What’s your favourite scary movie?| samanthalalaa

Don’t be ridiculous – I can’t pick one! I’m a horror girl, always have been, always will be. I never miss a horror movie in the cinema and it’s the only kind of movie I’m perpetually in the mood for. It can be tacky, terrifying or terrible and I’ll sit there with my eyes glued to the screen.

Now, I would definitely go as far to say I am an expert in this genre. In fact, I would say no-one’s knowledge of cinema as a whole compares to mine. I’m so well versed in the art of movie making that this list goes further than opinion – it’s fact.

I’m done being sarcastic now. Let’s begin…

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) 

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It’s almost impossible for me to convey how much I love this movie. This movie isn’t just on of my Halloween favourites, it’s one of my all time, super-duper, top five movies. Everything about it is so beautiful and so creepy.

Set in New York City in the swinging 60s Rosemary’s Baby follows the lives of a newly married woman moving into a swanky new flat with her actor husband. She soon falls pregnant, much to her delight, but things take a turn for the worst. Rosemary doesn’t know what’s wrong, but what she does notice is her husbands distance, and her creepy neighbours, and her strange cravings for raw meat…

The entire movie is so well shot and stays so loyal to the book. I love seeing New York in the sixties and the use of The Dakota (the building where John Lennon was shot!!!) as the Bramford is absolutely perfect.

Rosemary’s Baby Highlights:

  • Rosemary’s chic, trendy Vidal Sassoon haircut
  • ‘I can’t hear you, you’re in Dubrovnik’
  • Everything about Ruth Gordon as Minnie Castevet

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) 

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For some insane reason, sequels have this stigma that they’re not good. Ever heard of the Godfather Part 2? I rest my case.

In all seriousness, Freddy has had his share of bad sequals. In fact, every one except this one is pretty much terrible. But this one works, trust me. Dream Warriors does what it’s big bro Freddy’s Revenge failed to do – bring back Nancy!

Dream Warriors is set in a mental institution where kids are being locked up after the trauma their nightmares cause them. They all find out they’ve been dreaming about the same guy… a man with knifes for fingers… a man called Fred Krueger!! Then our heroine from the original (fantastic) movie comes back, with a little more experience, still sporting her grey streak, ready to help these kids get rid of Freddy once and for all.

Dream Warriors is Freddy meets One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest meets The Breakfast Club and it’s definitely worth your time. It’s when Freddy started bringing a little comedy and creativity to his kills, but before he took it too far and was just super gross.

Dream Warriors Hightlights:

  • ‘Welcome to Prime Time, bitch!’
  • Freddy being so considerate and making BESPOKE nightmares for each of the kids? I bet their parents and teachers don’t even care about them that much!
  • Paper-mache Freddy

Scream (1996) 

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I was two when this movie came out, so I image I probably didn’t see it when it came out. Yet this movie seemed like part of the furniture growing up. I have two favourite genres in life, horror movies and teen movies, and Scream is the perfect clash of two titans.

What was interesting (in the 90s) about Scream was the way it played on classic horror movie tropes. It’s the film that compiled the rules. You shouldn’t drinks, do drugs, have sex… Or else you’ll die.

The killer, or ‘Ghost-face’ as he was come to known was the Halloween costume of the late nineties/early noughties. You couldn’t have a party without someone turning up in the ultimate low-maintenance Halloween costume. But that’s the scary part of the ghost-face costume, it could be anyone under the mask…

Scream Highlights: 

  • ‘You hit me with the phone, dick!’
  • 6 words: Drew Barrymore, Drew Barrymore, Drew Barrymore
  • ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’ – ICONIC

Stephen King’s IT (1990/2017) 

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This one was difficult, because I truly couldn’t pick. Stephen King’s IT may be a controversial novel, due to the uncomfortable ending, but it’s without a doubt one of my favourite books. The character of Pennywise the Dancing Clown is so genuinely terrifying that it’s the only book I’ve not been able to put down. Not because I was enthralled, but I couldn’t stop reading in case I put the book down and a clown was somewhere behind it. (Can’t sleep, clown’ll eat me) 

The two theatrical incarnations of this novel are similar in so many ways, but so different in others. I have my love of both, and my reservations of both, but at the end of the day this comes down to the portrayal of the monster.

Tim Curry plays Pennywise the way I’d always imagined him, a colourful clown that wouldn’t look out of place at a children’s birthday party, hidden in plain sight. It’s what lies underneath that’s scary, the deadlights.

