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

What I Watched: September 2019

Well, this month has been pretty nuts, to say the least. on the first day of September I was on vacation in Disneyland, and today I’m dealing with a poorly toddler and working out how to deal with the fact my office is moving in December. Oh life, how you love to throw curveballs at me. Did I mention that said toddler is going to be TWO this month? I cannot even.

Amongst all the fun, jetlag, illnesses and stress I still managed to watch a few movies. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found movies to be a good escape from the real world, even just for a couple of hours. I’m glad my movie mojo is back though because there are so many October releases I’m looking forward to!

First, the movies I watched but never got around to reviewing properly…

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The Dead Don’t Die (2019)

Okay, this was actually a rewatch, and I already did a full review back in July, but I needed to see Adam Driver in that smart car again and let me tell you, he didn’t disappoint. Still love that song, too.

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Plus One (2019)

I saw the poster on Netflix when I was having one of those ‘ugh, don’t know what to watch’ nights and genuinely thought it was Joel McHale. I realised very quickly that it wasn’t (I also thought Dax Shepard and Sam Rockwell were the same person for years) but I was in the mood for a romcom so I stuck it out. It’s your average, boy and girl who are only friends go to loads of weddings together and fall in love kind of movie. Nothing to go crazy about, but an enjoyable watch nontheless.

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Late Night (2019)

Despite the lukewarm reviews I was gutted to miss this in the cinemas. Emma Thompson seems to pop up in cameos in everything lately and she’s always the best part of whatever she’s in. She obviously has a bigger role in Late Night and is still the best part of the movie, but it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. I’m all for political jokes but they got old really fast, and this movie isn’t going to age well.

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The Drop (2014)

What can I say? It’s a movie in which a scruffy Tom Hardy rescues an injured dog, adopts him and kicks the ass of anyone who dares to threaten said dog. If that’s not enough for you then ugh, there’s just no pleasing you!

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Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

Yes, I was in a VERY odd mood the other night. Jim Carrey movies were my goto in my teens and yet I don’t know how I avoided Ace Ventura for so long! I loved it, it cheered me right up and I can tick another Carrey movie off my list. It makes for a funny watch in 2019 though, there’s no way a script like this would be greenlighted in this day!

And then, just in case you missed any, these are the movies I watched in September that I did write a full review for:

The Aftermath (2019) 
It: Chapter Two (2019)
Downton Abbey (2019)
The Perfection (2018)
Ad Astra (2019)
Ready or Not (2019)

Movie Reviews

Ready or Not (2019)

ready-or-not-2019-movie-poster-reviewDirector: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Genre: Horror, Comedy, Mystery

Runtime: 95 Minutes

Main Cast: Samara Weaving, Andie MacDowell, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Melanie Scrofano, Kristian Bruun, Nicky Guadagni, Elyse Levesque

Plot: When someone new joins the wealthy Le Domas family, they must take part in their long-standing tradition – play a game at midnight. On her wedding night, Grace draws the card some family members dreaded seeing, Hide & Seek. Grace now has until dawn to remain hidden whilst her in-laws hunt her down…with the intent to murder her.

My Thoughts: Sometimes, the movies you watch with no real expectations are the ones that take you by surprise the most. My husband convinced me to go out and see Ready or Not to take my mind off things (it’s all a bit stressful at home & work right now) and I agreed – and had an absolute blast. I expected a bit of silly fun and that’s what I got, from start to finish. It’s so hard to find that balance of comedy and horror, and I switched between laughing my socks off and hiding behind my hands constantly.

Samara Weaving is absolutely amazing in this. Female leads in horrors have been nothing short of incredible for the last 2 years, and I hope they got some kind of recognition for it eventually. Her character’s transition from terrified bride to bad-ass woman is a delight to witness, one the final scenes with her backed into a corner weirdling a knife had the whole audience doing this nervous kind of laugh.

I thought I knew how it would all end, and I would have been satisfied with what I’d conjured up. But oh boy – what an actual ending! Never would I ever have thought it would go that way, but it was glorious to behold. And that final shot (and line)…perfect! I’m so, so glad I gave it a chance, it’s ended up being a movie I think will probably be in my Top 10 by the end of the year.

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Best Bit: *SPOILERS* The whole time I was thinking, what if this pact with the devil thing really is just a load of nonsense? That would be quite funny. Only for it to actually seem that way? My face was like that gif of Andy from Parks & Rec (you know the one). Just a few moments later…that explosion? I think I made an audible noise…but I don’t know what it was.

Worst Bit: *MORE SPOILERS* Oh Alex, what a mamas boy. I already thought you were lame for spending half the movie cuffed to the bed but come on!

Fun Trivia: *JUST A FEW MORE SPOILERS* Six of the methods of murder available in the various editions of the board game “Clue” are used in the film. The Pepper Box Revolver is used by Emilie and her son Georgie, Grace strangles the butler Stevens, the ceremonial wine is poisoned, Aunt Helene decapitates a maid with an axe, a dagger is used for the sacrificial ceremony, and Grace hits Tony in the face with a lantern, like the candlestick.

My Rating: 4 and a half Converse trainers. Never have they ever been so damn cool!

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