Lists

Thursday Movie Picks: Horror Movie Houses

Happy start of the spooky season, folks! Anyone else waiting for the plot twist in our lives that reveals we’ve been living in a horror movie since the start of 2020? I’m still hugely out of my depth in the horror genre but I reckon I’ve seen enough to take part in the Halloween editions of Wandering Through the Shelves‘ Thursday Movie Picks this year. According to my Letterboxd account I’ve watched a total of 118 horror movies which isn’t a lot at all, but I’m embracing it this October!

This week’s theme is Horror Movie Houses. Generally speaking, I hate the kind of horror movies that take place in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere when it’s always dark and forever raining, but I do have 3 choices to share with you today. They’re all from 2019, the year I welcomed the horror genre into my life, and all center around a house in some way or another.

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The Lighthouse (2019)

I have to thank my local cinema for showing this again for one night only this week – feeding the Pattinson obsession but also giving my ideas for this week’s theme! It’s a tough movie to sell to your average movie fan,  and I don’t do a good job of explaining it, either. I mean basically, Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe go crazy whilst working together in a lighthouse. Dafoe gives a cracking shouty rant about lobster and Pattinson craves a steak so badly he would…well, let’s say it’s the first time I’ve ever envied a steak before.

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Vivarium (2019)

Put this at the top of the list of movies NOT to watch whilst in lockdown. Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg play a young couple looking to buy their first home. An unnerving estate agent shows them to a house in a new-build neighborhood but they find themselves trapped. No matter which direction they head in, it always leads them back to this house. I’ll admit that the idea wasn’t executed perfectly, but it has so much potential.

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Ready or Not (2019)

I saved the best till last. Please give this a watch if you haven’t already! Samara Weaving marries into an unusual and wealthy family, their funds all thanks to their board game empire. As is tradition, on the night of the wedding the bride picks a card which determines the game they all play. She picks hide and seek. Harmless, yes? Think again. If she gets found, she is to be murdered. And so commences the greatest, goriest, yet funniest game of hide and seek in a beautiful house full of great hiding spots.

Movie Reviews

Frank & Lola (2016)

frank-and-lola-movie-review-2016-posterDirector: Matthew Ross

Genre: Drama, Romance

Runtime: 88 Minutes

Main Cast: Michael Shannon, Imogen Poots, Rosanna Arquette, Michael Nyqvist, Justin Long, Emmanuelle Devos

Plot: Usually I try to sum up the plot myself but the IMDB version is so beautiful it would be a shame not to use it: A psychosexual noir love story, set in Las Vegas and Paris, about love, obsession, sex, betrayal, revenge and, ultimately, the search for redemption.

My Thoughts: Does anyone else find that their watchlist only seems to grow bigger, no matter how many movies you watch? Last year I was up to about 50 and I vowed that by New Year’s I would have watched every movie on it. I think I managed about 3, and as of right now there are 55 movies in my watchlist. Argh! Maybe this year will be my year? Anyway, I’m working my way through in order starting from the movies first added.

Frank & Lola was next, and being a 2016 release means that it’s been on my list for 3 years now. So long in fact that I can’t recall what made me put it there in the first place! Anyway, Frank & Lola is a quiet and dark little romance story, not like anything else I’ve really seen. One thing I can say for certain is that Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots put in amazing performances as two troubled individuals brought together.

The first half of the movie was captivating, I wondered what was going to go wrong next, whether the admission by Lola was completely true, and just to what lengths Frank would go to get revenge, but even though it’s only a short movie, it just couldn’t hold my interest long enough unfortunately. A beautiful little movie, but just not for me.

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Best Bit: I don’t think there’s ever been a movie or TV show where I’ve been disappointed when Justin Long turns up. Whether he’s bringing some laughs or turning up the awkward factor as is the case here, I’m always happy to see him!

Worst Bit: There’s no particular bad bit, to be honest, I just felt like the movie showed its hand too soon and my concentration drifted for the last half an hour.

Fun Trivia: Director Matthew Ross had been trying to make this film for ten years prior to its release in 2016. Imogen Poots (Lola) admitted that his dedication attracted her to the project and it was a large deciding factor in her signing on.

My Rating: 2 and a half sets of chef’s knives which, when wielded by a stern looking Michael Shannon wanting blood, are absolutely terrifying!

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