Bill Skarsgaard’s portrayal had to go further with Pennywise, he had to rely on character and charm to show the alluring side of the character as true horror was on the surface.

IT Highlights: 

  • Georgie’s yellow rain jacket
  • The Turtle???
  • ‘You’ll float too!’

Pet Sematary (1989) 

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Why have one Stephen King adaptation when you can have two? Pet Sematary is, by King’s own admission, one of his bleakest novels. So dark, in fact, the horror writer placed it on his shelf with no intent on publishing it, until he had a deadline.

Based on King’s own real life experience of living next to a busy road that claimed the lives of many of his children’s pets. This film follows the story of Louis, who takes a job within a university’s health service, and his family. Louis meets some interesting characters along the way, including the spirit of a student that died on his first day, and an eccentric neighbour, who tells him all about the mysterious pet cemetery that brings animals back to life…

Pet Sematary is one of the goriest, but perhaps one of the scariest movies on this list. It doesn’t rely on the supernatural to bring the trauma, it scares you with real life horrors.

Pet Sematary Highlights:

  • Fred Gwynne as the wacky neighbour – what is that accent? I wish I had it.
  • Sister Zelda.
  • Fred Gwynne again, just everything he says. I wish he was my neighbour.

And there we have it, five of my top horror movies to get you feeling spooky just in time for Halloween, as I said before, this is the definitive list of top Halloween movies. You can trust me.

Honourable mentions: Silence of the Lambs, Get Out, It Follows, The Evil Dead, The Evil Dead 2, Halloween, Trick or Treat, Cabin in the Woods, New Nightmare, Hush, Rec, The Shining, Carrie and Psycho. 

Sam xoxo

This Week I’m… | samanthalalaa

After a much welcomed and much unneeded hiatus, I’m back baby! To be quite honest with you all, I was bored with what I was doing on the blog. Who hasn’t seen a thousand Lush Reviews? Also who even cares? Not me… anymore.

This week I’ve decided I want to talk a bit about the things I’ve been obsessing over this week, let you know what I’m hooked on, what floats my boat and so on. So without further ado, WELCOME BACK!

THIS WEEK I’M…

Watching… GAME OF THRONES

I know right? Lured you in above thinking I was bringing fresh content, but here I am talking about a show that came out seven years ago. Expect the unexpected people.

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My boyfriend is very much into Game of Thrones, and after much persuasion he finally got me to watch it with him. This was mostly due to the fact he took it upon himself to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race with me. I’d watched Season 1 with him about a year ago, and thought meh, that’s okay. It was a bit meaty for me, too many characters, too much to remember, too much history for a TV show. Then about last week I started watching Season Two, which again felt so slow… so drawn out… and by Season 3 I was hooked. For me, that’s when the show got insane. I then watched a season a day until I was caught up, the new season is out on Monday the 17th, and I’ll probably sitting up till two am, watching in in my Daenerys wig with my pet dragon ready to take back the Seven Kingdoms.

Wearing… TOPSHOP GREEN JUMPER 

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I haven’t had this jumper off since I bought it really. It’s my favourite thing to throw over literally anything. In Scotland, we’re not having too great a summer, sure we get days here and there, but more often than not it’s the same grey weather we always have. It sounds insane, but this jumper is a perfect Scottish Summer staple. It’s warm, but it’s casual and bright. I also love the sleeves because they make me feel like that bit in Back to the Future part 2 where Marty puts on the future jacket and the sleeves don’t fit. In fact, that’s probably why I bought it. It was on sale for £16 in Topshop!

Listening to… ALTERNATIVE EIGHTIES 

This playlist by Spotify, Alternative 80s  is constantly on in my car. As a wannabe child of the eighties, and a wannabe nu wave, punk, indie cindy – this playlist is right up my street. It’s got Blondie and Bowie, The Cure and The Smiths, Sonic Youth, Simple Minds,  Siouxsie and the Banshees… the list goes on.

Wearing  (On My Face Edition)… KYLIE COSMETICS – IN LOVE WITH THE KOKO – DOLL 

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This shade is the most poppin’ colour I have ever put on my face and I am infatuated with it. It keeps even the most basic of my make up looks (which are pretty much all basic) and turns them up to 11. I got the In Love With The KoKo collection from my lovely boyfriend on my birthday and all the shades in it are really beautiful and wearable, but Doll is the winner for me.

Reading… TWIN PEAKS FAN THEORIES 

Since the return of one of my all time favourite TV shows, I’ve been obsessed with finding out exactly what the fuck is going on. Week after week I feel like nothing happens and then I go onto reddit and apparently so much has happened. I feel like Twin Peaks: The Revival is akin to sitting on a plane waiting to sky dive and you keep thinking it’s about to happen… and then it doesn’t and you’re still on the plane waiting. That’s my feelings. So /r/twinpeaks is really seeing me though the weeks in between episodes.

That’s all for this week guys! I hope to be back next week with some more of my disjointed thoughts and ramblings.

Lots of love,

Sam xoxo

 

Film Shoots | samanthalalaa 

For about 30% of my grade this year I had to design, make and produce a magazine, and being the movie lover that I am I decided to base mine on film. Sound boring, obviously, but the twist to mine is that it is all content provided by students from Stirling, more specifically, all my friends.

The section of the magazine that turned out the best was definitely my film shoots, in which we took an iconic film from each decade and recreated it. My cousin Kris took the photos for me (as his talent is unfortunately not genetic) and I really love how they turned out, so I thought I’d share them here.

1950s – Rebel Without a Cause 

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1960s – Breakfast at Tiffany’s 

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1970s – A Clockwork Orange

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1980s – The Breakfast Club

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1990s – Pulp Fiction

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2000s – Mean Girls

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The Town That Dreaded Sundown Review – SPOILERS | samanthalalaa 

I went to see The Town That Dreaded Sundown with no further information than it being a remake of some horror film from the seventies that I haven’t seen. I don’t know what I was expecting, but from what I knew it didn’t seem to fit the mould of something from ‘the creators of Insidious and Paranormal Activity‘.

I love a good horror, in fact, I love a bad horror, but even now, sitting the morning after the night of the film, I’m still not sure where I actually stand on The Town That Dreaded Sundown.

The film opens with a sort of documentary style monologue describing a bunch of murders that took place in the town of Texarkana in the forties committed by an unmasked assailant called ‘The Phantom’. From the off, I loved the town of Texarkana, I loved the idea of two towns and two mayors and two sheriffs both trying to figure out exactly what’s causing these murderers. The next scene sliced flawlessly into watching teenagers at a movie drive in watching the original The Town That Dreaded Sundown. On Halloween of all nights too, it’s like those kids were asking for trouble.

In no time we are then introduced to our final girl, Jami. Jami is a mousy looking girl, but definitely still attractive, played by Addison Timlin. She’s out on a date with an excruciatingly boring boy by the name of Corey. Jami, who of course isn’t fond of ‘scary movies’ asks Corey if they could leave the drive in.

Corey, grasping at an opportunity to get his hole, gladly accepts Jami’s offer and they head off to a place entitled Lover’s Lane. It’s pretty self explanatory what happens from here, she’s asked to look away while he is murdered, she escapes, but only at the mercy of ‘The Phantom’. ‘The Phantom’ gives Jami a cryptic message, asking her to ‘make them remember Mary’. Who’s Mary? It’s not even a little bit important.

By this point in the film I’d already ruined it for myself, convinced that ‘The Phantom’ was none other than the town Reverend, played by the recently deceased Edward Hermann.

Theres a great town hall scene, in which we are introduced to the two sides of Texarkana, the brilliant locals and hear a few more things about the legend. This is definitely one of my favourite scenes in the entire film, I enjoyed the way it was shot, the way the dialogue flowed but most of all I enjoyed being introduced to the assorted locals.

Jami tries to get on with her life but can’t, she then takes to rifling through the town archives in an attempt to find out who the killer is. This is where she meets Nick (or Steve or Paul or any other name it doesn’t even matter) a local boy who was in Jami’s class but she never noticed him but he always noticed her. Obviously…

The murder of a woman and her marine boyfriend comes next, a horrible scene that involved the barely clothed woman jumping out of a high window and snapping her leg, something that was actually a huge childhood fear of mine and made me shiver. Then came a murder of two boys (a gay couple, how PC) in a scrap yard. I loved their bright blue mazda mx5 and the fact they were in a scrap yard, allowing ‘The Phantom’ to be much more inventive with his murders. One of the boys are shot and the other is killed with a knife attached to a trombone. In my opinion you can’t beat a bit of inventive killing, especially when the killer had such utensils at his disposal.

By this point it was still completely set up for the Reverend to be the killer, he seems to be present in every scene just before or just after the murders, he acts shifty. Jami gets an email from ‘The Phantom’ (I barely heard said email due to how much I was laughing at this point, how great is it that our serial killers are finally joining the 21st century?) which reads exactly as the Reverend speaks. Even a big poster of him watches over the boys in the scrap yard just before their untimely deaths.

Jami’s relationship then progresses with Nick, they join forces to unmask the killer. Theres a false alarm when someone decides to dress up as the killer and is shot. They then go to see the son of the director of the original film who conveniently lives on the outskirts of the town, on a boat. He throws them a curveball, ‘The Phantom’ is apparently the grandson of someone who’s was killed in the forties but their death never publicised. Not the aforementioned Mary, her husband, something McCreadie. He was sliced up and left on the railroad tracks.

Jami arrives home where she lives with her Grandmother and discovers her Gran has found all of her acceptance letters for colleges. The Gran announces that they’re leaving for California that night, before sun up. Oh Gran, have you never even heard the title of the movie?

Jami then seizes this opportunity to sleep with Nick and they fall asleep in each other’s arms. She then has a dream in the night that she’s lying with the murdered Corey, who gets up and walks into the eerie woods located where her bedroom wall used to be. This shot was beautiful, it was so reminiscent of both the first Nightmare on Elm Street and Pet Sematary in both the lighting and the following of the recently deceased into the dream.

Disappointingly, nothing further comes of the dream and Jami wakes up and Nick leaves. Earlier on there was a scene with both Jami and Nick walking down a row of houses with the automatic porch lights of each house flicking on and off, this scene was made to look tacky later on in the film as Nick walks home from his romp with Jami, the nothing is seen in the light from the houses except Nick himself, slowly making his way towards the camera with the lights clicking on and off until ‘The Phantom’ is revealed. Boring and predictable.

Jami gives her information on The McCreadies to the moustachioed police officer watching over her house just before her and her Gran leave the town. Gran basically utters ‘I’ll be right back’ by stating as they drive through the dark town that she’s never even been out of Texas. Oh Gran, you’re death could’ve been prevented by just watching a few films. They don’t even make it out of town before they have to stop for gas and provisions and whilst in the store Jami heres gunshots, she rushes outside to find Gran has been shot.

Then comes our final scene, one last showdown between Jami and ‘The Phantom’, taking place in an abandoned… something or other. Jami finds a gun in Gran’s bag (Badass Granny) and flees from the scene, over the railroad tracks where Nick’s mutilated body lay with a sign stating ‘Forgotten’ straight into a swamp where, gasp, ‘The Phantom’ is.

Of course there are two phantoms. In a town with two states, two mayors and two sheriffs that was making a painful homage to the original Scream films, it was so painfully obvious that there were two killers.

The first killer is the moustachioed police officer that had been watching over the house, who I didn’t recognise immediately and had to ask. The second killer is the shocker, it’s Corey! You remember Corey, the boy murdered at the start of the film? We never actually seen him murdered did we?

Right up until the unmasking of the second killer I was still sure that it was the Reverend, and I’m so disappointed in myself for falling for such an obviously set up red herring.

So Billy and Stu… I mean Corey and the Cop explain their motives. Corey doesn’t even have one, he was babbling something about wanting to be a part of something big and not wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps. It wasn’t a real motive, and that’s probably why the cop, also known as the McCreadie grandson shot him in the face before Jami’s eyes. It doesn’t even make any sense how these two know eachother, or how on earth they got onto the subject of wanting to recreate the murders from a vintage horror flicks, but the film glosses over that smoothly.

Poised and ready to kill, the cop climbs Jami, then by some odd act of gymnastics she seems to swerve round and shoot him with Gran’s gun. He then drifts off into the swamp and Jami goes on to live a happy life.

I think it took me to write this review to realise how much I actually did, believe it or not, enjoy this film. Not because it’s good or particularly well written, but it had that tongue in cheek quality I love about slasher films. It had all the necessary characters, the final girl, the parental figure, the boyfriend, the useless police force plus the bonus of the townspeople. The killings paid direct homage to the original film and I enjoyed the spicing between the two footages, something that done even slightly different would’ve looked terrible.

For me, the best part was seeing a film with David Gray. Although his love for popcorn is something I will struggle to deal with, I’ll always remember this film as our first date. I’m not sure I’d recommend going to see The Town That Dreaded Sundown, but I’d definitely give it a watch again once its out on DVD, just that that courtroom scene and the trombone murder.

Rating: An extremely generous 3/5

Sam xoxo