Saturday, 16 December 2017

Ross's Reviews: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi



This is gonna be a hard one. I always like to keep my reviews spoiler free and this time I feel like I can't talk about anything without it being deemed as such. Still, I'll try my best.

I did actually go to see the midnight opening on Wednesday night for this as part of a double bill which started off with The Force Awakens (6th time seeing it in the cinema) and I was planning on reviewing this the very next day. After seeing it the first time, I wasn't too sure what to make of it and I decided to wait until I'd seen it again before I gave my thoughts on it.

Well this morning at 10am, I got to see it a second time and I feel like I now have my thoughts firmly set. So how was it and how did it compare to the rest of the legendary saga? Let's take a look.

The movie kicks off just about where Force Awakens ended with a few new plot threads beginning. After learning the location of the Resistance base, the First Order is hot on their tails in their plans to destroy the entire fleet and put an end to their crusade.
Rey meets up with Luke Skywalker to try and talk him into coming back home to help in the fight against Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke.
Finn wakes up after healing from his injuries at the end of the last episode and joins up with new character Rose on a quest to help the Resistance defend the fleet from attack.

Aside from that there's not much else regarding plot details I can go into without it being considered a spoiler. I really need to start doing spoiler reviews at some point to make this easier.

So the biggest part that people may have been looking forward to would be Mark Hamill reprising his role as Luke after giving us a massive cliffhanger in Force Awakens. I know people didn't think much of Mark's performance in the original trilogy, but here he really gives it his all and puts on his best performance yet as seamlessly manages to act like the old Luke we know while also looking like he's been through a ton of shit.

Carrie Fisher returns as General Leia in what will sadly be her last performance in a film due to her tragic passing last year. As expected she is awesome here, and while she doesn't appear too many times, it's hard not to feel a bit emotional when she does appear especially with one scene in particular I won't go into (damn spoilers).

Of course we have our new characters such as Kylo, Rey and Finn back to mixed results. Finn didn't do as much for me here as while he is still a good character, there didn't seem to be any kind of change from the last movie. In the opposite case, Rey and Kylo are definitely stand outs here. Daisy Ridley feels way more confident in her role as Rey and she does feel like she has evolved over the two movies.



Adam Driver as Kylo Ren may be my favourite though. A few people weren't happy about the portrayal of the character in Force Awakens as he came across as more of a whiny teenager than an imposing figure like Darth Vader. I myself loved this as it was a bit different from other villains especially given his family past which is explored further here. He really comes into his own here and manages to become an even more complex villain while actually coming across as a very threatening figure.

In terms of the overall story, I loved it. The First Order seemed like such an oppressive force for the first time, and didn't need a death star copy to do that. This time you really get a feel for how both sides work and how their military minds think.

This does end up being one of the darker Star Wars movies and it doesn't come across as forced at all which I was worried it would be. The story goes in places you don't expect and there are great surprises and revelations throughout.

While Force Awakens did at times feel like it was a copy of A New Hope, Last Jedi feels like it's own film with only a copy of scenes that felt similar to the original trilogy and they came across as more homages rather than copies.

The only small complaint I have is that the story arc with Finn and Rose is a bit out of left field and does slightly affect the pacing of the first act and I really feel that this could have been trimmed way down. On second watch it wasn't too bad and it does only take up about 20 minutes of the overall film so it didn't really do any damage.

There's so much I love here as it's such a different Star Wars movie than what you would expect which may be why the audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes may be so low as it isn't the movie you expect to see and it may even piss off a few fans with the way it messes with the lore of the force. Hell I wasn't even sure I liked it on first viewing, but I went in with way too much hype which is why the second viewing was necessary.

This is how a blockbuster movie should be done and I do plan on seeing this a few more times before it leaves the cinema, and I have a feeling it will become one of my all time favourites quite quickly. I'd even currently rank it as my second favourite Star Wars movie I enjoyed it that much.

Full of action, emotion, a compelling story and some of the best visuals and music you'll ever hear in a film, this is must see viewing. Check this one out immediately and give it a chance.

Verdict: 10/10

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Ross's Reviews: Jigsaw



Hey look we're way past Halloween and I'm still doing horror reviews, what are the odds?

This is one I've had my eye on for a while as I have to admit that the previous Saw films are a bit of a guilty pleasure. I haven't watched any of them since 2010's Saw: The Final (ha!) Chapter so I have no idea if they hold up or if I'll get any enjoyment out of them. Then again I did just recently purchase the complete collection on blu ray so it may be time to take another look at them (hint hint).

So this new one seems to be a reboot of sorts as I guess Lionsgate studios needs a bit more money after the Hunger Games series ended and this was the best they had. So is the movie any good and a return to glory or is it a pointless entry in the series? Let's take a look.

There's no spoilers for this movie but I may end up spoiling the older movies in the series so if you haven't seen them or don't want to know what happens, avoid the rest of the review.

The movie immediately starts with a brand new Jigsaw 'game' starting up as five victims wake up with buckets on their heads and chains around their necks as they are forced to fight for their lives and follow Jigsaw's rules, no matter how insane they may be.

Each of the victims seems to be harbouring a criminal past that they'd rather stay quiet about while Jigsaw's game revolves around them confessing their sins to be freed from their traps.

While this is going on, Detective Halloran and Officer Solomon try desperately to solve the case with the help of medical staff Logan and Eleanor as they rake through clues from the bodies of the deceased to figure out where the game is taking place and how they can stop it.

Has Jigsaw returned from the dead, or is there a copycat out there trying to emulate their sadistic hero?

First off, just like a lot of the later movies in the franchise, there were no characters here that stood out to me. Everyone was just kind of plain and spouting exposition so that you know the personal history of each character.

It doesn't help that the victims of the game have obviously done something regrettable in their past and it really doesn't make you empathise with them at all and it kind of ruined the tension of the traps when I didn't care if anyone died.



Don't get me wrong though this still has the gory torture porn goodness I've missed from these films and the mystery of the game did keep me interested throughout, although when it does leave the game to focus on the investigation, it can be pretty boring. The film does seem to know it's audience though as it consistently throws curveballs in the plot to make you rethink if you figured out the twist or not.

All Saw films have had some sort of twist to them to keep the story going and this one was no different. I spent the whole film trying to guess what it would be and in the end the film still managed to surprise the hell out of me with a twist I never saw coming.

It's a decent twist too as it makes sense even if I do have some slightly story related issues with it but I'll discuss that with anyone that's seen the movie.

