Movie Review: Eli (2019)

Tonight’s offering to the gods of 31 days of horror is Eli from Netflix, starring Lili Taylor, Kelly Reilly, and Sadie Sink (from Stranger Things).

eli

Eli is a young boy with intense allergies to everything. His parents are desperate to find a cure so he can start living life normally. They find a private medical facility that apparently has a good success rate for children with his condition. So they arrive at this isolated house prepared for children like Eli, cut off from the outside world. The treatments aren’t going to much fun and look quite horrific and they are warned he’ll get worse before he gets better. Eli, from the beginning, starts to see strange things and figures suggesting he is not alone. Are they trying to warn him or kill him?

You think you know where the story is going but then the twist comes…and I didn’t see this one coming, neither did the boy (whose a teenager so obviously knows everything).

I liked it. The beginning was a slow go at first but I was pleased I persevered. Yes, there were questions left at the end but it is also open to a second which may answer them. The twist entertained me and although the ending was a little cheesy I could deal with it.

6/10…A good twist that took me by surprise. A slow going beginning and not that scary.

6/10…The boy thought the ending ruined it for him.

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie Review: Within (2016)

Within was the boys choice as I get moaned at whenever I choose a bad one which is happening a lot this season. So I let him get the nights choice. (I wanted Eli).

So Within is about a family moving into a house they bought cheap because obviously terrible things have happened there previously (but the dad decides not to tell anyone). The mum is not around and has been replaced by a new bride, who looks nearly the same age as the stroppy teenage daughter, who is played by Erin Moriarty from The Boys. I had to look up senior year from my UK perspective so she would be about 18? You see in Grimsby, where I’m from you’re kicked out at this age and probably had 2 babies already. She’s under house arrest for having an alcoholic drink. In Grimsby, you would have already been drinking in the park for 3 years. If you come from a good family at 18 you’ll be on your way to university to binge drink your way through your first year. Anyway, I digress……the family move in.

I have had this start to movie and books a lot recently. Come on, be more original with the plots! There is a creepy neighbour with a shy wife. We hoped for more from the shy wife, like she’d been mummified and kept in the basement to play tea party…spoiler this didn’t happen. Things start happening, sheets being pulled off, the cat goes missing, the girl finds out the history, something is going on in the attic. No spoilers but I have come across the twist at least recently. I’m concerned the beloved cat was forgotten about by day 2. I’m concerned that 2 families have lived there since the first tragedy and nobody cleaned out the garage. There are many gratuitous shots of the girls bottom and a particular scene that should have been creepy but with the music playing seemed to be attempting erotic. The boy seemed to think there were too many feet shots and it implies someone had a fetish.

I’m giving it a 4/10. Unoriginal plot, some massive plot holes that I can’t divulge because it’ll spoil the big reveal. Creepy in a cringe way not a spooky way. My mum enjoyed it and the boy wouldn’t admit it was bad because it was his choice.

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly thoughts….22/10/19

I’m panicking now. Is it possible I’m running out of things to say for blogtober? I really wanted to complete it and started off with lots of content to chat about but now instead of being a week ahead, it’s catching up with me!

I’m actually writing this on the 20th. Last night it was my mothers birthday and I did a little tea party for her as I’m struggling to leave the house still. Going out in the evening is beyond my capabilities at the moment. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. I bought her this adorable pumpkin flower arrangement (that I really wanted for myself). (I made the sugar skull light up bottle).

pumplinflow

We watched Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2. Apparently the hubby hadn’t seen it. The boy had a party to go to but ended up coming home so we watched it together. Despite the critics I actually love both of Rob Zombie’s Halloweens. It could be I’m biased, I am a Rob Zombie fan but I didn’t like Lords of Salem so not that biased. I like the grittiness and grunginess of Halloween 2, the fact everyone is broken after the events of the first one. I like the supernatural bond between Laurie and Micheal. I like how adult Micheal is really just a vessel for the little boy whose sanity broke and he seems trapped in that moment. The night before we watched the first Halloween (Rob Zombies).

Obviously, I’ve been watching AHS 1984. Really looking forward to how they move forward with the new supernatural twist and what happens next. I also tried Marianne, the French horror series on Netflix and really started to enjoy it. There was some tongue in cheek humour and some great horror moments. I’ve watched two episodes so far but will definitely watch more.

I have also watched The Influence, a Spanish horror on Netflix. I tried to write a review but just came up blank. I didn’t enjoy it all. It had all the right elements but lack of empathy with characters maybe….maybe it felt derivative of Hereditary in some aspects? I lost interest part the way through and couldn’t wait for it to end. Maybe I’ll write a review…it says something that it left me so meh.

