Movie Review: It Comes at Night

This movie It Comes at Night was our Saturday horror movie (which we haven’t done for a while as we’ve been bingeing Dare Devil). We didn’t have any expectations, we didn’t know anything about it. It is a kind of horror thriller. A disease is infecting everyone and the story is based around two families isolated in the forest and trying to survive. Finding themselves together, it is a tense story of trust, fear and the unknown. There are some jump scares but it is mainly a slow burning, tension rising kind of movie. Out there in the forest is the unknown, who do you trust when resources are depleting and everyone is out for their own survival. I felt that maybe the movie ended with more questions rather than answers but for once I didn’t mind this. Usually that really grinds my gears but I thought it was well done and well told. Much of the time, you are unsure what is a dream and what is real. It was a movie that ended up with us discussing the ending. I thought it refreshingly different that the outside world was a real unknown without the characters on the road (walking dead style) looking for salvation. Instead it focused on their day to day survival. Some of the reviews I read where not great but it was film we all thought was good. The boy said he felt it was realistic and that made it immersive to watch (he didn’t say it was immersive but that’s what he meant).

7/10. Tense and atmospheric. 

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Crafts and spells oh my!

Things have taken quite a turn. In the last two weeks I have decided to take redundancy and start something new. My end goal is go into therapies, reflexology and reiki in particular. It is a healing process for myself as well as helping others. Many times in my life I have found myself working in this environment so I’m going back to my roots so to speak. In the meantime I’m starting a little craft business, spell crafts and Pagan themed celebration wreaths. I have an obsession with pom poms so they feature heavily. Today, I’ve made some prosperity spell bottles…but anyway I thought I’d share some of the quirky bits and bobs I have been making.

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Book Review: Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories

Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories

This book found me rather than I found it. At first, judging the book by it’s cover I thought it may be rather low quality and it was free on amazon unlimited. On closer inspection, I noticed stories by Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker. Ramsay Campbell and Paul Tremblay also feature. This convinced me I needed to give this book a read. I have reviewed a number of horror short story compilations on this blog, this book has to be my favourite. The stories are very strong indeed with established writers. Some of the stories have the ability to worm their way into your head and stay with you. This is the mark of an excellent horror story if it lives on in your brain. Many of the stories are dark and the subject matter uncomfortable, right from the start. These aren’t stories for the fainthearted. Right from the word go, this compilation does not pull any punches. It veers between the horror of human nature and supernatural horror.

Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave by Brian Kirk is in turns tragic and horrific as a father deals with the return of his daughter years after her abduction.

Water My Bones by Mercedes M Yardley is a strange tale of two people drawn together. It’s a story of self harm and murder.

Coming to Grief by Clive Barker has a slow build of horror, you know something is slowly stalking you but can you escape and is it real in the adult world?

A Haunted House is a Wheel upon Which some are Broken by Paul Tremblay was a surprise entry. I was not expecting the choose your adventure format. It was a pleasantly unusual storytelling method in this genre.

There are many, many more stories, all are excellent in different ways. The artwork is worth checking out as well, haunting and beautiful.

I would definitely rate it a 5/5. 


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Graveyard wanderings…..

DSC_0523abandonedangelangel2angel3blair witchbrokenbroken2celticcrossdark angelcrowsTree avenuesun and frostprayermourningmotherandchildleavesin shadowsgraveingroundglassgatewaydarkdark angel

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Movie Review: Veronica

Well to start with I didn’t realise it was in subtitles. This may have affected my decision to watch it with wine but I managed to keep up so all was good. It’s a Spanish movie based on a true story.

Veronica is the eldest sister of four and the main carer as her mother works anti-social hours. It is the day of a solar eclipse and Veronica has taken a Ouija board to school to do as the eclipse forms overhead with her best friend. At the last minute her friend tells her another girl is joining in as her boyfriend recently died. Obviously, the session doesn’t go according to plan. Strange things start occurring in Veronica’s apartment to her and her siblings.

The advertising tells us this is the scariest film ever. It’s not a bad movie but it’s not the scariest film ever because we’ve seen this story before in many different formats. It’s not a bad film, it’s a good film in it’s trope but I didn’t have a single nightmare. It’s another Blair Witch scenario, where the good little sheep are told it’s good and the scariest thing ever and we’ll believe it.  I thought the story was well told. I’ll give it a 4/5 for good storytelling. I should really deduct points for throwing a blind nun in there for no reason whatsoever but I’ll let it go this time.

The true story is based on a teenager named Estefania Gutierrez Lazaro . 

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Book Review: A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M Harris

A friend bought me Joanne Harris’s A Pocketful of Crows for Christmas and I only got round to reading it last weekend. I devoured it in two sittings. It’s not one of my horror books or supernatural stories. It is an adult fairy tale and a beautiful one at that. When I say adult, not one of Anne Rices adult fairy tale content, if you’ve read Sleeping Beauty you’ll know what I mean but it clearly is aimed at adults with the content. It is a perfect Pagan story for us Pagan witches out there. A brown girl without a name falls in love with a prince. She is one of the travelling folk and can change into any creature she wants. Two people from very different worlds fall in love and as the seasons change so do their emotions. It is beautifully and poetically written. I am so glad I have the hard copy and not the kindle one because it’s one for my bookcase to read when the world feels too fast and too modern. It’s a dark fairy tale with anger and revenge as well as a love story. It’s a 5/5. I loved this little pagan story of change, seasons, love and hate.

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TV Review: Requiem (BBC 2018)

Requiem was a surprise series that sneaked up on me. We’d just finished watching something else and it was on half way through. As nobody seemed as intrigued as me I ended up binge watching it on my own. I went into watching it blind so to speak. I hadn’t read any blurb. It starts with a talented musician Matilda. Her mother suddenly commits suicide and right from the beginning we know something supernatural is going on, with whispers and glimpses in mirrors. Matilda finds a box on her mothers bed full of newspaper cuttings concerning a little girl who went missing. She is convinced that something about this will tell her more about why her mother killed herself and as the story unfolds she thinks it’s going to tell her secrets about herself. She travels with her friend, Hal to a small Welsh village to find answers. By doing this she stirs up old emotions, and ghosts. I really don’t want to give spoilers away. The story is about lost children, magic and John Dee. The atmosphere puts me very much in mind of “The Watcher in the Woods” if you can remember than oldie from Disney in the 1980s. The music and atmosphere, the woods and the secrets make it for me. It evokes wicker man type claustrophobia (obviously not as good as the wicker man, as my all time favourite that will never happen). If you’ve ever read Phil Rickman’s Merrily Watkins series, it reminds me somewhat of those books, the welsh bounder town with secrets and old magic.

There are critics on Amazon reviews mentioning plot holes but as I can think of reasons for the plot holes I feel I can debunk them. Matilda’s character at times can be quite challenging to like but at the same time mesmerizing to watch. I want to give this a 8/10. I thought it was original, atmospheric and intriguing. I was expecting a ghost story but it was much more that. It was open for a second series and I do hope they make one!

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Review: Annabelle Creation

I watch these movies with hope in my heart that maybe, just maybe one of these sequels will scare me. Honestly, dolls don’t really scare me. Although, as a child I did have some exceptionally scary ones. There was this leprechaun with haunting blue eyes….but I digress.

The hope is small, but if I can get something original out of it then it still works. Annabelle: Creation didn’t scare me. I was bored. There was so much depth that could have been achieved but the story skimmed over the surface becoming another horror by numbers film. We have a couple who lose their beloved daughter. Years later they open up their home to some female orphans to make them feel worse (and the acting of some was proper mean girls cheesy). This reawakens an ancient evil blah blah blah. I couldn’t remember the names of the unmemorable characters. There was one point I found genuinely creepy. The moment, the father puts the girl into the chair lift. His touch lingered too long and this I thought would lead to a deeper, different tale but it didn’t. The only interesting thing that happened and it was just to draw our attention to the mechanism on the chair. Back to the story, people dabbling with the occult etc etc, releases something evil. We’ve been here before. I got it on offer otherwise I’d have been quite disappointed in my wasted pennies. On Amazon there are some good reviews but my mum watched it and she felt the same as me and it is she that awoke the love of horror in me so I trust her judgement.

4/10. If it ain’t a leprechaun doll with blue eyes, it’s not gonna scare me.

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Devil’s Day by Andrew Michael Hurley

Devil’s Day is the second book I’ve read by Andrew Michael Hurley. The first was The Loney, which was an award winner. Devil’s Day is one of those books that if you expect the story given to you a plate, you’ll be waiting. It is a slow, meandering book of excellent story telling from start to finish. It’s one of those books, that makes you ask what is real and what is not.

The story jumps from the present to the past. John Pentecost is now a teacher but he originates from a farming community called the Endlands. He’s newly married to Kat, a vicars daughter, and she is pregnant with their first child. Maybe this is why it has become so important to him to revisit his childhood home. The narration weaves from John telling his story of the present with his son, Adam, to the past where he first brings Kat to the Endlands and his memories of when he was growing up. The Endlands is an isolated area, full of stark beauty and hardship. The story is full of folklore and stories of the devil who is said to haunt the land, bringing disaster and mayhem in his wake. It felt haunting throughout and your imagination is left to fill in the shivery blanks.

5/5. I actually loved this book but if it’s non stop action you want , this isn’t for you. If you like your British haunting folklore and a slow burning story, this is a winner. I enjoyed it more than The Loney, it’s less bleak and much more richly woven.

Thank you for this ARC copy from Netgalley and John Murray Press.

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What’s going on??

It’s all been quiet on the blog front. When I started the blog I was off work sick. Basically, I was off work with mental health issues. I went back and have been okay but unfortunately everything else that was making me more than okay, such as this blog slid by the wayside. So, it is probably no wonder I’m off work sick again as I didn’t have time for the things that were making me feel better. It’s catch 22 and i really don’t know what the answer is. I’m going to take my time off and use it for positive things like writing my blog. I also want to start focusing on making and crafting, things that make me smile. In particular, I want to dig into my witchy craft and pagan things. I’ve been a practicing Pagan for years and years and I wonder if this is where my passion lies. What I do know is I can’t carry on the way I’m going. I don’t want to leave the house. I can barely look in the mirror and I’m moodily unpredictable. I made the classic mistake of coming off some pills because I was feeling better but they were probably why I was feeling better and now have to get back into them all over again….which is hard because the side effects suck. So that’s where I am now……but trying to move forward. The fear is I do something impulsive, like quit my job for example. Anyway, I’m going to try a few reviews and see how I go.

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