Overall while I did have a few issues with the movie, I did have a fun time with it, but opinions will definitely vary on this one. It's without a doubt a movie made for the fans and it felt quite nostalgic for me.

If you like these films you'll enjoy this. If not then there's not much here to make you a fan of the series as you may need to catch up on the previous movies to understand some specific moments.
As a popcorn movie it definitely works even if you may be spitting that popcorn back in disgust.


Verdict: 5/10

Monday, 30 October 2017

Ross' Spooky Reviews: My Favourite Halloween Movie


So what could it be? My favourite horror film of all time? One good enough to overcome all time greats like John Carpenter's Halloween or The Shining?

The suspense is killing me, although if you've read my top 10 favourite movie list you probably could have guessed it.

It's the one and only



I love this entire series (yes even the remake, check it out) and out of all of them this was always my favourite and the one I went back to the most. This goes all the way back to my childhood as my dad showed me Army of Darkness when I was around 7 years old and then showed me this one when I could handle it and I've loved it ever since. It may be the reason why I'm so in love with the horror genre today and showed me what the genre was capable of when done perfectly.

So why is it so good? Let me explain.

No spoilers here.

First off this isn't really a sequel to the original and is more like a remake now that director Sam Raimi has a much bigger budget to work with so you don't have to watch the first one to understand what's going on.

The basic plot follows Ash ,played by the always awesome Bruce Campbell, as he takes his girlfriend, Linda, to a remote cabin in the woods for some alone time. Before long an evil spirit is unleashed and Linda goes missing, leading to Ash and a few others fighting for survival against some creepy demons.

This movie is basically the horror equivalent of Mad Max: Fury Road in that once it starts it never really stops for a breath for the full 80 minutes. The shit hits the fan within the first 5 minutes and from then on it's memorable scene after memorable scene. 

It isn't just a straight up horror film either as there's quite a few comedic moments, including some slapstick, as it's obvious this isn't meant to be a serious movie and everyone's just having fun here. This is a goofy movie at times but in the best way possible. I mean if you've even seen the severed hand scene you know how hilarious it is and how well it works within the confines of the movie.

Not that it can't be scary either. Trips to the cellar and the dark woods are never particularly pleasant and there are a couple of jumpscares that might get you. Some of the special effects haven't aged as well but it's obvious that some are just here for laughs.




What really brings the movie together though is the performance from Bruce Campbell as Ash which is one of my favourites and I don't know why I haven't dressed up as him for Halloween. The other characters aren't that memorable but Ash carries the film all on his own as it could have just been him for 80 minutes and it would still be entertaining. He can go from a cowardly, clumsy dumbass to a chainsaw-wielding badass in the drop of a hat and he does this flawlessly.

Aside from some boring side characters I really don't have any issues with this movie as it has just about everything I could want from a film. Even the ending is great and comes totally out of nowhere but still makes sense to the tone of the movie and set up a fantastic sequel. 

Scary, funny as hell, a quotable main character and just total insanity throughout, this is one of the funnest movies ever made and one I will continue to watch for the rest of my life. If you haven't seen it I completely urge you to check it out along with the rest of the series. You won't regret it. 

Verdict: 10/10

Monday, 23 October 2017

Ross's Reviews: Happy Death Day



This is a movie that has been on my radar since I saw the first trailer a few months back and it's been getting quite a bit of hype the last month with a good marketing campaign. Did it live up to expectations or did it repeat the sins of many other bad horror films? Let's take a look.

As usual no spoilers.

The movie stars Jessica Rothe as college student Tree Gelbman who wakes up after a night of partying to what seems like any normal day. After being attacked and seemingly killed by a masked villain, she starts to realise that she is living the same day over and over again, being killed by the same stalker every night and needs to find their identity before she never wakes up again.

First off you should know this isn't much of a horror film. There's about one or two scenes with tension and a spooky atmosphere but that's about it which brings me to one of my problems with the film: the tone is all over the place.

The movie doesn't seem to know what it wants to be as it tries to be a scary movie, a murder mystery, a comedy and a family drama all in the one which can work sometimes, but the way the movie was paced and laid out made it feel slightly confused at times.

I mean from the start the killings are made to feel serious and then later on we have a montage which got more laughs from the audience than scares.

I did enjoy the character of Tree though as she starts off as a bit of a bitch, only caring about herself and even sleeping with a lecturer that has a wife, but the movie still made her out to be likeable which can be hard to pull off. Of course she does get much better as the movie goes on as she starts to realise how she can affect people's lives when she sees the same scenarios every day.

Jessica Rothe was terrific here and gave the movie a better performance than it really deserved to be honest. There's an emotional scene which had her giving a bit of a speech and I'll admit it got me slightly emotional. I really hope to see her in more movies in the future because she definitely carried the whole thing. No one else was bad but no one was as memorable as her.



From the trailer I was intrigued by the killer and wanted to know more about how they continually found our main character in different locations to kill her, but the movie disappointed in that aspect as it never really reveals how the masked killer operated unless I missed something while watching.

The movie did start to drag towards the end I thought and the finale itself was kind of dumb with even one of the main characters pointing out how over the top it is. Again though no spoilers so I won't go into it.

Really if it wasn't for Tree as a character the movie wouldn't be anything special but the film has a way of making you care about her as you're constantly rooting for her to find the killer and put the madness to rest once and for all.

Overall I did have a good time with this one even if feels like I may have torn the film apart a bit but hey that's what I'm here to do. A lot of reviews have been mixed for this one and I can see why as horror fans will be disappointed whereas movie fans in general should have a bit of fun with it.

If you're looking for a scarefest this Halloween, this one isn't for you, but if you're like a few of my friends and hate being scared by horror films, then this should be perfect for you and might even be a great introduction to the horror genre if you're looking to get started out easy.


Verdict: 6/10

Monday, 16 October 2017

Ross's Halloween Playlist



Today I thought I'd go with something a bit different as I've been watching a bit too many horror movies lately which has started messing with my head in weird ways, from my dreams to even hearing noises in the house when I'm alone, it's not been that fun.

So for a short while at least, I'll be taking a little break from horrors aside from a couple that have still to be released in the cinema.

This here is a list of movies I would recommend watching on the lead up to Halloween, or Halloween itself and I'm going to be aiming for more obscure movies instead of the classics you've seen on these lists a million times. There'll be no movies like The Exorcist, Alien or Nightmare on Elm Street here. So if you'd like some recommendations for some movies that you may not have seen before, then you're in the right place.

These films are are ranked in no particular order.


The Wicker Man (2006)/ The Happening/ Troll 2



I thought I'd start with something a bit different so I could get it out of the way. I combined these three movies because they all serve the same purpose: trying to be scary while coming across as absolute comedies. Every single one has a classic moment that can be best enjoyed with a few drinks and a few friends. From Wicker Man's infamous bee scene (shown above), Mark Wahlberg's entire performance in The Happening, and....... well just about everything in Troll 2. All three are terrible but worth a watch for the laughs.


The Evil Dead Anthology



I was only going to go with Army of Darkness for this one but I decided to go with all four movies since they all deserve to be seen. The first one is more well known for how much it managed to do on a shoestring budget. It's pretty silly watching it back now but it still does have some scary moments with some being particularly gory. Some scenes don't work as well like the stop motion ending and the tree rape scene really hasn't aged well and is hard to watch for many reasons. 

The second is an absolute favourite of mine as it runs with the goofiness and takes it to a whole other level with tons of memorable scenes and some of the best dialogue you'll ever hear. Plus the armless scenes are some of the funniest committed to film. I won't say too much more as I may talk about this one more at a later date. 

Army of Darkness once again ups the goofiness factor to it's highest levels as this is no longer a horror film and more like a medieval comedy, but my god is it glorious. Check this one out immediately.

And finally we have the 2013 remake simply known as Evil Dead. I love this movie which is weird because I detested it's mere existence when it was first announced, but after one watch I was hooked. There's no goofiness to be had here as it's all serious with some major gore, practical effects galore and characters you can actually root for. Not to mention it has one of the most badass finales you'll see in any movie. 



VHS 2



I'm honestly not the biggest fan of this franchise as I found the first very disappointing and I couldn't even finish the third one I was that bored with it, but my god this one is just fantastic and I can't sing it's praises enough. 

The film features four short stories (five if you count the set up plot) and each one is worth a watch. The first story follows a man that has a bionic eye installed to test out which has a camera inside. Somehow this causes him to see dead people in his apartment that mean to cause him harm. I love the camera here as they found a way to make the found footage make sense as you see everything the main character sees. Great start.

It then moves onto a story that follows a cyclist that is turned into a zombie. The genius here is that the camera is a Go Pro attached to the cyclist's helmet and so you get to see how a zombie sees. It's all pretty gruesome too. Another good one. 

The third one I'm not even gonna talk about as it's so batshit crazy that you need to see it for yourself. It's the best short story on here and worth the price of admission alone. 

The fourth story may seem like a simple alien abduction story, but there's just something so unsettling about the look of the monsters and the way it's filmed that makes it seem so real. 

All in all, a must for October.



The Descent


This is one that was talked about a lot when it first came out but seems to have fallen out of memory in recent years which is really unfair. This is one of the scariest movies I've ever seen and is a total nightmare for anyone that suffers from claustrophobia. The first two acts are nothing like your traditional horror film as it's mainly the group of girls trying to escape from a cave system, but the collapsing tunnels and dark areas make you feel like you're really there and it can leave you feeling breathless. 

The third act, however, is where the shit really hits the fan and things go from bad to horrific pretty quickly and it has some of the most nail biting moments you'll see in a horror. Definitely check this one out. 


Return of the Living Dead


This is one of the first horror movies I'd ever seen ad I think I may have been around 8 or 9 when I initially watched it. It used to freak me out but watching it back now I realise how ridiculous I was. This is basically a dark comedy take on the zombie genre and is just a blast to watch from start to finish. The zombies are great (and can even speak) with one of the most memorable ones in the form of the slime monster which is easily my favourite part of the film. It is a bit cheesy by today's standards, but I'd say it's ideal to have in the background during a Halloween party. 


Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon


This may be the most obscure movie on the list and it's one I've actually only seen once a few years ago, but man was it memorable. Without spoiling anything, the movie follows a journalist as she documents the movements of a serial killer while he shows her his plans which are basically all the rules of any slasher flick. It does sound a bit like Scream admittedly as it is quite meta, but it's just so clever and so fun it's hard not to love it. If you enjoy your slasher horror films, then this is one that should definitely be on your watchlist. 



REC


I put this one here because whenever I mention it, everyone thinks I'm talking about the American remake known as Quarantine which sucks so don't watch it. This is the original Spanish version which is vastly superior in just about every aspect. Like the Descent it starts off claustrophobic with our characters stuck inside a building while dealing with what seems to be some kind of outbreak. The pacing is excellent as it all leads to a terrifying finale that will give you nightmares for weeks. A found footage classic to check out for sure. 



Inside


I'm not even sure this can be classed as a horror film as it's more of a thriller than anything, but my god is it absolutely disturbing. This is another foreign movie this time taking place in France. Whenever I mention this one, the fact that it needs subtitles puts people off but I'd highly recommend checking it out. Without spoiling the plot, the story follows a pregnant woman in her home who is suddenly stalked by another woman who seems to want to take her baby for herself, even if it means cutting her open. This is such a tense movie as you're desperate to see this poor woman escape from this situation, and the gore is enough to have you look away from the screen. 



The Autopsy of Jane Doe



When I first heard about this movie I wondered how they could make a good horror story out of a simple autopsy. By the end I wondered how I could even question this in the first place. I only watched this one recently but man did I love it. I can't go into plot details as the fun is in figuring out the story as it goes along. Just know that this film knows how to be creepy, in subtle, quiet moments that will stick with you for a while. 


And that's my playlist for films that deserve a look this Halloween season. I thought about adding others like Oculus, Babadook and It Follows, but those ones are pretty well known by now and I had enough here to work with. 

Did I miss any others you think should be here? If you have any other recommendations for people feel free to leave a comment below. If you have any movies you want me to review as well, let me know.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Ross's Spooky Reviews: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)



You knew I couldn't continue with the scary movie reviews without mentioning this gem.

Also I've been thinking of what to do when we finally reach October 31st, so I've decided that on that day, I'll be releasing a review for my favourite movie to watch on Halloween. What is that movie?
You'll have to wait and see.

Anyways onto the review. As usual there will be no spoilers.

It only really just hit me when watching this back last night that movie is very similar to the recent movie adaption of IT (yes I know I keep going on about it but screw it, I love it) so Stephen King may have lifted some ideas from this for his original novel. The villains may have differing motivations for their killings, but the setup for the story is almost identical in a way.

For those who don't know what this movie is, it stars Robert Englund as the horror icon known as Freddy Krueger who is hunting down the teens of Springwood in the only place the can't run from: their dreams.

The movie also stars Heather Langenkamp as Nancy and a debuting Johnny Depp as Glen. I surprisingly don't have much to say on Depp here as he doesn't actually do much and is just here as Nancy's boyfriend who seemingly can't do anything right. He does have one very memorable scene which I can't mention for spoilers, but anyone who's seen it knows exactly what I'm talking about and it's fucking great.

So basically Heather and her friends need to come up with a solution to the Freddy problem otherwise they're all gonna end up dead pretty soon when they eventually have to fall asleep.

I do love way that Freddy operates here as it while it may be parodied to death nowadays, back then it was this brand new idea and it's pretty terrifying when you think about it. Imagine a killer being able to murder you in your dreams, how do you escape or defend against that? You kind of don't and just have to do what you can to survive.

Not only that, but he manipulate his appearance and surroundings (like IT) to terrify and kill his victims, as he needs fear and belief to stay alive (like IT). It makes for some very memorable scenes that will stay with you long after the movie is over.





There is one disturbing scene that really stuck with me and that's Freddy's first kill. Again I can't mention who it is for spoilers but the scene itself is just so visceral and grisly without being too gory or even over the top that it just works so well, and from that point on Freddy goes from being a creepy boogeyman to someone that demands to be feared and will kill you in the worst ways possible.

There are some cheesy moments here and there (as well as some cheap jumpscares) as this is an 80s movie but it's all good fun and adds to the overall experience.

When it comes to the acting, Englund as Freddy is of course the most memorable performance. He just looks like he's having so much fun in every scene and while he wouldn't be as goofy as he turned out later on, he still had a funny line here and there. It's no wonder he got to play the character for almost 20 years.

While his performance always gets the most attention, I'd also like to highlight the performance of Langenkamp as Nancy as she was great throughout. She goes from this timid schoolgirl to a badass with a survivalist attitude and she works it very well. I would mention the rest of cast but everyone else doesn't really do much if I'm honest and the two leads were the only memorable characters.

The whole film builds up to a terrific finale as the last 20 minutes or so really ramp up the tension and suspense while leaving you rooting for the surviving characters which doesn't happen too often in these kinds of horror films, but this one pulled it off.

Overall I had a blast watching this movie again and it's one I've watched many times before and will continue to watch in future. This is a Halloween must as it has stood the test of time and continues to haunt nightmares to this very day while also creating a top icon of horror in the process.

Check this one out again, and if you haven't seen it already, check it out even quicker.

Verdict: 8/10



Sunday, 8 October 2017

Ross's Reviews: Blade Runner 2049



I was never planning to review this movie when it came out as I was wanting to keep all of this month's reviews horror related for Halloween, but after seeing this last night I just felt like I needed to talk about it.

No spoilers here.

First off this is a long ass movie. If you're willing to put the time into it, you're looking at 164 minutes in a cinema seat, which trust me does not do your legs any favours (and this is with freaking legroom seats) but it's oh so totally worth it in the end.

The film is directed by Denis Villeneuve who has quickly become one of my favourite directors to watch for after this and other classics like Arrival (2016) and Prisoners (2013). I still haven't seen Sicario (2015) or Enemy (2013) but I'll definitely need to check them out soon.

The film is set 30 years after the original movie (definitely check out the final cut if you haven't seen it, it's an easy 10/10 classic) and follows replicant Blade Runner 'K' (Ryan Gosling) as it is his job to hunt down and 'retire' older replicant models that are now illegal due their rebellious nature.

These are the same kind of original models from the first movie in that they were designed almost exactly like humans but had increased strength and made them viable for slave labour. Of course attaching emotions and memories to these replicants ended up being a bad idea and they turned on their human masters and so were made illegal as a result and sentenced to death on sight. Aren't we as people just lovely?

Anyway after 30 years passed, new replicant models have been made after a takeover of the original company, and these new models are built the same as the older ones but are considered to be harmless to humans unless needed. And yet somehow these replicants are still hated by people because humanity always seems to hate things that are different.

So the basic plot without ruining it sees K being tasked with hunting down a particular kind of replicant that no one can know about, lest it's revelation to the world cause an uprising and potential war between man and machine.

While a lot of themes and symbolism does feel like it's trying to deliver the same as the original, this one does it in it's own, quite different way that it really does feel original.

The parts that really screwed with me were the ones featuring any kind of artificial intelligence such as K's AI that he uses in his apartment that acts as his roommate/partner. This particular AI is played by Ana De Armas and is so lifelike with her emotions and thoughts that it made me wonder; does she really feel this way or is it the software? Is she happy that she's forced to feel these emotions in what could be considered slave labour? It messed with my head quite a bit and one of the reasons why I loved this movie, it forces you to think on your own moral implications on what is really just a piece of manufactured machinery.

I don't normally go into the soundtrack of movies but my god the music here was absolute bliss and just floored me every time I heard it. It's already saved on my Spotify for future use and I was happy to learn that it was composed by the legendary Hans Zimmer who knocked it out of the park once again.

You can also see Ridley Scott's fingerprints all over this as the producer as the visuals are absolutely stunning throughout. So many locations in the movie feel special and have their own place in the world from the constantly raining, dank city of California to the desolate forgotten cities of the past used later on.



Of course Harrison Ford returns to his iconic role of former Blade Runner Deckard and while he was shown quite a bit in the advertising he really isn't in this all that much, but I did appreciate the scenes he was included in as they continued his arc from the previous film without ruining what the character was which a lot of sequels seemingly can't do that well.

Speaking of not appearing that much, we also have Jared Leto as the creator of the new replicants, Niander Wallace, and again while he's not here too often, when he is it's always an interesting scene. His character comes across as having a bit of a god complex which I guess he should since he does create life. You could call him the villain but I'd say that's more open to interpretation depending on your findings in the film.

One of my favourite performances came from Sylvia Hoeks as the replicant known as Luv who is basically Wallace's henchwoman that gets all his shit done. It just amazes me how she starts as just a normal character and then changes into one of the most threatening characters I've seen all year. She's a badass and you don't want to mess with her.

I freaking adored this movie and it's one of those special movies that comes along to remind me why I love cinema in the first place which I haven't felt since La La Land. To me practically everything was perfect here from the acting, the story, the visuals, the soundtrack, the pacing, the direction, I loved it all.

If you're expecting a big blown out sci-fi action movie then you'll be really disappointed as there's barely any action at all, but there doesn't need to be. This is a thought-provoking masterpiece that I know a lot of audiences will hate, but those that put the time and attention in will see it for what it truly is.

I've only just found this morning that the movie isn't doing well at the box office so far which is heartbreaking as this movie deserves the  profit and it means that studios may be reluctant to release anything with this level of detail or thought again and we'll be stuck with the dumb audience approved movies that shovel the same shit at us over and over again.

True it isn't the most accessible movie ever as I do think you need to have watched the original beforehand as some of the plot may not make as much sense and there are definitely fan service moments here and there which still work in context of the whole film.

This is going to go down as one of my favourite movies ever and I'm sure I'll love it even more when given the chance to rewatch and pick up small details I may have missed the first time. I'm not going to see a movie as good as this for a long time, but when I do the wait will have been worth it.

I'd highly recommend checking this out if you consider yourself a fan of sci-fi, if you even just slightly enjoyed the original, or if you consider yourself a fan of cinema. You won't regret it.


Verdict: 10/10

Friday, 6 October 2017

Ross's Halloween Reviews: Halloween (1978)



What would Halloween related reviews for October be without taking a look at John Carpenter's holiday classic simply known as Halloween.

Also my good buddy Harrison has a horror themed podcast worth checking out on the first two movies in the series with more to come. Here's the link below:

https://soundcloud.com/chewgumkickasspod/franchise-of-fear-halloween

So how does this movie hold up almost 40 years later? Let's take a look.

No major spoilers here.

So the movie starts off in a little town known as Haddonfield exactly 15 years before the major events of the film as a young boy known as Michael Myers is spying on his older sister from outside the house. This eventually leads him inside where he grabs a knife and a mask to stab the hell out of her.

It is a pretty disturbing moment to start the movie but it was never the actual stabbing that disturbed me, in fact it's the moment where his parents take off him mask to show him as an ordinary boy. He doesn't look creepy or like an obvious killer, he just looks like your run of the mill 6 year old which is quite unsettling.

We then cut to the present day (1978) where young Michael is now much older and has escaped the insane asylum holding him with Dr Loomis (Donald Pleasance) hot on his trail.

We also follow high schooler Laurie Strode (a debuting Jamie Lee Curtis) as she prepares to babysit on Halloween night, unaware of the terror of the night ahead as Michael attempts to hunt her down along with her friends.

I still love just about everything in this movie even after watching for what must be like the 20th time in my life. It's the slasher movie that all other slasher movies try to be even to this very day and none have done it as well as this. There's a reason why it was in my top 10 favourite movies list.

First of all the music is terrific and the film is even introduced with the opening theme that is now considered iconic and is a favourite of those looking to be spooky. Even without the main score the music used throughout is so well done whether it be the rising tension scenes of Myers chasing down another victim or the sudden jolt whenever he pops in out of nowhere. It definitely does it's job horrifically well.




Speaking of the devil (almost literally) Michael Myers is easily the best part of this whole movie and there's a reason why he's so iconic when it comes to horror. While he may have grown up inside asylum walls, he's not just some brute looking to kill whatever is in his path. No, he plans his attack by stalking his victims throughout the day before picking the perfect moment to strike.

He's creepy as hell and there are some shots of him (such as the image above) that may creep around in your nightmares forever. It also helps that Dr Loomis builds him up as some sort of icon of evil, like a demon and it really makes him seem like this unstoppable force that will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants.

My only slight issue with film is that the acting can be quite corny at times from the side characters and can be laughable at times.

I do think that this is made up by a great first performance from Jamie Lee Curtis (who, aside from Ripley, is the best final girl ever) and a brilliant showing from Donald Pleasance who would end up in quite a few of these movies and would generally always be the best actor in them.

The movie does have a slightly slow build up especially if you've seen it quite a few times like myself, but there are still some scares to keep newcomers on their toes or hide their eyes behind their hands.

It's worth it though as leads the fantastic final 20 minutes which has some of the most tension filled scenes ever put to cinema. I won't spoil it but after watching it I doubt you'll ever feel safe in your own house again.

Overall this movie definitely holds up today and is still the golden standard of slasher and horror movies alike. Whenever October 31st rolls around, this one always deserves to be on any Halloween watchlist. Highly recommended.

Verdict: 10/10

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Ross's Halloween Reviews: Gerald's Game



Or as I like to call it: Stephen King's version of 127 Hours.

I know it may seem a bit redundant to put the word 'Halloween' in the title since all I've reviewed since coming book is straight up horror movies, but while we're in the month of October it's going to stay that way. It's my favourite time of year and I plan to upload as many horror reviews as possible during the month.

So this movie was released a couple of days ago as a Netflix exclusive and is an adaption of the book of the same name, written by the legend that is Stephen King, which does seem to be a theme for me as this is now the fourth King adaption I've written about since coming back.

I've also bought the original book version, and after watching this I definitely want to read it after I'm finished with 'IT' to see if there are any major differences.

With King adaption's being all the rage this month, how does this one stack up with the rest? Let's take a look.

As usual this will be spoiler free and any plot points I do mention will have already been shown in the trailer.

Our story begins with our two main characters, a married couple called Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) and Jessie (Carla Gugino) as they head to a remote Lake House in the woods to try and spice up their apparently failing marriage.

Quickly this leads to Gerald trying out a sex game by handcuffing Jessie to the bed. After this all goes kind of wrong (in a very uncomfortable scene I might add), Gerald suffers what appears to be a heart attack, leaving poor Jessie stuck to the bed with no one around to help her. She can't move from the bed or reach her phone from the bedside table, so she's pretty much screwed and tries everything to stay alive.

Aside from threat of starvation and dehydration, Jessie also has to contend with a ravenous stray dog that's gotten into the house, waiting for her to drop her guard so that he can feast on her flesh.




I wasn't too sure about this one at first as I wasn't sure how they could pull off making a person trapped to a bed for 100 minutes entertaining, but somehow they pulled it off and I was never bored once.

This is mainly because of the hallucinations suffered by Jessie as she slowly starts to go insane due to her dire situation. In this state she has visions of Gerald coming back to seemingly mock her with details of their sub-par marriage and laughing at her attempts to escape.

To counteract this she can also see a version of herself that's willing her on and giving her ideas on how to survive and to ignore her mind's version of Gerald.

The acting performances here were great, especially for Carla as she could go from a helpless woman hanging on the edge of sanity to a badass with some survival instinct.

When there were some slower moments in the movie, they were still filled with the right amount of tension, to where even Jessie's attempt to get a simple glass of water to stay alive is just nail-biting and you're left praying that she doesn't mess it up.

I wasn't expecting this to be a horror film at all, but as this is a Stephen King adaption, there was bound to be some scary element here. It doesn't happen often but there are a couple of scenes that bring in a seemingly supernatural element which did initially creep me out and there were a couple of times I was left watching the screen through my fingers.

Jessie also has flashbacks to her time as a 12 year old girl that do explain why her marriage with Gerald is slightly strained, but again I won't go into details due to spoilers. Just know this, it is pretty fucked up and won't be forgotten soon as much as I'd like to.

As someone who doesn't mind a bit of gore, there are only a couple of scenes with some major gory details that definitely won't be for the faint of heart so be warned.

My only real problem with the movie I can't explain as it does take place in the last five minutes of the film, but it does involve a revelation that kind of ruined some of the previous moments in the film as it didn't make sense and didn't fit the tone of the rest of the film. Some people may see it differently but it just annoyed me.

Overall while not on the levels of the recent IT adaption in my opinion, this is still a Stephen King adaption worth checking out if you're looking for a chilling October movie without too many scares. It is disturbing as hell and you could cut the tension with a knife at times as you feel yourself glued to the story.

Recommended.

Verdict: 7/10

Monday, 25 September 2017

Ross's Reviews: The Shining



This is a movie I thought I'd never review as there's been countless debates and discussions about the various themes shown here and theories on what it all means. After watching it last night I thought I'd avoid all that and just review it as a straight up movie without delving into it's apparently deep mythology.

No spoilers here.

Weirdly enough just like the recent film adaption of Stephen King's IT, there's also a separate mini series and just like the IT mini series, it's not worth watching. Even less so in fact which is saying something.

This film version is directed by the legendary Stanley Kubrick and is famously disliked by Stephen King who wrote the original novel mostly just because it very different from the source material. Normally that would ring the death knell for most adaptions, but Kubrick's version, in my opinion, improves on the source material vastly.

The story follows Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) as he is hired to be the caretaker of the massive Overlook Hotel located in the the Colorado Rockies. Jack's an aspiring writer and looks to complete his first novel as he's also bringing his family in the form of his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and young son Danny (Danny Lloyd).

Quickly we find out that Danny is no ordinary boy as he has a special gift known as The Shining, which shows him visions of the past and future while he sleeps, and also shows him what may be hallucinations (or terrifying real events) as he explores the hotel.

The isolation of the hotel starts to get to each one of them slowly, building to total insanity in more ways than one.

First of all I think I need to talk about the fear factor here as for a long time, this has been known as one of the scariest (if not scariest) movies ever made. And in my opinion, I have to agree. While it might not be a fright fest like you would find in a movie like The Conjuring or a gore fest like Evil Dead, it's absolutely psychological and finds a few ways to dig right into your skin and stay there.

Kubrick's direction is just sublime as he knows how to freak out his audience by doing nothing but staying on Jack's maddening face while the music slowly rises and then suddenly does something simple like flashing up a black card showing which day of the week it is, and it still somehow creeps you out.




The isolation alone is terrifying. There are quite a few scenes with just one character alone in a long empty hallway or a deserted room and there's just something about it that freaks me out, like there's always something unseen watching and waiting. Maybe there is.....

There's the Room 237 sequence which is pretty infamous and one of the best scenes in the entire movie as the entire sequence came close to sending shivers down my spine, even without offering much of an explanation to what is going on.

Also twin girls talking in unison is always scary no matter what. With one scene in particular that is especially nightmare inducing.

This all builds up to an amazing, nail-biting finale that's so intense you'll feel like your eyes are glued to the screen.

Enough of the horror, let's take a look at the acting. Of course we have to start with our lead in Jack Nicholson who is just fantastic here and it's really award winning stuff. Going from your typical family man to something entirely monstrous and otherworldly as the movie rolls on is genuinely frightening.

There's also Shelley Duvall who was apparently terrorised during filming to bring out a believable performance. While I don't agree with the way it was done, it really did work as Shelley looks like she's about to have a mental breakdown during some of the more intense scenes.

Child actors can be troublesome in these movies but Danny Lloyd did a great job portraying this Danny. He's definitely the emotional core here as whenever he seems like he's in any real danger you're just begging for him to get away.

Overall this movie is just a masterpiece of horror and film in general. It's filled to the brim with iconic moments still referenced and parodied to this day. The acting is brilliant all round and the horror is so unnerving that your future dreams will most definitely be affected.

It's not for everyone but I absolutely recommend checking it out.

Verdict: 10/10

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Ross's Reviews: IT (1990)



Ever since the movie adaptation of IT was released, I've been really obsessed with the story. I've now seen the movie a total of three times and I'm currently working my way through the novel which has the same length and width as the phone book.

Today I'll taking a look at the original mini series from 1990, adapted from the book.

I'd been kind of putting this off for a while as I'd heard it wasn't too great, but the other night I decided to watch it all in the one sitting to see how it was, so here are my thoughts.

This is going to be spoiler free.

With the new film adaption it shows the entire movie with the kids still as kids, whereas this adaption does it a bit differently as almost the entire first half follows the kids 30 years on from the events we know from the 2017 movie.

It does start to feel a bit repetitive as it follows a formula for the first half where we follow each of the main characters individually, as almost every one of them has a flashback to their separate encounters with an entity known mainly as IT, or Pennywise when he's in clown form. IT terrifies it's victims before trying to kill them and eat them.

These separate encounters are probably the best parts of the mini series as the kids, while not perfect, are the best actors of the whole series (or most believable anyway) and they are definitely the most entertaining.

This is mainly due to the iconic performance of Pennywise (or IT), as played by the awesome Tim Curry. There's a reason why people have been afraid of clowns for some time now, and this Pennywise has to be one of the main reasons why. The performance is kind of over the top but it works so well. It may not come across as scary nowadays, but it can be unnerving and when he has his sharp teeth bared, it's hard not to be a little creeped out.




The first half is basically a tamer version of the 2017 version with the kids being terrorised by IT and working up the courage to try and fight back. There isn't much blood and gore to be had as it was made for TV but it doesn't affect the story and the great scenes with IT that much. Definitely the best parts of the series included here.

The second half on the other hand........ pretty much sucked. This is where the story follows the adults heading back to Derry to face off with Pennywise once again. Pennywise is still around to bring us some fun at least but I just found the adult actors laughably bad at times leading to some scenes I can only describe as cheesy.

While I won't spoil the ending I can say it was pretty disappointing considering the buildup of the whole series and just came across as silly. Especially the very last scene which is just ridiculous and a terrible way to end the whole thing.

The whole series is about 3 hours in total any I'll admit I struggled with it. The first half is an easy ride, but once you realise you still have an hour and a half to go during the worst part of the feature, it really is easy to just turn it off due to disinterest.

I feel like I might be crucified for not liking this, but whenever anyone mentions this series, it really is only the Pennywise scenes that are remember fondly as everything else ranges from bad to kind of good.

I really wouldn't recommend watching this unless you're a huge fan of the book or are just interested after seeing the latest adaption. Trust me, you might not want to watch this more than once.

Verdict: 4/10




Monday, 18 September 2017

My Top 10 Favourite Movies



I thought I'd go with something a bit different here as I've been doing reviews for quite a while now but I've never really went over my favourite movies except for some references here and there. I thought it might be a good idea as you'll now know how my mind works towards certain movies.

There will be no spoilers for any movies mentioned. Also my only rule for the list is that I can only pick one movie per franchise otherwise there would be so many similar picks.

Let's begin, but first a pretty huge list on honourable mentions. I tried to keep it smaller but I love a lot of movies and each one was considered for one reason or another for the top ten list. All are obviously recommended by me.

Honourable Mentions:

(In no particular order)

Pulp Fiction

The Conjuring

Captain America: Civil War

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Toy Story 2

Jaws

Mad Max: Fury Road

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Paranormal Activity

Predator

Terminator 2

District 9

Ghostbusters (original)

The Babadook

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Hot Fuzz

Cabin in the Woods

The Shining

And I think that will do. I could have had others but I think that's more than enough. Now for the top 10.


10. IT (2017)



I know this seems very early considering that the movie has only been out just over a week at this time of writing, but I really feel that in a year or even a few months time, this'll still be on the list and may even move up a few spaces. Yes I enjoyed it that much.

At this point I've also now seen the movie three times and would not argue against seeing it a fourth. It has everything I love in a movie from fun, relatable characters to disturbing horror. It's basically a great Spielberg movie with a ton of gore, scares and even some surprisingly emotional scenes too added on for good measure. If you haven't seen it yet, definitely check it out ASAP.

You'll float too...


9. Halloween (1978)



This has been a favourite of mine for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest horror memories is watching one of my first scary movies in Halloween Resurrection, which I enjoyed as a kid but really dislike now, and from there I watched almost the whole series and fell in love with this classic.

If I don't watch this at least once during the month of October, something has went very wrong. A classic slasher that paved the way for just about every one we've had since. Michael Myers is such a legendary villain as he may seem like just a man, but the movie builds him up like he's a supernatural force to be reckoned with.

I have seen it quite a few times now and yet it's still somehow able to creep the hell out of me and even still scare me during some sequences. A must for anyone getting into horror.

Everyone's entitled to one good scare.


8. Back to the Future



I swear everytime I watch this movie I love it more and more. You may find I have a lot of movies from the 80s on here as I do love that decade.

I mean what's not to love here? Aside from the creepy incest plot point which is still disturbing to watch. Plus if it wasn't for this movie would we even have the joy that is Rick and Morty? It's just a fun time travel romp with awesome music (that Johnny B. Goode scene is still amazing, and the theme of the movie is still one of the best ever) with a finale that will have you on the edge of your seat no matter how many times you see it.

Great Scott!


7. Raiders of the Lost Ark



This one was a bit difficult as The Last Crusade could have easily taken the spot here but really nothing can beat the first one.

The first ten minutes alone are enough to make this list as it's just so fun and it's been parodied and copied so many times since. Harrison Ford is perfect as the hero and I even loved Karen Allen as the love interest as normally she would be there to be saved by the protagonist, but this movie was ahead of it's time and she was a badass herself.

Fun, creepy (face melting is not fun) and a movie I'll never get tired of watching. For some classic adventure, this one is a must.

Why did it have to be snakes?


6. The Lion King

I've probably seen this one more than any other on the list and apparently it was the first movie I'd ever seen. Hell it's the only movie I've watched twice in one day.

I love just about everything here from the voice acting, the songs (oh my god the songs!) and the story itself. I imagine a lot of people my age have this as one of their favourites as it kind of went balls to the wall in the way it dealt with the death of a major character as even today you don't really get scenes like that and you can relate to it no matter age you are. But if you were a kid like me, it was your worst nightmare and it's a scene that still brings tears to my eyes.

A stone cold classic and, in my opinion, Disney's best to date.

Hakuna Matata


5. Evil Dead II


This was another hard choice as I have a special love for every movie in the series, including the remake from four years ago.

Ultimately though you really can't go any better than the second instalment which features the best bits from every movie, from tense, chilling moments with Ash alone in the cabin to some of the best one liners you'll ever hear in one movie. The film made Bruce Campbell a legend and his scenes where he's fighting his own hand are some of my favourites as they're funny as hell and still manage to creep me out. It's still my first pick when it comes to Halloween time and I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it before.

Groovy.


4. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King


Another hard choice as I couldn't decide between this and Fellowship, but truly I've always enjoyed this one the most which a lot of people don't seem to agree with.

It is a long ass movie (4 hours and 10 minutes if you have the extended version) but I've never been bored for a second. With some of the biggest action pieces ever put to film and one of the most talented casts ever, everything just hits the mark here. Also Shelob's lair still scares the hell out of me. Screw that spider. The ending's may go on for ages, but I don't mind as I never wanted this to end.

For Frodo.


3. The Dark Knight


I've made it no secret how big a fan I am of Batman and this is where it all started. Before this film came out I was never really into Batman or DC, but this just changed everything.

After seeing this I just ended up becoming the biggest fanboy by watching all the other movies, reading a ton of the graphic novels and even checked out the entirety of the classic animated series and I've never looked back.

I can only really describe this movie as epic and if you've never seen it, you really owe it to yourself to see it. Heath Ledger's Joker is still one of my favourite performances ever and while he might not be my favourite Joker now, he's still the reason why he's my favourite character in all of pop culture.

Why so serious?


2. Aliens


I'll be honest I went back and forth a few times between this and number 1 but I feel this fits just right.

The awesomeness that is Sigourney Weaver returns in one the greatest sequels of all time to take on a huge batch of Xenomorphs ready to tear apart anything in their way. It wasn't really until I got to experience this movie in the cinema one year ago that I realised just how insanely good it is. It's scary, it's packed with action, characters to care about, and one of the coolest finales in cinematic history with Weaver's epic one liner that gives me chills everytime.

Game over man. Game over.


1. Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back


It was always gonna be Star Wars at the top spot and it was always gonna be this one. I did a review a while ago on FPG News after the tragic death of Carrie Fisher and I gave it 11/10

I stand by that rating all the way and I don't think I need to explain why this movie is top of the list. And if you haven't seen it before, I honestly have no idea how you've lived your life to this point. Take a weekend off, buy the original trilogy and have an absolute blast. It's the movie series that got me into loving movies in the first place and each one holds a special place in my heart. Yes even the prequels.

