its fast paced, rollercoaster ride of fear. Tone Hooper made history with this film, it’s perfo were also so powerful and hard to watch, and listen to.

Lastly the third film is Wes Craven’s Last house on the left. Now the main reason is because this was the first film, to really push boundaries. You see young girls getting abused and killed, in such a graphic way, causing many people to walk out of the cinema.

Getting to the 1980s for me this is when horror, started to get more graphic? Cheesy, and more bizarre. Amongst the madness of the 80s, there were films that really stood out, and yet again pushed the genre forward. Those films consist of The Possession, The thing, Evil dead, The Fly. There are many more films that were hard hitting, however there is only one major horror film that came out in 1980. That of course is my personal favourite The Shining.

When Stanley Kubrick released The Shining, it was not liked by Stephen King. That aside for me this film wins in many aspects. All thanks to Kubrick’s forensic attention to detail. With beautifully crafted camera work, and direction being that of a masterpiece. Kubrick really focused so much when he made this film. Bringing me to the best horror performances I have ever seen. Thanks to Shelly Duvall and Jack Nicholson. It is thanks to Nicholson why this film really feels like no other type of horror film.

As we get to the 1990s we had such films like Jacobs ladder, Bram Stolkers Dracula, Dilence of the Lambs, Audition and the sixth sense. However the 90s was not as strong as the previous two decades if you ask me. That being said there were two films that I think once again changed the genre. The first film was Wes Craven’s Scream.

This film introduces a new type of sub horror genre, which was the self awareness horror. Meaning the victims in the film, were fully aware that they were in a horror situation. Craven blends comedy with horror, this was never done before Scream. The other film that really helped was The Blair Witch Project. This was the pioneer film of the found footage, or home made style of filming. Since both of these films came out, so many films have copied these styles of filmmaking.

Moving to the modern era of the 2000s, with films such as The Descent, Let the right one in, Saw, The Others, REC, the Orphanage etc. This decade for me was both good and bad for horror. Directors have now got so much to go by, being the home made style of filming. REC was filmed in this way, also Paranormal Activity was filmed in this way.

What really scared me with paranormal Activity, was like the Blair Witch it cost nothing to make. The actors weren’t famous and it really felt real. The major difference with this film. Was that they didn’t shoot this film in a dark, eerie forest. But In the comfort of their own home. This just goes to show that horror leeks everywhere.

I think the only other key film to come out in the 2000s, was 28 days later. Now I normally dislike zombie films. However what makes 28 days later so special. Was how Danny Boyle made the zombies fast, and agile. This was a new invention to the Zombie genre, where as zombies should normally walk slow, and not being that scary. There were a lot of really gory films in this decade, with many films pushing boundaries. With other films like the hills have eyes remakes, Martyrs, High Tensión  and devils rejects.

So it’s safe to say that horror films were getting incredibly hard to watch. Finally getting us to the present 2010s. Now In this decade I had a four year break from the genre. I went off horror completely I thought that horror was over. I thought everything had already been done. Well how wrong I was I will start by listing some good films of this current decade. I will later list my top five key horror films, which have yet been able to redefine the genre.

I will then conclude and tell you what upcoming horror films you should keep an eye out for. Films like the Conjuring, Sinister, Insidious, It follows, The Cabin in the Woods, Oculus and the IT remake were all great films. In fact 2017 was the highest grossing year for horror on record. Thanks to the amount of game changing films that were made in that year, I must say it was a great year for horror last year.

This year has also proven me wrong and the quality of horror is still alive.  Bringing me to my top five, firstly the horror film that pulled me back in. After that four year gap of hating horror was, The Visit. Directed by M Night Shamalan, when I watched this I found myself gripped to it. He shot the film with the home made style, combined with great performances and a really scary story.

I couldent believe how good it was then I’m 2014 I watched a film called The Babadook. Now this is one of my favourite films of all time. This was also one of the game changing films. Purely because this was a sophisticated, non jumpy, horror drama. Horror dramas is something I have seen a lot of this decade. Filmmakers now know that a lot of things have already been done, so they are now having to actually think of intelligent stories.

Two more films that had the same style were It Comes At Night and The Witch. Both slow burning chilling films, which is not aimed at your average film goer. Because they both don’t contain countless cheap jump scares, special effects or big budgets. This is what really made me rethink horror.

Well last year I maybe saw the best horror film ever made in my opinion. A film that has haunted me for a whole year, the biggest modern game changing horror film. Which was Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! I have already reviewed Mother before, but the reason I am mentioning it again. Is because I saw it in the cinema and it was such a depressing, horrible experience. It was like nothing I have ever seen. This is in my opinion definitely the last horror film to change the rules of horror.

So to conclude keep a look out for the Suspria remake and the Von Trier film The House that jack Built. I hope you have enjoyed my post, I hope it was clear and that it made sense. Just remember these are just my words, and my opinions it is not to say that I am right.