The Haunting of Hill House – The Review.

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I am home, I am home, she thought; now to climb.

 

Recently I have been watching “The Haunting of Hill House”, or commonly known as, the Haunted House on the Hill, The Hill Haunting House, or that show that makes you poo your pants! For some reason everyone I have spoken to struggle to put the name together properly . . . maybe it’s the show that has scarred them too much.

Firstly I want to begin by saying this review will be a SPOILER FREE review. One because I don’t like being THAT guy and Two, because the show needs to be watched rather that told. I won’t be able to do it justice if I try to explain the ending, the twists and the resolution.

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I went into the show, hearing so many people rave about it, sing its praises but also claim the nervous wrecks they became from it. Now horror films aren’t really my thing, I don’t think they are made these days with fear and horror in mind, but more to show special effect and a bucket full of fake blood. But I pushed on and jumped into this and wow I am so glad I did – I loved it! It is so much more than a horror show.

The premise of the show is about a family being haunted by mysterious supernatural forces within a house. The narrative jumps across about 30 years, from the family as kids moving into the house, to present day where they have all grown up in different ways after the ordeal of the house.


The main story revolves around 5 siblings who have all taken different paths in life after several traumatic experiences from their childhood. Showing different coping mechanisms from Drug Abuse, to Denial, to Over Compensation. I’ve read and agree with that each sibling in the show is a symbolic version of a step of Kubler-Ross “Five Stages of Grief” process. Which thinking back to how all the characters act and process their surroundings it becomes very obvious that theory could be spot on.

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Another aspect of this show that I loved is the cinematography and the style of shots. Most memorably Episode Six which included an 17 minute long shot. Which is beautiful. Giving the desired impression that the single shot is happening in real-time. While choreographing swift and solid movement with the cast and set to not interrupt the shot. You will know the scene when you see it and afterwards just think “Wow” – I did.

Overall the show, the feel of it and the story is superb, gripping and captivating. Even with the scares involved. The true horror I think comes more from the depiction of Human Nature and how it reacts to unreasonable events, or events you logically can not make sense of.

Please go and watch it. I can not stress enough how much I enjoyed this show and how I want everyone to witness it. True horror making at it’s best.

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Side note – after I had finished it, which I had started while moving into a new house (I know right), I had a small dose of paranoia set it, I found myself standing in the empty spare bedroom in the dark one morning getting ready for work, thinking about the end of the show and what it all meant. But the more I thought about it, the more my mind began to play tricks on me with sounds and imaginations of what could be behind me. Silly I know but I put this down to how good the show was, the idea and story stuck with me and played on my mind so much that I felt it could be real.

One final tidbit that I learnt when I was on about episode nine was from an article I read about the show and the missing ghosts. Take a read over HERE – I can’t promise it is spoiler free, but I can promise shock, this article goes into explaining how the show has ghosts all through it but you just don’t notice them because you don’t know where to look. The sheer amount of detail the show runners put into this is amazing. They knocked it out of the park and I for one love that.

Anyway enough of my ramblings, it’s Friday night. Pop Netflix on and start this show. You will not be disappointed.


Have a great weekend boys and girls  . . . . if you survive that long.

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Man Vs Movies: Top Five All Time Favourite Films

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Copy of Insert Catchy Film Series Title

Greetings and Welcome to my new series, the wonderfully captivating and excellently funny “Man Vs Movies” and today’s topic – Top Five All Time Favourite Films.

I want to firstly thank everyone for suggesting names and ideas for this series. I ran a poll on twitter and “Man Vs Movies” took off and flew into the lead. I liked it, you liked it. So here we are!

I am also going to run a poll after posting the latest post to decide what genre to host the following week. I’ve also had a list of new topics and suggests from you lovely people, so they will be in the mix soon. I am really looking forward to this. I hope you are too and I can’t wait for more feedback and support.

Disclaimer on all the lists you will find and see in this series, they are subject to change. What makes the list today, might be cut in 6 months time, they are fluid and ever-growing. But the premise is the same and at time of posting the lists will be accurate. Also they are Top Fives but not in an order. It’s hard enough to whittle films down to five, let alone rank them afterwards.


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It’s Christmas Eve and humble policeman John is visiting his family in L.A. But the festivities are ruined when Hans and his gang of baddies crash the party. But John has every intention of saving Christmas and his Wife.

Anyone that knows me, knows this is my all time favourite film and also THE greatest Christmas film of all time. Yes it has it’s faults (Vest colours) but it also has everything you want in an action film. Cool one liners, great action scenes and the warm feeling of family at Christmas.

This film catapulted Bruce Willis into the Action Hero status he has today and what a guy he is.

Image result for brick movie posterBrick.

This film takes the magic and mystery of the Film Noir from the Golden Era of Cinema. But throws them into a modern high school environment. Imagine Humphrey Bogart skipping class and smoking on the football field. This film is that.

