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.

Ranking the Twilight Saga Movies

Yes, you read that right. With a lack of new cinema releases and a re-kindled love for Robert Pattinson, I’ve found myself re-watching the Twilight movies over the last 2 weeks. I’ve finished reading Midnight Sun too so expect a post about that sooner or later. I adored Twilight when it was new, all those years ago. Me and my Mum even stayed up late to watch the midnight showings of at least a couple of the later movies. I had a #TeamEdward t-shirt that I wore with pride. I’d be wearing it again now but…that was over 10 years ago and even if I owned it still, it wouldn’t fit.

This year I’ve started re-watching a lot of movies I enjoyed but generally there aren’t many that I watch more than once. There are SO many movies out there that I find myself always looking for something I’ve never seen, and I’m not convinced I’ve ever watched the Twilight movies since they were first released, with possible exception to the first one.

So here we are, all the Twilight Saga movies ranked from worst to best. Yes, they’re the film equivalent of junk food, but we all need a bit of junk food in times like this.

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#5 New Moon (2009)

New Moon would rank much higher among the #TeamJacob fans I’m sure, but this wasn’t the one for me. Too much moping and too little Edward!

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#4 Breaking Dawn: Part I (2011)

Part I gave us the wedding (cute) and the honeymoon (hilarious) but I can’t deal with the pregnancy stuff. That’s where it gets too silly for me even by Twilight standards!

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#3 Breaking Dawn: Part II (2012)

I don’t care for the CGI baby but Edward’s delight at vampire Bella kicking Jacob’s ass is one of the best moments in the whole Saga. Plus we get to meet loads more vampires, I wish we could have spent longer with them. Not forgetting the best and also worst plot twist in cinematic history, the final fight!

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#2 Eclipse (2010)

Eclipse is just a lot of fun for me because of the love triangle. Who can forget Jacob’s two iconic lines in this one?
“I kissed Bella. And she broke her hand. Punching my face. It was a complete misunderstanding.”
“[to Edward] Let’s face it…I am hotter than you.”

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#1 Twilight (2008)

My top 2 could switch places on any given day, but right now I don’t think you can beat that first impression, that first movie in a series that really sucks you in. The high school drama, the romance developing…I’m just a helpless romantic at heart, I think.

The Devil All the Time (2020)

the-devil-all-time-2020-netflix-movie-posterDirector: Antonio Campos

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Runtime: 138 Minutes

Main Cast: Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgard, Riley Keough, Robert Pattinson, Haley Bennett, Harry Melling, Eliza Scanlen, Mia Wasikowska, Sebastian Stan, Jason Clarke, Douglas Hodge

Plot: Set in a town called Knockemstiff in Ohio,  the story revolves around Arvin (Tom Holland), orphaned at a young age and surrounded by violence and grief. Arvin tries his hardest to live a good, honest life, despite the sinister characters around him.

My Thoughts: You know how my mind works by now, I stumble into an actor or actress obsession and then I make it my goal to watch anything and everything they’ve ever starred in. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve watched many a terrible movie starring Robert Pattinson, and I have to say, I wasn’t even looking forward to The Devil All the Time. I watched the trailer a few times and it just didn’t seem like my kind of movie. And well, sometimes it’s when your expectations are rock bottom that you find yourself a movie you enjoy the most. I don’t think this one is perfect, it’s very bleak, quite depressing and at least 20 minutes too long, but it’s been playing on my mind for almost a week now since I watched it.

Tom Holland is phenomenal here. He might be known best as Spider-Man in a playful role, but he really shows off his talents here. I don’t have a clue when it comes to awards and I know this movie hasn’t had great reviews but surely Tom Holland deserves some kind of nomination for this? His accent is impeccable and the way he transforms from a quiet boy to the man seeking revenge is just…incredible! Also, I know the buzz is around how Robert Pattinson steals the show as the corrupted and deceitful Revered (he is excellent, I won’t argue), the show-stealer for me was Harry Melling, who we all know as Dudley Dursley from Harry Potter! I hope we get to see him in more movies.

There are so many characters in the movie it can be hard to keep track, and not all of their stories are really necessary, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. The movie had a The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) kind of feel to me, I’m not sure what that niche little category would be called. It’s not a happy movie, it’s not a fun movie, but it tells an interesting story and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!

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Best Bit: The stand off between Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson towards the end was particularly good, I thought.  It was tense and uncomfortable for the right reasons, and the perfect example of how great both actors are.

Worst Bit: Imagine being a Pattinson fan, watching this and thinking yes, this man could actually tempt me into going to church, just to find out that like almost everyone else in this movie, he’s a massive twat. Sigh…

Fun Trivia: Robert Pattinson didn’t work with a dialect coach and crafted his high-pitched Southern drawl on his own. The actor hid his accent from everyone – including director Antonio Campos – until day one of filming. Other actors sent Campos recordings of the voices they were working on – but not Pattinson, preferring to rehearse by himself and getting self-conscious by being judged before actually standing in front of the camera.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 spiders that Harry Melling actually dumped on his head for that stand-out scene, ugh!

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Tenet (2020)

tenet-movie-review-poster-2020Director: Christopher Nolan

Genre: Action, Thriller

Runtime: 150 Minutes

Main Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Martin Donovan, Himesh Patel

Plot: (Okay, it’s now been 24 hours since I started this post and I still can’t sum up the plot coherently by myself. For the sake of having something to fill this section I’m copying and pasting from IMDB! I’m not usually so lazy, I promise)
Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.