Hubby took me for a weekly pumpkin spiced latte and vegan burrito this week. It was cut short as the littlest boy was asked to leave school…not excluded…but trying to avoid exclusion. He has autism and is in mainstream school. Sometimes they can’t cope with his challenging behaviour. He has been doing so well but became overwhelmed I think with half term being so near and tired out from masking. Before we left though, Hubby treated me to a Yankee Candle in Haunted Hayride. It’s lovely…not as scented as witches brew (which I miss so much)…but lovely. A few years back the local candle shop had a great display of Halloween Yankee candle stock but over the last few years it’s dwindled down. I had a lovely black cat wax melter but the littlest boy broke it and I’ve never been able to replace it.

Doing a reflexology session today for the sister in law, NEPIP. NEPIP (NeuroEndoPsychoImmunoPody) is only taught to level 5 reflexologist’s. It’s a very pleasant treatment to do and quite spiritual. In class we’ve had some interesting reactions to this treatment, me and a class mate saw what we thought was a ghost/pair of ghosts on the road on the way back from class after doing this. We think it may have psychically opened us up.

I WAS looking forward to the release of Phil Rickman’s For the Hell of It, the next in the Merrily Watkins series but the release date has changed from Halloween to next year! So I’ll be watching for the price to come down on Peter Jame’s The Secret of Cold Hill, which was released this month.

Question of the week: Does anyone still watch the Walking Dead? Posed by the boy every time an advert comes on. We stopped watching it around season 5.

Posted in General, Personal | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Book Review: Coastal Corpse by Rena Leith

I was feeling delicate this week…still am and was looking for a gentle read. I don’t read a great deal of cozy mysteries but they have to be supernatural. So this one, based at Halloween with a ghost felt right. This is number 2 in the series and I felt that it didn’t stand alone very strongly. There were references to characters and previous plot lines that made me realise I should have read “Murder Beach” first.

The main character, Cass is settling into her new home by the beach, which is also inhabited by a ghost, Doris. Halloween is coming and her brother and his partner have come to stay. Then a body is found murdered on the stretch of beach near Cass’s house. She starts to investigate herself as she feels threatened by it happening again so close to her and with talk of neighbours gossip and long lost treasure it needs solving.

It was a pleasant read, gentle and homely. Cass never feels in any real danger. There was lots of food prepared and people talking. There was lots of dialogue, maybe too much and lots of characters coming around to visit, maybe too many. I enjoyed it but the mystery seemed solved too conveniently and too quickly at the end when most of the book was taken up by friendly chats over delicious food that didn’t seemed linked to anything about the mystery (maybe setting up the next book). I don’t think I’ll read the first one, this cozy mystery isn’t for me but for a light, gentle read with a slight supernatural tinge it might be for you.

3/5. Food, friends, ghosts and a little murder.

Thank you to NetGalley and The Wild Rose Press for this eArc copy for exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Witchy Reads for October (Fiction)

I’m always trying to find books with witchcraft and witches…but generally try to avoid the urban fantasy or YA type ones…not that there’s anything wrong with them…just I stopped enjoying them. So these are some of my favourites and I hope I give some ideas for your next witchy read before October is gone.

witch

  • Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. I love the book and the film. The film actually makes me cry every time and not many do that (except How to Train Your Dragon…I don’t know what that’s about!). It concerns the two sisters, Gillian and Sally, who have been outsiders all their lives and haunted by a family curse. They manage to get away until tragedy brings them back together.
  • The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman is the prequel to Practical Magic, a story about the aunts from Practical Magic and their brother and how they found their magic.
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, the first of a trilogy concerning the world of witches, daemons and vampires. Also a television series. I haven’t managed to read the rest of the trilogy but I certainly fell in love with the first book.
  • The Witching Hour by Anne Rice is a book I’ve read a few times. Anne Rice is such a beautiful writer and tells the story of the Mayfair family of witches. I wish she written more on the Mayfair witches…there is 3 in the series.
  • Dark Witch by Nora Roberts is part of another trilogy telling the story of the cousins O’Dwyer and their powers. This series got me reading all the magical Nora Roberts books, which are like a warm blanket…comforting and simple.
  • The Shadow Chronicles is a series of books by Paula Brackston following the stories of witches with some time travel added in. It’s a great series and underrated.
  • Witches of the East End by Melissa De La Cruz is the story of the Beauchamp witches in Long Island, who are forbidden to practice magic but forces arrive that mean they need to use their powers. Also a TV series…that didn’t go on long enough in my opinion.
  • The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe concerns family curses, Salem and a spell book.
  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley is a must read for Pagans and lovers of magic. It is about the days of Camelot and the women there, magic and priestesses.
  • The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho is the story of Athena and her powers of prophecy.

Please share your witchy reads, I’d love to have some more reading inspiration!

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Autumn Quotes and Poetry….Blogtober.

Still blogtobering here and I haven’t missed a day. Feeling proud of myself but I’m starting to worry I’ll run out of things to say! I love poetry and poetry featuring autumn really brings the season to life for me. I thought I’d share some of my favourite quotes and poetry.

Robert Frost – October

frost

John Keats – To Autumn

ode

Thomas Hood

hood

Henry James

henry

Samuel Butler

butler

Please share your favourite quotes and poems about autumn, I’d love to read them.