The force will be with you. Always.


Well there's my list and I hope that says a bit more about me. Keep checking the site for more reviews and feel free to leave requests.



Thursday, 14 September 2017

Ross's Reviews - Annabelle: Creation



So Annabelle: Creation is a prequel to a movie that was already a prequel for the first Conjuring movie. Normally that would be the kiss of death for a horror film, or any film for that matter, but how does it work here? Let's take a look.

No spoilers here.

I should point out that I'm really not a fan at all of the 2014 Annabelle release and I don't plan on reviewing it anytime soon. All you need to know is that's not scary and it's not interesting at all. Thankfully it's not really required watch this so I'd recommend you avoid it.

The story follows couple Samuel and Esther Mullins twelve years on from the tragic death of their young daughter known as Bee. They decide to take in a few girls from an orphanage to fill the silence of their house, but little do they know that the girls arrival will awaken something evil that's been lying dormant for some time.

Let's take a look at the characters first as it seems like there's a lot but there's only a couple you need to  take note of. Samuel and Esther are played by Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto respectively and while these actors are most likely the best performers, they really don't have much to do here except spout exposition and look slightly creepy.

The child actors were surprisingly good, especially Talitha Bateman who played a girl crippled with Polio called Janice and she was easily my favourite character.

You really feel for her straight away due to her illness and how she's treated differently by the other girls because she can't keep up with him. The movie does kind of ruin it later on but that's a bit of a spoiler.

There's also her friend Linda, played by Lulu Wilson who also gave a good performance in the surprisingly good Ouija 2, who is honestly the only other child character I gave a damn about.

There are the two older girls who are honestly just unlikable throughout and I really didn't care what happened to them when the horrors came after them.

There are two other girls but I can't remember a single thing they did in the movie and they could have been left out without affecting the overall film at all.

There's also Sister Charlotte, played by Stephanie Sigman, who was also pretty forgettable and didn't much of importance until we reached the finale.



As for the actual spooky moments, I hated the cheap jumpscares here. It seems like every 'scary' moment during the first 20 minutes is just a fake out of some other character making a loud noise out of nowhere which really annoyed me.

Thankfully that didn't last too long as when this film really wanted to ramp up the tension, it could be enough to make you bite your fingernails clean off.

The movie is similar to the Conjuring movies in that it does use loud noises for a lot of it's scary moments, but for the most part they are used very well, mostly to make the doll and the demon possessing her seem even scarier than they already are.

No spoilers but if you're like me and have an irrational fear of scarecrows (who the hell doesn't) then you're gonna have a bad time here.

There is one scene that's meant to come across as scary but ended up being way more funny than anything as it definitely feels like a rip off or spoof of The Evil Dead complete with the evil being yelling "Your soul". It is pretty ridiculous.

The climax itself was pretty disappointing as well as it felt like it was building up to something huge and then the movie just kind of ends and you're left there feeling like you missed a part.

Overall I will say that I enjoyed this movie for the most part. The pacing might be slightly off at times and most of the characters aren't that interesting, but the general creepy factor and genuine scares make up for it big time. It'll be one worth watching come next Halloween.

Verdict: 6/10

Monday, 11 September 2017

Ross's Reviews: IT (2017)



You'll float tooYou'll float tooYou'll float tooYou'll float tooYou'll float tooYou'll float tooYou'll float tooYou'll float tooYou'll float tooYou'll float tooYou'll float tooYou'll float tooYou'll float too

But seriously though how do you look at that image and not get instant nightmares forever?

To say I went into this movie with high expectations is a bit of an understatement. For months we've had insanely good trailers that left me craving more and an insanely high amount of positive reviews from not only critics but the legend that is Stephen King himself.

And thankfully I can say that not only did the movie meet my expectations, but it pretty much shattered them in the process. Let's take a look and see why that is.

No spoilers here.

The story follows a group of friends known affectionately as The Losers Club as they investigate the mysterious disappearances of many other kids in the community of Derry, Maine. After some supernatural experiences they begin to realise that they're dealing with a being that means only to bring fear and death into their lives.

The Losers Club is made up of seven individuals which does seem like a lot but by the end I realised just how unique they all were and how they added to the story and characters in their own little ways.

While all of them were terrific in their roles, the real standout was Richie, played by Finn Wolfhard who is most famous for his starring role as Mike in Stranger Things. He definitely brought the most laughs in the film and even brought the emotion when needed. This kid is definitely talented.

I was surprised by just how funny this movie was as it was better than a lot of modern comedies by far. The main humour comes from the banter between the Losers Club and it's definitely great throughout.

Normally this would bring down the effectiveness of a horror, but if anything it only increases the tension as you really begin to relate and care about the characters, so much so that you really don't want to see them get hurt or put in any danger.

The danger doesn't only come from the supernatural force haunting the kids though, as the adults of the town can seem just as villainous. I don't think there was one adult here I found likeable as they ranged from severely overprotective to abusive to sexually creepy, all the way to a mix of all three.

But I know we all came to see this movie for one reason: Pennywise



This was where the movie was gonna make or break. Could someone really honour the performance of an all time horror icon in Tim Curry's version of Pennywise? The answer is yes, and to be honest I prefer this iteration of Pennywise.

Don't get me wrong Curry's version was subtle and creepy, but there's just something about Bill Skarsgard's performance that crawls under my skin and stays there.

There's one scene in particular which you'll have seen in the trailer, where Pennywise takes over a projector to freak out our young heroes and believe me, those images will stay in my mind for a long time.

The opening scene was a perfect introduction to the monster as it's the recreation of the classic scene featuring Georgie losing his paper boat down a sewer opening and coming face to face with Pennywise. I won't spoil what happens but it is surprisingly shocking and let's you know that Pennywise is not to be messed with.

Again without spoiling, I did enjoy the finale as well as after two hours of buildup and suspense, it really does give you some satisfaction.

Overall this was a fantastic movie worth going out of your way to see whether you're a fan of horror or not. It has everything I could want from a movie and then some. While a couple of scenes are out of place and there are some small flaws here and there, it isn't enough to derail the juggernaut that is IT. This might be my new favourite movie of the year.

Verdict: 
Funny, scary, heartfelt, and exceptionally entertaining, IT is a thrilling experience for all fans of film and it's worth checking out again and again. Come join us and we'll all float together.

9/10