My Thoughts: I’m going to share more thoughts on Tenet when I’ve seen it again next week (can’t wait!) but I wanted to get my initial thoughts off my chest first. Firstly though, how amazing is it to be back in the cinema for a brand new, big-budget movie?! It’s the only new thing out right now other than The New Mutants which is having previes this weekend, so there are showing every 30 minutes and they all looked sold out to me. Well, as sold out as a cinema screen can be in 2020! I made every effort to not read any reviews before I saw it for myself, and although I promise this post will be as spoiler-free as I can keep it, I still urge you to go in as blind as possible.

What an experience Tenet was. There are elements that I’ve never seen in a movie before, and knowing that most, if not all of those special effects were done in real life (they literally crashed that plane into a building) just makes it all the more jaw-dropping. It’s 2 and a half hours long and throws you right into the action straight away, making it an exhausting watch. The cast is, well, simply stunning, pushing my current obsession aside. John David Washington is a perfect leading man. Elizabeth Debicki is wonderful as always but I can’t help but feel like she’s starting to be a bit typecast. Robert Pattinson is using his natural, British accent which always throws me, I keep forgetting he isn’t American!

We’re specifically told that Tenet isn’t time travel…but I can’t think of any other way to explain it. I ADORE time travel movies. There’s just something so fascinating about the concept, the paradoxes, the implications. Just going to bed afterwards and thinking about how it all works, but oh man, I got way more than I bargained for here. It’s simply impossible to just watch Tenet once and ‘get it’. I thought at one point I’d figured it out, and then it just went further and further. When the credits rolled everyone had that same reaction of ‘that was amazing…my brain hurts!’.

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Best Bit: Forgive me if I’ve remembered the term wrong but I think it was a Temporal Pincer Maneuver. There’s two of them in the movie and I just can’t comprehend how complicated they are!

Worst Bit: Whoever was in charge of Robert Pattinson’s hair needs to be fired. But on a serious note, there were so many times when I actually couldn’t work out what any of the characters was saying. I was desperate for subtitles. From what I can gather though it’s not a problem unique to me, which leads me to wonder, is it a terrible editing mistake, or is it intended?

Fun Trivia: In addition to performing stunts backwards, the main cast actually learned how to speak in reverse for their roles. Kenneth Branagh not only had to learn to speak backwards, but also had to do it with a Russian accent (he is Irish in real life).

My Rating: 4 and a half packs of paracetamol, the exact amount I needed to take after spending all night trying to work out what I had just watched.

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Remember Me (2010)

remember-me-2010-movie-review-posterDirector: Allen Coulter

Genre: Romance, Drama

Runtime: 113 Minutes

Main Cast: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan, Lena Olin, Chris Cooper, Ruby Jerins, Martha Plimpton, Gregory Jbara, Meghan Markle

Plot: Tyler (Robert Pattinson) accepts a bet from his friend to try and hook up with the daughter of a police cop who wronged him as payback. Along the way he ends up falling in love with the girl, Ally (Emilie de Ravin) as they both struggle to deal with traumatic family events they both suffered years ago.

  • My Thoughts: Straight up, I’m giving you a SPOILER WARNING. There’s no way I can talk about this movie without mentioning the ending. Let me tell you how I got here in the first place, though. I’m starting to fall down a Robert Pattinson hole. It snuck up on me, he’s found himself into a lot of things I’ve been watching and well, it’s been a while since my last obsession so it was bound to happen eventually. Remember Me has been on the edge of my radar for years now and ironically, I could never remember why…

This is straight up angsty romance in every sense of the word. If you don’t like your romance movies to be depressing you’ll hate this, but I have a weird love for them. Tyler is completely lost, with no idea what he’s doing with his life but he’s a passionate family guy, and has a fierce protectiveness for his little sister. Ally has struggles of her own but fits into Tyler’s world perfectly. Of course, when a relationship starts because of a dare…it’s not going to stay a secret forever, and I knew the fallout was coming.

What I didn’t see coming? THAT ENDING. Bloody hell. Those last few minutes were so confusing. Everything seemed fixed, things were starting to look up, for everyone, but the music didn’t match the tone of the images and I couldn’t work out why. And then the tiny pieces of the puzzle fell into place and…oh man. Was it a cheap and easy way to evoke emotion from an audience? Maybe, but it ruined me. I turned the movie off and disappeared upstairs to ugly cry under a blanket!

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Best Bit: Although it’s one of the biggest, did not see that coming, kind of twist, it broke my heart and it’s not allowed to be the best bit. Being the total loser I am, my favourite scene was in the coffee shop or diner or wherever it was that Tyler introduced himself to Ally. His awkward yet witty charm…I fell for him.

Worst Bit: You know how everyone just hates it when the dog in the movie dies? Well that’s how I feel when kids in a movie are upset. Ever since becoming a parent, I just can’t handle it. So when Tyler’s little sister is mercilessly bullied at school, it really hurt to watch.

Fun Trivia: When casting, Twilight hadn’t come out yet, which means the producers had no idea the attention the movie was about to get when they cast Pattinson in the lead role of Tyler. “I didn’t know who he was,” Allen Coulter [Director] admitted. “That was an advantage, because I cast him just because I liked him.”

My Rating: 4 out of 5 cigarettes which Tyler will swear to you are his last ones.

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