A very cleverly told story about a boy called Brendon who is looking for his missing girlfriend, he begins to unravel the dirty underworld of drugs and as he goes deeper down the rabbit hole more and more truths and horrors come out.

It stars the ever so talented Joseph Gordon Levitt and is directed by Rian Johnson who has gone on to do Star Wars and a few ep’s of Breaking Bad. It’s such a smart film that flew under the radar and really deserves a lot more attention and praise.

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This mad, wild, drug fuelled semi biographical film follows writer Hunter S. Thompson and his attorney as they travel from L.A to Las Vegas to cover a sporting event and end up getting super high and just pushing a mass bender as far as they can.

Johnny Depp fully immersed himself in the role. To the point where he befriend and lived with the Hunter for months to learn how to mimic his personality and mannerisms. It’s a strange little film that has poetic echos and undertones about the American Dream, society and the political status of the country. It might take a couple of watches to fully understand and appreciate the film but I highly rate it.

All you can do is “Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride” and enjoy the antics along the way. Imagine like an R rated version of the Hangover but with a lot more psychedelic drugs, a circus and a lobby full of reptiles.

Pulp Fiction Movie PosterPulp Fiction.

Say WHAT again I dare you, I double dare you!

This should be no surprise to anyone, this is probably on everyone’s Top Five list. It’s an instant classic from the bizarre mind of Tarantino. It’s hard to explain what the film is about as it runs several storylines over a non linear narrative but it just works so well.

Everything about it screams amazing, from the script and dialogue, to the soundtrack and the actors involved. It’s one of those films that has it all and doesn’t hold back. Covering topics like drugs, boxing, gangsters and hillbillies, this film doesn’t hold back. It’s truly the five dollar shake of the milkshake world.

 

Room (2015 film).pngRoom.

The final entry is relatively new in comparison, not to be mistaken for “The Room” (the worst movie ever made – officially) but “Room” follows the story of a Girl, Joy / Ma, who is kidnapped and held captive for seven years in this single box room. Where her captor fathers a son and when we first meet him he is five.

The first half of the film is set purely in the room. Following Jack the son, as this is all he knows, he has never been outside, never seen the ocean, never seen a dog in real life. The second half follows the two captives readjusting to the real world, the ordeals and struggles they face as Joy tries to normalise and Jack tries to understand this new world.

It’s a fantastic story that covers so many different emotional points and social points. With both Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay giving amazing top-notch, oscar award-winning performances. It’s not light-hearted but very much worth the watch. I promise.

 

How does my Top 5 hold up? Any you haven’t seen? Any you don’t agree with? What is your top five? I’d love to know.

How did this post go? Fun? I hope so. Check out the poll on my twitter to decide the next topic.

Peace!

 

Film Review: Kodachrome

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Kodachrome.

We’re all so frightened by time, the way it moves on and the way things disappear. That’s why we’re photographers. We’re preservationists by nature. We take pictures to stop time, to commit moments to eternity. Human nature made tangible.

Last night I found myself with an evening to myself. So after flicking through Netflix for what seemed like forever I stumbled upon this film. I remember seeing the trailer a while back and thinking “Oh that looks good”.

The film is about the troubled relationship between father and son, as they head across America to the only remaining place that can develop this specific photography film. – Which I am lead to believe is based on a true story, or at least the part about the photo shop having an influx of people as they stopped developing the film.

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It’s such a heartwarming bittersweet tale as we follow Matt (Jason Sudeikis) a music producer that is almost at the end of his rope within in his career and Ben (Ed Harris) his father, a world-famous photographer. Both actors hit their mark amazingly – it’s not a new role for Harris who has a list of talented roles under his belt, but it is refreshing to see Sudeikis take a step away from comedy and break into something with serious heart and drama.

Elizabeth Olsen supports the cast as Zooey, Ben’s carer who joins them for half of the journey. She is refreshing and of late I have started to really rate her (did you see Wild River).

The film had a strong “Into the Wild” feel to it, using similar techniques such as, a mix of amazing acting, moving story and subtle but undeniably fitting soundtrack of acoustic folk music. The whole package in my eyes.

Something like this shows we don’t need big action scenes, fire and car chases to entertain the senses. Strip it all back to basics and just run with a story and a handful of cast members. It works just as well.

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As the story goes on we learn more about the broken relationship between Father and Son, the hardships of adulthood and how life can change and develop (Camera Pun there. Sorry) without even noticing it. There is such a relatable tone to this movie that I still can not shift. It captivated me and did exact what “Into the Wild” did to me. And I am not too proud to hide the fact that by the end I was just laid there, tears in my eyes and emotionally lost for words.

The film ends as you would expect with this story, with the main characters looking at the photos that were the reason to drive across country. They didn’t know what was on the reel’s until this final scene which was captured so beautifully. Without going into too much detail ultimately that is the film – highlighting the fact that era’s and periods shift and change with the wind and the effects are with you forever.

If you looking for a really good feel-good film, or maybe you are just a bit lost and need some kind of therapeutic guidance this film is for you. Like I said I can’t stop thinking about it and I want to share it with as many people as I can. Go and watch it – you won’t be disappointed.

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Why I Love Netflix (and You Should Too!)

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Netflix as we know it now has become a worldwide phenomenon, serving as the first port of call for online streaming for Television Shows and Films, while utilizing a multi platform user base and even becoming an internet slang term . . . you know the one – Netflix & Chill 😉

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It’s almost became a god of the modern age, where devices are sold highlighting the fact they include and already have Netflix installed on them. In a world where top priorities are internet speed and a demand for everything NOW, Netflix has the market covered and with the profit they make they’ve started to pump X amount back into their own services, giving them a chance to create some outstanding award-winning shows.

This is where my post turns into a review.

The back catalogue Netflix has in its arsenal of self-produced films and shows to entice you in is ridiculous, the talent and value these productions hold in my eyes are outstanding and even rival the likes of Channel 4 and BBC (I love a good BBC drama). I personally think if things carry on the way they are going Netflix will end up replacing the TV License and will become the national institute that the BBC currently is.

Imagine in 5 years time streaming the Queen’s Christmas Day speech on Netflix – that would be a game changer.

The shows and films I recommend as a must see – like these are a reason to get a subscription are as followed:

win_it_allWin It All (Film) – I jumped into this one because of Jake Johnson (Nick Miller from New Girl) – he is a relatable funny guy and so I thought why not. The film is a simple five cast story that doesn’t rely on thrills and big budgets, which adds to the magical and feel of the film. It follows Eddie (Jake Johnson) who is a down on his luck chronic gambler and bigger loser, whose friend asks him to hold a bag of money while he goes to prison – keep the bag safe for 6 months and in return Eddie will be given $10,000. Simple. . . or not, Eddie starts taking money from the bag and gambling with it. Then . . . well the rest you will have to watch yourself. But I really enjoyed this film and it ends differently to expected.


What Happened to Monday (Film) – In a Dystopian future where the child rate is limited to one per family to save costs and resources a woman dies giving birth to seven identical daughters, her father takes them all in, hides them and raises them as to be savvy and understanding of this new world. The girls all grow up assuming the identity of one woman in order to not get caught out in the real world. It’s an interesting look on an estranged future that could be a little to close to reality one day.


The Fundamentals of Caring (Film) – This feel good heartwarming drama follows a teenager who is wheelchair bound and suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and his carer a writer on a break, trying something new. They go on a road trip, everyone finds something within themselves and everyone comes back a different person. It’s the standard formula of these kind of films but there is something different about it – the humour and way they deal with the themes is orchestrated beautifully and leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy.


House of Cards (TV) – I best keep this one short and avoid mentioning the lead (K.S) in fear of causing a scene. The show itself is AMAZING, such an edge of the seat drama revolving around the american political system. It took some time to get into and understand the terminology and system but once you get that (which I still don’t if I am honest) you can enjoy the rest of the show, the drama and plots. The cast is filled with talented actors and it really becomes an eye opener on Americans and their political status. Throughout the seasons we follow a family as they move closer to the goal of President and Dominance, with no remorse or thought for the people they hurt along the way.


The Crown (TV) – Now for the opposite of HoC’s – The Crown follows Queen Elizabeth 2 as she becomes ruler of one of the most influential and strongest empires in the world (bring it back I say), it’s an eye into Buckingham Palace and the Windsor family as they live their lives in the public view above the working class citizen. This show is well cast, well produced and educational – to learn about laws and rules that the monarch had or has to follow even in this day and age is wild. We know what is going to happen but just witnessing the behind the scenes of such events is exciting and maddening.

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Stranger Things (TV) – This one is a MUST! If you are one of the very few people who hasn’t seen or god forbid even heard of Stranger Thing’s then where have you been living? This 80’s throwback follows a group of kids looking for their friend who has gone missing. I’m going to leave the blurb bit there because it might get messy and spoiler fuelled if I carry on. Let’s just say that hands down these are the best child actors in the biz right now (with the exception of Jacob Tremblay, the boy from Room) these kids are relatable, funny and just amazing. The show takes a dark supernatural turn as it steps over references and homages of 80’s nostalgia and culture. Without a doubt the best of this genre out there at the moment – now for the dreaded wait for season 3.


I know this post has been a lengthy long essay but with so much content to offer Netflix is on point and only has one direction in its sights – Up!

Let me know your favourite Netflix produced shows and films, or what you think to the above and if you use this as the reason to get a Netflix account let me know about that experience and how you find these amazing recommendations.

So next time you get asked to Netflix and Chill try to think of me . . . or not – whatever you are into.