 

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Movie Review: The Witching Season (2018)

The Witching Season (on Amazon Video) isn’t strictly a movie but a number of short horror films based around the Halloween season. There are five episodes in all. However, I thought it fitted into the 31 days of horror if I watched them in one go.

Episode 1 was a slasher type mini horror with a girl being chased through the night.

Episode 2 was an evil toy type horror.

Episode 3 was a dream versus reality story.

Episode 4 was a writer who is writing his own horror story in a haunted house.

Episode 5 is a stalker outside a girls bedroom.

Each one has a twist which is an attempt to bring something new to the old trope they are portraying. I enjoyed the introduction it felt spooky and atmospheric and I enjoyed the music by Slasher Dave (!). However, it felt low budget and as if it were being acted out by students (maybe it was). The boy disliked it straight from the beginning. I wanted to perverse, I really wanted to like it. It just felt too…I can’t think of the word…novice…studenty…? It’s had some good reviews but it wasn’t for me and the boy. The boy called it cringe. Which apparently is quite bad in teen speak. I hope though the team that produced it carry on with developing their work because I think there is potential.

4/10. Needs more work, obviously on a budget.

 

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie Review: Eat Locals (2017)

 

 

I’ve been wanting to watch Eat Locals for a while but the boy seemed distinctly unenthusiastic. Well, he’s of an age to party and went out to his friends last night so it was just me and the hubby. I was feeling emotionally fragile so couldn’t deal with anything too heavy, violent or gory. So we went for this, knowing it was a horror comedy. It’s Jason Flemyng’s directorial debut. Its British and low budget.

A group of vampires are meeting in an isolated farmhouse to discuss vampire territory and business matters. However, they are being watched by an army unit intent on their destruction. One vampire has brought a human with the hope of turning him into one of them. What follows is chaos and mayhem as the two factions battle one another.

It’s a fun movie and feels like Jason Flemyng brought in a bunch of his mates for a laugh. There’s Charlie Cox (Daredevil) who he worked with on Stardust. There’s Dexter Fletcher, who he worked with on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Ruth Jones (Gavin and Stacey), Mackenzie Crook (Pirates of the Caribbean), Eve Myles (Dr Who and Torchwood), Freema Agyeman (Dr Who), Annette Crosby (One Foot in the Grave)…and the list goes on. Even Jamie Oliver is credited for doing the catering….definitely a mates movie. The vampire transformation looks effective and you’re rallying for the vamps.

Not to be taken seriously and not the best of British horror comedy’s but a light, fun watch with a line up of British stars (which without I may not as been so forgiving). 6/10. 

eatlocals

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie Review: The Night Sitter (2018)

Another horror comedy. I didn’t realize it was until further into The Night Sitter. A smirking dad, who is a wannabe paranormal expert/investigator has a date and hires Amber to babysit his pre-teen son and his dates son for the evening. Amber is actually a con artist and is intending to empty the house while the dad is out with the help of a friend. However, he brings his girlfriend and Amber’s kind of boyfriend also turns up. Adding to the mix the forbidden room full of paranormal artifacts is opened up and evil is released.

The movie has the 80’s/90’s b movie comedy horror feel to it (much like the Babysitter, which the boy was convinced we were watching again) and some Suspiria inspired lighting and effects.  There were a few genuinely creepy moments (I thought the main villains were quite creepy) and I loved the neighbour, with his war gaming and occult knowledge…he’s the sort of person I would be friends with. I enjoyed it but it was tongue in cheek cheesy and not to be taken too seriously. There were some good actors and some terrible acting. It won’t scare you but it will probably entertain you.

download (1)

3/5 Horror comedy (I think!) with some dodgy bits but fun all the same if you’re not looking for scares.

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men and Monsters by David Ruggerio

Blurb “Can a village be inherently evil?

Welcome to Brunswick NY, Population 4,941.

On the surface, this sleepy hamlet comes alive in the autumn with picturesque apple orchards, haunted corn mazes, laden pumpkin patches and holiday hay rides. During a snowy Halloween, a young William Willowsby must battle evil forces that have been shielded by the locals for generations. On the outskirts of the town is the abandoned Forest Park Cemetery. All things wicked seem to revolve around the old graveyard. A rarely seen homunculus serves an evil task master. Together they weave a wicked web that attempts to snare the youth of the hamlet. A creepy graveyard, a spooky schoolhouse, an abandoned mortuary and a member of his own family will leave you simply sleepless.”

This book was a cross between a modern dark fairy tale and a recounting of an urban legend. I loved it. I loved the style it was written by an unseen narrator in an old fashioned style but in the modern day. It was the perfect book for the Halloween season with the account of William and his friend, Lilly delving into the mystery of Brunswick but this is no children’s tale. There are some adult characters who also start to figure out not is all as it seems in their little town. As Halloween approaches so does the horror.

Due out of the 31st of October. Curl up with a hot drink and blanket and read the spooky season away. 5/5. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for this eArc copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment