Gremlins: Recall – The Mogwai Return in Fan Film

Written by Michael Dean

It’s been over 30 years since the 1984 film Gremlins, directed by Joe Dante, released to theaters bringing their cuddly Mogwai and horrific Gremlins to the big screen.  The film was such a success that a sequel followed in 1990.   A third film has been in discussion for years and has yet to gain any traction, so leave it to a director from Los Angeles who decided to whet the Gremlin fans appetite with a short fan film called Gremlins: Recall.

The film picks up 30 years after the events of the first film and the Mogwai can now be kept at your home as a pet, for a very large price.  However, there is a catch!  The owner must continue to medicate the Mogwai so they do not turn into those menacing green Gremlins.  So all should be fine right?  Well, as you will see from this story, something always goes wrong.

This fan film was written and directed by Ryan Patrick, who was a big fan of the original film.  So big that he went all out to bring this project to life by using high quality, animatronic puppetry for those pesky little gremlins.  Along with the fine puppetry are a nice soundtrack and solid casting with Katherine Rodriguez and Randy Irwin, which explains why the short film currently has over 182,000 views on YouTube.  I will admit, it was quite a thrill to see these creatures come to life once again and who knows maybe enough fan interest will get the ball rolling to get Gremlins 3 off the ground.

If you would like to learn more about how this all came together, be sure to head over to Ryan Patrick’s official website to view some behind the scenes footage as well as a director’s commentary, script, storyboards, photos and even download the soundtrack!

You can watch Gremlins: Recall below!

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Grimmfest 2018: 10 Must-Sees!

Written by Sasha Hornby

GRIMMFEST, Manchester’s Festival of Horror, Cult and Fantastic Film, scheduled to take place from Thursday 4th October to Sunday 7th October at the ODEON Manchester, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The line-up was announced on Monday 3rd September, and this year promises “the darkest, deadliest line-up yet of wild, weird, witty, thrilling, chilling, blood-spilling movies.” Each film shown is a premiere (of some sort) or cult classic, many with cast and crew in attendance.

To honour 10 years of it being Grimm Up North, we pick our 10 must-sees from the wicked roster:

 

AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS

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Northern Premiere showing Thursday 4th October at 8:45pm
UK / English / 2018 / 91 mins

Director: Johnny Kevorkian 
Cast: Sam Gittins, Neerja Naik, Grant Masters, Abigail Cruttenden, Kris Saddler, Holly Weston, David Bradley

It’s Christmas day, and one family wakes up to discover they’re sealed in their house by a mysterious black substance. On the television reads a single line of text: “Stay Indoors and Await Further Instructions.” The dysfunctional family, described as “the university-educated son and his Asian girlfriend, the horrible racist Grandad, the control freak father, the simpering doormat of a mother, the chav sister and her meathead boyfriend” are tense and confrontational around each other, not at all prepared for the strangeness of their situation. Shot in Yorkshire, and featuring mostly practical effects, this biting satire promises an unforgettable festive flick.

 

PLEDGE

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European Premiere showing Sunday 7th October at 12:25pm
USA / English / 2018 / 75 mins

Director: Daniel Robbins
Cast: Zack Weiner, Phillip Andre Botello, Zachary Byrd, Cameron Cowperthwaite, Aaron Dalla Villa, Jesse Pimentel, Erica Boozer

American films set in or around University Fraternities and Sororities are hardly new. PLEDGE takes the “geeky social misfits vs. privileged jocks and preppies” set-up and presents a no-holds-barred, cranked-up-to-eleven, savage look at arcane hazing rituals.

 

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID (VUELVEN)

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Northern Premiere showing Friday 5th October at 9:15pm
Mexico / Spanish with English subtitles / 2017 / 83 mins

Director: Issa López
Cast: Paola Lara, Juan Ramón López, Tenoch Huerta

11-year-old Estrella has one desperate wish: for her missing mother to return home. As she joins a Lost Boys (Peter Pan) style gang of orphaned children in the violent, drug-war-torn, Mexican town where she lives, she learns some ghosts can’t be left behind, and the hardest battle is with bereavement. Brutal reality is given a whimsical twist through a child’s imaginative eye. Guillermo del Toro called Issa López’s haunting, artistic, urban fairy tale one of the finest films of the year – the highest of fantastical endorsements.

 

RE-ANIMATOR

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Cult Classic showing Thursday 4th October at 6:30pm
USA / English / 1985 / 86 mins

Director: Stuart Gordon
Cast: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, Robert Sampson, David Gale

With an introduction by Grimmfest 2018’s guest of honour, star Barbara Crampton, this screening of the original unrated version of the cult comedy classic is a ghoulish and gory start to the festival. A re-imagining of H.P. Lovecraft’s weird pulp novella, Stuart Gordon’s blackly comic tale of a medical student and his girlfriend experimenting with reanimating the dead is a masterwork of the macabre.

 

ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE

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Greater Manchester Premiere showing Sunday 7th October at 8:30pm
UK / English / 2017 / 109 mins

Director: John McPhail
Cast: Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire, Christopher Leveaux, Ben Wiggins, Marli Siu

Described as “Shaun of the Dead meets La La Land”, ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE is a Scottish Christmas high school zombie musical. Bloody, festive, delightfully charming – watch Anna and her friends slash and sing their way to survival in the zombie apocalypse.

 

NIGHTMARE CINEMA

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UK Premiere showing Saturday 6th October at 4:30pm
USA / English / 2018 / 119 mins

Directors: Alejandro Brugués, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Ryuhei Kitamura, David Slade
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Elizabeth Reaser, Richard Chamberlain, Annabeth Gish

In this twisted horror anthology, five strangers are drawn into an abandoned theatre and forced watch their deepest and darkest fears play out before them. Each film introduced by creepy projectionist, Mickey Rourke, all 5 grim moral tales represent the style of their director. From Joe Dante’s ‘plastic surgery gone sideways’ fable to Alejandro Brugués’ sly take on the cabin-in-the-woods trope, there’s something horrifying for everyone.

 

THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW

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Northern Premiere showing Saturday 6th October at 7:00pm
USA / English / 2018 / 77 mins

Director: Andy Mitton
Cast: Alex Draper, Charlie Tacker, Greg Naughton, Arija Bareikis, Carol Stanzione

An estranged father and son visit a rural gothic farmhouse in Vermont that has been purchased to flip. As renovations begin, the malicious spirit of the deceased previous owner makes it clear she doesn’t want them there, but also never wants them to leave. Part subtle ghost story, part emotional family drama, THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW plays on the hardships and fears of raising a child in 2018, and includes the supernatural to stress the situation to a “nightmarish and genuinely heart-breaking” conclusion.

 

PIERCING

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Greater Manchester Premiere showing Saturday 6th October at 12:30pm
USA / English / 2018 / 81 mins

Director: Nicolas Pesce
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Wendell Piece, Laia Costa, Christopher Abbott, Olivia Bond

Adapted from the cult novel by Ryū Murakami, PIERCING spins the source material into a satirical, body-horror, rom-com. Deriving it’s aesthetic and aural influences from Italian giallo films of the 1970s, a man with a sinister plan, to commit the perfect murder, checks in to a hotel to meet a call girl. He meticulously rehearses every detail, but is unprepared for the disturbed blonde who walks through the door.

 

SUMMER OF ‘84

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Northern Premiere showing Friday 5th October at 11:00pm
USA, Canada / English / 2017 / 105 mins

Directors: Fran­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­çois Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell
Cast: Graham Vercher, Judah Lewis, Caleb Emery, Cory Grüter-Andrew, Tiera Skovbye, Rich Sommer

From the directors or TURBO KID comes this 80s-set teen adventure with slasher-movie instincts. Echoing the structure of IT and STRANGER THINGS, four 15-year-old boys spend their summer investigating the policeman next door, who they suspect is a serial killer – because all serial killers have to be somebody’s neighbour, right? Featuring a synth score to ramp up the pastiche, SUMMER OF ’84 is more than just a re-tread of familiar themes, it’s actually scary.

 

GIRLS WITH BALLS

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European Premiere showing Thursday 4th October at 11:00pm
France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain / French with English subtitles / 2018 / 77 mins

 

Director: Olivier Afonso
Cast: Denis Lavant, Manon Azem, Dany Verissimo-Petit, Anne-Solenne Hatte, Camille Razat, Louise Blachére, Victor Artus Solaro, Tiphaine Daviot, Margot Dufrene

The Falcons, an all-girls volleyball team, find themselves stranded in the middle of cannibal hillbilly territory when their mini-van breaks down. Described as a “slyly feminist reinvention of the “Cheerleaders in Peril” scenario”, GIRLS WITH BALLS is a blood-soaked black comedy about the hunted becoming the hunters.

Director Crash Course: Richard Linklater

Written by Corey Hughes

Back in 2016 I started a new series to my blog and twitter page titled ‘Director Season’, a monthly challenge whereby I attempt to watch the entire oeuvre of a chosen director.

With Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro, and the Coen Brothers given the special treatment, I was able to discover hidden gems and watch a handful of movies that I REALLY should’ve watched by now.

Since then, ‘Director Season’ has been given a facelift. Now titled ‘Director Crash Course’, I’ve restarted the challenge, and with Paul Thomas Anderson tackled back in July, I spent August focusing on the wonderful work of Richard Linklater; a filmmaker I have a new-founded adoration for. The aim of this article is to round up my thoughts for each of the films I watched in August and to present my personal favourites from Linklater.

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SLACKER (1990)

Although IMDb credits It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988) as Linklater’s debut feature, for many, Slacker is where it all began. Linklater’s low-budget, beautifully mundane depiction of a group of bohemians in a single day in 90s Texas is an inspiring piece of indie filmmaking, proving that creativity is not dependant on budget or studio backing.

Not much happens in Slacker, characters come and go, storylines evaporate into nothingness; but that’s the whole point. Linklater simply observes the extraordinary actions of the ordinary civilian, from a UFO enthusiast to a JFK conspiracy theorist, in their everyday lives. As such, there is a palpable social realist eye to the events unfolding, particularly the guerrilla-esque, documentarian cinematography on display. Linklater seamlessly travels through the narrative with minimal cuts and transitions, the camera following the misfits as they travel through the warmly lit streets of Texas.

It’s not a film I would revisit anytime soon, nor has it particularly aged well, but it’s a film that I’m glad exists.


DAZED AND CONFUSED (1993)

Dazed and Confused is a timeless coming-of-age tale shared amongst an ensemble of social misfits and high-school stoners.

The film is seeping with nostalgia, melancholy, and authenticity, with its impeccable dialogue helping to illustrate the final day of school before summer. The excitement, the unpredictability, and the anxiety of starting something new is expertly addressed in the film; emotions that are at the heart of every living person.

But above all, it has a true ‘feel-good’ vibe that makes for a fun, energetic cinematic experience. Linklater borrows from his feature debut Slacker; the ensemble of compelling characters, the storylines that seem meaningless, the blurring between real and cinematic timelines, and expands upon them to create what is a profoundly thought-provoking story. Such energy is channelled through the film’s killer, rock-filled soundtrack, one that I will find myself listening to for years to come.

I will remember Dazed and Confused for the rest of my days.


BEFORE SUNRISE (1995)

Well, where do I start?

Perhaps what I love most about the first entry in Linklater’s ‘Before’ trilogy is how character and place are intricately linked. People come and go but their experiences will always linger on. A couple’s laughter, their romantic embraces; they fade into memory. But for Jesse and Celine, Vienna will always be there. Their deep conversations about love, past relationships, the mannerisms that will inevitably become annoying; they all take place in a city that will always be theirs. But above all, their love for each other is real, one that blossoms by open dialogue and a genuine sense of connection between the two characters, and of course, Hawke and Delpy themselves.

Not many films have the same effect on me that Sunrise has. Many would argue that it takes multiple viewings of a film for it to be considered as a favourite, but after just one viewing, this is undoubtedly a favourite of mine. What a truly transcendent piece of cinema.


SUBURBIA (1996)

Although SubUrbia isn’t as ground-breaking nor as charming as Linklater’s previous ‘slackers in reality’ projects (particularly Dazed and Confused) there’s an undeniable sense of self-depreciating anger seeping through the cracks of Eric Bogosian’s story; anger pointing toward societal entrapment and the divide between fame and normality.

Linklater’s trademark ‘kitchen-sink’ direction, the grainy cinematography with long, dialogue-heavy takes, the focus on the characters and their personal quirks; is reliant on the performances, and thankfully, the ensemble cast is bursting with charisma. From Ribisi’s constant grumbles and Zahn’s drunken outbursts, SubUrbia is driven by these characters – and Linklater understands how to blend them together without feeling overly convoluted and incoherent.

SubUrbia is hard to pick out, but if you can get your hands on a copy, then I’d advise giving it a watch.


WAKING LIFE (2001)

By far Linklater’s most peculiar project, Waking Life tailors around the experiences of an unnamed main character who journeys through the dreamland via lucid dreaming. On his mind-bending journey, he encounters a roster of strange individuals whom question the values of life and the philosophical and existential ideologies that come with it: life and death, free will and determinism; notions that linger forever in the human mind.

Through Linklater’s mesmerising, rotoscoped animation, we become the dreamer; with his thoughts becoming ours. He merely exists in his dream world, listening to the rambles of those he encounters; the philosophical and the victimised, the rational and the irrational. He doesn’t challenge what he hears but just listens – his curiosity manifesting into a journey of existential self-discovery, as clichéd as that may be.

Waking Life, for some, will pass by with no sense of penetration. It will, like the dreamer, just exist; fading into nothingness. But for others, the film with change the way they perceive the world. For me, my experience falls dead centre between this threshold. I accept and appreciate its existence, and I also apply the many ideologies from the film to my own life; yet I fear I will never have the urge to watch it again. For a film that runs for just 99 minutes, it felt much longer; much heavier. A slight deviation of attention with result in a state of confusion, and sadly, I felt my attention slowly slipping away as the film progressed.


BEFORE SUNSET (2003)

Linklater’s second entry to the ‘Before’ trilogy is just as wonderful as the first, and I can’t express in words how much of a personal connection I felt to this sequel. The loss of romanticism in love, the feeling of what could have been, the fear of settling; these are all emotions that everybody in a long-term relationship consider at some stage of their lives.

Where Before Sunrise sets up this promise of romanticism, Sunset has the bravery to introduce the realism of Jesse and Celine’s relationship. They don’t meet 6 months after their mesmerising night in Vienna, instead they move on with their lives. Jesse has a wife and son; Celine works as a humanitarian in love with a war journalist. Yet when they meet once again 9 years later, their spark is reignited. Hawke and Delpy become Jesse and Celine, the pair morphing into their roles with a true sense of connection and raw authenticity.

Linklater somehow manages to find the perfect balance between hopefulness and realism; humour and melancholy. As the final scene fades to black, I found myself teary eyed. Was it with hope? Or was it with an unexplainable tint of sadness? Well, isn’t that what love is?

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A SCANNER DARKLY (2006)

Linklater’s second animated feature, A Scanner Darkly, is an expertly crafted adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel; a story of existential crisis and voyeuristic surveillance.

It’s also a story of manipulation, coming in the form of Dick’s compelling, detailed characters; a catalogue of individualised creations that all have their own motives, whether it’s Robert Downey Jr’s sociopathic James Barris or Winona Ryder’s manipulative Donna Hawthorne; they all bring something unique to the table. This, of course, is a true testament to the performances on display and the preciseness of the post-rendered animation – with Linklater placing an onus on physical expression through the eye-catching cartoonish feel.

There are moments where the film becomes heavy with foreshadowing and subtle detail, but that only adds to the change of direction in the film’s final moments; a denouement that will undoubtedly encourage multiple viewings. I can’t wait to watch it again.


BERNIE (2011)

Linklater’s mockumentary about a former funeral director who shot his lover dead in Texas is much lighter and far more comedic than the actuality of the event itself, and the ethical implications of such a contradiction is enough to warrant discussion.

The film itself is utterly bonkers. Jack Black is tremendously cast as Bernie Tiede, the beloved funeral director who ‘fooled’ an entire community with his charm and generosity, whose malevolent actions are, as the tag line suggests, ‘so unbelievable that it must be true’. Funnily enough, however, I never once thought that these characters were based upon real people. The moment archived photographs of the real Bernie are shown on screen during the film’s closing credits, I found myself in a state of shock. “How on hell could this actually happen?”, I found myself asking.

Such disbelief is heightened through Linklater’s questionable decision to make Bernie as a comedy, albeit a black comedy. The humour is dry and relies solely on the ignorance of the characters themselves, which raises the issue of whether Linklater is sympathising or mocking them. I feel that for the average viewer, the ones from the outside looking in, this is a charmingly raucous story; but for those involved in the event, will find that the story criminally undermines the severity of Bernie’s actions.

I, however, found myself chuckling along. Perhaps I shouldn’t have; but when you have Jack Black at the forefront of such a project, you’d have to be dead inside to not find it amusing.


BEFORE MIDNIGHT (2013)

Linklater’s beautiful ode to love in all its truest forms comes to an end with Before Midnight; a nostalgic, melancholic, and most important of all, real depiction of human relationships.

Where Sunrise was brimming with hope and romanticism for Jesse and Celine, their relationship matured and blossomed 9 years on in Sunset. Now, in Midnight, the harsh realities of mature romance come to the fore. Now roaming the sweeping landscapes of Greece with twins almost two decades since their first meeting on that train bound to Vienna, Jesse and Celine’s relationship is tested like never before. The prevalence of parenthood is accompanied with conflict and compromise, flirtation and feud; the palpable friction between the pair slowly slipping through the cracks.

Said conflict culminates in an emotional implosion set in a hotel room during the film’s final moments that can only be described as perhaps the realest argument ever depicted in cinema. Hawke and Delpy bounce off one another in a way that most couples do, with little triggers resulting in overly catastrophic outbursts and the most minuscule of facial gestures emitting the wrong message. It’s hard to watch, as if you’re a child watching on as your parents yell and fight.

I can’t put into words how much I love this trilogy. Sunrise, Sunset, and Midnight act as the vicious cycle of love itself; the promising romance, the blossoming relationship, and the inevitable darkness of growing old together. If this isn’t the end, then I can’t wait to see the next chapter of Jesse and Celine’s journey. Even if it does mean watching them ramble on about the meaning of life in the lounge of a nursing home.


BOYHOOD (2014)

There’s not much more to say about Boyhood that hasn’t already been said. Filmed over a 12-year span depicting the Bildungsroman story of a boy and his journey through adolescence; this is a coming-of-age tale like none other.

The use of cinematic time in Linklater’s films has become somewhat of a recurring motif in his works, but in Boyhood, it’s taken to another level. The film simply observes the actions of Ellar Coltrane’s Mason, and thus forces the viewer to watch on as he progresses through life; hurdling over the barriers that rapidly approach. The issue of family dysfunction is profoundly prevalent throughout the film’s entirety, with Mason and his older sister being raised by a compassionate single mother who struggles to juggle abusive partners and achieving her own aspirations.

Ethan Hawke’s Mason Sr. provides a momentary rest-bite from the struggles his kids face at home; taking them bowling and buying them gifts. At first he seems like the conventional immature and incompetent teenage father, but like Mason Jr., he goes on a journey on his own; working backwards, as it’s referenced in the movie. In truth, Mason Jr. isn’t the only character that has his own story, it’s very much a family piece. The family unit, albeit tested at times, stay firm as one; moving together through life together as time relentlessly passes by.

It’s a miracle that this film exists. For Linklater and his cast to dedicate 12-years of their lives to this project is a cinematic achievement that exceeds all expectations; a monumental achievement that requires a meticulous amount of patience, precision, and preparation. How anybody can have nothing but admiration for this project is beyond my understanding.


EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! (2016)

Everybody Wants Some!! has been labelled as the ‘spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused’, and it’s not difficult to see where the similarities lie. Like his 1993 classic, Everybody Wants Some!! is brimming with charm and charisma; helped by Linklater’s eye for realist dialogue and the incredibly delightful cast on display.

Linklater has a distinct ability to create a sense of genuine, off-the-cuff chemistry between his cast members, and with this, it’s no different. It’s so impressive that with an ensemble cast of mostly unknown actors, Linklater’s catalogue of characters all feel distinctively different from one another; each of the members providing something new and original to the table. The humour between them all is unprecedentedly hilarious throughout the film’s entirety, with special mention to Glen Powell’s Finn and Austin Amelio’s Nez; who remain at the forefront of the laughs every time they’re on screen.

Without the charm and charisma from his ensemble, Linklater’s film would undeniably fall apart, but there’s not a second of this film that doesn’t make you ‘feel good’, heightened, I think, by the equally as delightful 80s aesthetic that is captured here.
If you want a feel good coming-of-age story helmed by a master of the genre, Everybody Wants Some!! is the film for you. I loved every second of it.


LAST FLAG FLYING (2017)

Linklater’s latest film, a story of ex-veterans who rediscover their friendship after the tragic death of Doc’s (Steve Carell) son, is by no means the strongest project on his ever-impressive resumè, but it’s a provocative, heavy-hitting piece of work.

The rekindled camaraderie between the long-lost veterans result in a heartfelt and inspiring trio of performances. At times, Fishburne and Cranston act as an angel and a devil on Carrell’s shoulders, both providing contradicting advice. Cranston is terrific as the heavy-headed Sal, the ‘devil’ in this instance; and Fishburne is equally as compelling as Mueller, a calm and collected vet-turned-priest whose optimism finds itself battling against Sal’s growing cynicism.

Last Flag Flying undoubtedly sheds light on the hypocrisy and corruption of the ‘heroic American soldier’ philosophy of Western culture; American sons being killed for what they believe in labelled as heroes, Eastern sons being labelled as terrorists for the same fate. It’s a controversial issue, but Linklater handles it with a true sense of objectivity; showing both sides of the debate from Cranston’s Sal and Carell’s Doc.


And that concludes my Linklater journey! Below you will find the list of films that I was unable to see this month, and my top 5 Linklater films.

Unseen films:
It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988)
The Newton Boys (1998)
Tape (2001)
Bad News Bears (2005)
Fast Food Nation (2006)
• Me and Orson Welles (2008)

My top 5 Linklater films:
1. Before Sunrise (1995)
2. Before Sunset (2004)
3. Before Midnight (2013)
4. Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)
5. Boyhood (2014)

That was way too difficult…

The Conjuring Universe Ranked & Timeline Breakdown

Written by Tom Sheffield

The highly anticipated latest spin-off in The Conjuring Universe, The Nun, is just days away, so we’re taking a look back at the universe’s previous entries, ranking them, and also looking at what the future hold’s for the franchise.

We’ve pieced together the timeline so far, with The Nun set to take take us to the early 1950s. Looking to the future of the universe, it’s probably fair to assume the The Conjuring 3, which was still having its script worked on when we last heard from Wan in August 2017, will take place following the events of the second film. However, earlier this year Wan confirmed that Annabelle 3 was in the works and set to release in 2019 with Gary Dauberman confirmed to return to the director’s chair. The plot details we’ve been given so far would lead us to believe this film takes place directly after The Conjuring 2 and will see Annabelle terrorise the Warren’s young daughter and bring the artefacts in their house to life. Wan said this third film is “basically Night at the Museum with Annabelle”

The Crooked Man, who we met in The Conjuring 2, is set to get his own spin-off. When asked about the film in August last year, Wan said the film was still in the early stages of development and that Mike Van Waes was penning the script. With Annabelle 3 already scheduled for next year, it looks like Wan and co. are in no rush with this film and they’re likely targeting a 2020 release.

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Our team have come together to rank the four entries in The Conjuring Universe so far, the results of which you can find below! As always, the results are determined by combining the team’s individuals rankings and using a point based system to give us our final ranking, so their personal order may differ from the final combined results.

 

(#4) Annabelle

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Well, someone has to be in last place and that just happens to be The Conjuring Universe’s first spin-off, John R. Leonetti’s Annabelle. We first met the Annabelle doll in The Conjuring and it only took 14 months before Annabelle was in cinemas across the globe.

This first spin-off is a prequel to The Conjuring and takes place in 1967. The plot follows Mia and John Form, a young couple expecting their first child. The same night John brings his wife home an old porcelain doll, two members of a cult brutally murder the Form’s next door neighbours, the Higgins, before breaking into their home. The police shoot dead one of the attackers, whilst the other slicers her own throat whilst grasping the doll. After their traumatic experience, the couple move homes and Mia gives birth to a healthy baby girl, Leah. However, after throwing away the doll before their move, she appears in one of their moving boxes and it’s not long before paranormal activities begin to occur. The couple seek the help of Father Perez (who then seeks the help of Ed and Lorraine Warren) to help them exorcise the demon possessing the doll.

(#3) Annabelle: Creation

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Coming in third place is a prequel of a prequel, Annabelle: Creation, which was directed by David F. Sandberg. The film was released in 2017 after the Annabelle doll made a brief cameo in The Conjuring 2, where we learn she’s locked in the Warren’s house.

Annabelle: Creation takes place in 1955 as doll-maker Samuel Mullins and his wife Esther open their empty home to Sister Charlotte and six young girls who have been left homeless after their orphanage is closed. We learn that the Mullins’ daughter, Annabelle, was killed in a car accident 12 years prior to the evens of this film, and the couple have locked her room to and forbade their new lodgers from going in there. Janice, one of the young girls, is crippled by polio and often feels left out when her friends are out playing and running around. One night, Janice finds a note that has ‘find me’ scribbled on it and sees that Annabelle’s room is now somehow unlocked. Janice discovers a porcelain doll locked away in a closet and unbeknown to her, she releases a powerful demon that begins to terrorize the Mullins couple and their guests. Sister Charlotte enlists the helps of Priests to help keep the spirit at bay, but the demon has other ideas…

SPOILERS AHEAD: After Janice becomes possessed by the demon, Sister Charlotte locks both her and the Annabelle doll in the closet where she was discovered at the beginning of the film. However, when police search the house the day after the incident the doll is the only thing in the closet. The possessed Janice managed to escape through a hole in the wall and relocates to Santa Monica to live in an orphanage. We then fast forward 12 years (1967) and Janice, who now goes by Annabelle, is adopted by the Higgins family.

Name ring a bell? It should.

The Higgins family are the couple brutally murdered at the beginning of Annabelle by none other that their adoptive daughter Annabelle and her boyfriend, who have joined a Satanic cult. We witness the murder of the Higgins through the window of their neighbours house, the Forms, and this immediately sets up the events of Annabelle. 

Annabelle: Creation also included a short post-credit scene that teased The Nun.

(#2) The Conjuring

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Coming gracefully is second place is the film that kick-stared this horror universe, James Wan’s The Conjuring, which was released in 2013. The film stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as Lorraine and Ed Warren, characters that are the heart of this horror universe.

In 1971, Roger and Carolyn Perron move into a run-down farmhouse with their five daughters and their dog. Not long after they move in paranormal events begin to occur, including mysterious clapping, one of the children encounters a malevolent spirit, and two of them are attacked by a spirit who is lurching on their wardrobe. Fearing for her families life, Carolyn, fearing for her families life, contacts Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens investigate the house and agree an exorcism needs to be performed, but they need solid proof the house is haunted so they can seek authorisation from the Catholic Church to perform the exorcism. With time running out, the Warrens are in a race against time to help the Perron family.

(#1) The Conjuring 2

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Taking the crown as our favourite entry to The Conjuring Universe is The Conjuring 2, which was released in 2016 and saw James Wan return to direct.

This sequel takes place in 1977 and is set in Enfield, London where a family believe the spirit of the man that used to live in the house is still present. After the whole family witness the paranormal activity, the local church enlists the help of Ed and Lorraine Warren. Lorraine is hesitant to help the family following a vision during a seance in which she followed a demonic nun to the body of her impaled husband. During their time at the Hodgson family home with two other paranormal investigators, evidence emerges that makes it appear as if Janet, one of the children, is playing a practical joke and calling it paranormal activity. Lorraine soon learns that the threat is more serious than she thought and learning who the demonic nun haunting her visions is is the key to helping the Hodgson family.

(It still blows my mind that Valak, the demonic nun, was an additional character added during reshoots of The Conjuring 2.)


 

Whilst you’re here, we highly recommend you checking out The Nursea short film that won a competition held by Warner Bros. when Annabelle: Creation was released. The competition asked entrants to create a short film to introduce a new spirit/demon to The Conjuring Universe that could potentially be given it’s own feature film. We have an exciting interview coming soon with the director of the short film, Julian Terry, who has had some exciting news lately that we can’t wait to talk to him about!

Introducing JUMPCUT CINEMATES

Here at JUMPCUT ONLINE, we love film, believing no reel should be left un-played. And now the JUMPCUT team wants to watch films with you.

JUMPCUT CINEMATES, our new film club, is a way for people who love films to gather with like-minded people – like a book club, but for films.

Kicking off in Sheffield, UK, we will be hosting a monthly meet-up at the multiplex, plus special meetups, such as midnight screenings for those big franchise-feeding beasts we’re all so fond of. The date and venue will be chosen by the JUMPCUT host, and the movie picked by a poll. Watch the movie together, share some snacks (quietly please), and engage in lively discussion after.

SAVE THE DATE NOW – OCTOBER 6TH WILL BE THE FIRST EVER CINEMATES MEETUP

Can’t make it to Yorkshire? Fear not, as we’ll also be having regular Netflix parties! With a particular focus on Netflix Original releases, tune in at the scheduled time and tweet along with us @JUMPCUT_CINEMATES.

And if that wasn’t enough, join us on our weekly Wednesday #CINEMATESDebates, where we will deep-dive into various cinematic topics.

There are a few ground rules:

  1. Let’s stay on topic: films!
  2. Be nice: no name-calling and/or personal attacks will be tolerated.
  3. Absolutely no spam or political campaigning.

That’s it! Enjoy.

We can’t wait to mee(ow)t you.

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The Headliners & Hidden Gems At The 62nd BFI London Film Festival

Yesterday saw the announcement of the full line-up of films for the 62nd BFI London Film Festival (LFF), and boy is there a ton to get your teeth stuck into! But this year we have even more reason to be excited as JUMPCUT will attending and covering the festival for the first time ever!

We’ll be covering a whole range of films screening at the festival, including some of the headliners and hidden gems! JUMPCUT’s LFF Queen Sarah has kindly picked out just some of the films she thinks you are going to want to keep your eye on!

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The Headliners

Widows
Directed by: Steve McQueen
Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya

Why it is worth a watch: I mean that cast list alone is worth the admission price, but this female-fronted action thriller is also helmed by the man who brought us 12 Years a Slave, a film which previously enjoyed awards success. But the talent doesn’t end there, Widows is penned by Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn and Hans Zimmer provides the score. This is an action movie of the highest calibre and one that will be well worth your time and money.

Screening at LFF: 10th, 11th, 12th October
UK Wider Release Date: 6th November 2018

Stan & Ollie
Directed by: Jon S Baird
Starring: Steve Coogan, John C Reilly, Nina Arianda, Shirley Henderson, Danny Huston

Why it is worth a watch: An ode to cinema, entertainment, and with two leading actors known for their brilliance as physical comedians, Stan & Ollie seems like the perfect film to close out London Film Festival. Coogan and Reilly bring beloved comedians Stan Laurel and Ollie Hardy to life on the big screen, focusing on the twilight years of their career. This is set to be a real crowd-pleaser and the most fitting curtain call for the festival.

Screening at LFF: 21st October
UK Wider Release Date: 11th January 2019

The Favourite
Directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz

Why it is worth a watch: A divisive filmmaker, but certainly one that gets people talking, Yorgos Lanthimos brings his third English-language film in four years to the London Film Festival. With stand-out performances from Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, The Favourite promises to be bizarre, bonkers, and brilliant!

Screening at LFF: 18th, 19th, 21st October
UK Wider Release Date: 1st January 2019

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Directed by: Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring: Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, Tom Waits, Zoe Kazan, Bill Heck

Why it is worth a watch: It’s the Coen Brothers! In all seriousness, the latest from the incomparable Coens promises to be wild (west) entertainment, hilarious, offbeat, and surprisingly melancholic. Dark humour and the trademark Coen brothers flair will be here in abundance

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Screening at LFF: 12th, 13th, 21st October
UK Wider Release Date: TBA

Beautiful Boy
Directed by: Felix Van Groeningen
Starring: Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan

Why it is worth a watch: Just try and get through the trailer to this one without crying. Sometimes you just need to let it all out, and this will be the film that gets audiences at LFF reaching for the tissues. Starring man-of-the-moment Timothee Chalamet, hot off the heels of last year’s Call Me By Your Name, and Steve Carell in what is set to be another great dramatic role for him, Beautiful Boy will be the one to watch for those early Best Actor hints…

Screening at LFF: 13th, 14th, 16th October
UK Wider Release Date: 18th January 2019

Suspiria
Directed by: Luca Guadagnino
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Chloe Grace Moretz

Why it is worth a watch: Full disclaimer, I am a massive horror wuss and will therefore not be seeing this on the big screen, but it would be very remiss of me not to mention it here. There is no denying the trailer is stunning, and the hype levels amongst the JumpCut team have reached fever-pitch for this one. It won’t be for everyone but it’ll certainly be a talking point. And also it has Tilda Swinton in it; you can’t go wrong!

Screening at LFF: 16th, 17th, 19th October
UK Wider Release Date: 16th November 2019

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The Hidden Gems

Wild Rose
Directed by: Tom Harper
Starring: Jessie Buckley, Sophie Okonedo, Julie Walters

Why it is worth a watch: After impressing in Beast, Jessie Buckley stars in what is set to another impressive film. A Glaswegian single mum dreams of being a country singer, how hard could it be?! This is the sort of film that will make your heart soar, and with Julie Walters also appearing, it is hard not to draw comparisons with the underdog story of Billy Elliot. This film is already set to be one of the truly underrated gems of the festival.

Screening at LFF: 15th, 16th, 20th October
UK Wider Release Date: 8th February 2019

The Hate U Give
Directed by: George Tillman Jr
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, KJ Apa, Common

Why it is worth a watch: Adapted from Angie Thomas’ ‘Black Lives Matter’-inspired Young Adult novel, this film certainly feels like an important one, and one which is sadly still so relevant. Focusing on the young lives affected by the tragic shootings of their peers, the BFI are also offering £5 tickets to see this one for 16 to 25 year olds. Even outside of this age range, this film has a lot to offer, promising to be a powerful and timely watch.

Screening at LFF: 20th, 21st October
UK Wider Release Date: 26th October 2018

Assassination Nation
Directed by: Sam Levinson
Starring: Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra, Bella Thorne

Why it is worth a watch: Don’t let the early trigger warnings put you off, this is a film that bears everything upfront and then unleashes all hell. Assassination Nation is the Salem witch trials meets the digital generation in this thoroughly modern cautionary tale, and one which is poised to join other teen cult classics such as Heathers and Spring Breakers. Subversive and utterly unique, this could be one of the surprise hits of the festival.

Screening at LFF: 19th, 20th, 21st October
UK Wider Release Date: 23rd November 2018

Burning
Directed by: Lee Chang-dong
Starring: Yoo Ah-in, Jeon Jong-seo, Steven Yeun

Why it is worth a watch: This film wowed audiences at Cannes, which is often the mark of a successful festival film! This lean slow-burning thriller promises to have you gripped right from the start, as well as exploring complex themes such as obsession, class-conflict and suppressed male rage. It will be unlikely to have a wide cinema release, so catch this one at the festival whilst you can!

Screening at LFF: 19th, 20th October
UK Wider Release Date: 1st February 2019

Mandy
Directed by: Panos Cosmatos
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache

Why it is worth a watch: Yes, Nicolas Cage. Stop reading now! Just kidding, this synopsis alone is enough to make you want to see it so we’re not even going to add to it: “In a mountain-cabin idyll, lumberjack Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) lives in perfect harmony with his great love Mandy (Andrea Riseborough). But the couple’s blissful utopia is cruelly shattered when a ragtag band of Satanic cultists invade their humble abode and claim Mandy for their own. Traumatised and distraught, Red is left with no option but to exact a bloody revenge.” (Michael Blyth, BFI)

Screening at LFF: 11, 12, 17th
UK Wider Release Date: 12th October 2018

Blaze
Directed by: Ethan Hawke
Starring: Ben Dickey, Alia Shawkat, Sam Rockwell

Why it is worth a watch: Ethan Hawke is having quite the year, and fresh from his acclaimed performance in First Reformed, his latest directorial offering his heading to LFF. This biopic about a little known musician is shot with affection and true passion that is hard to replicate, and quite frankly anything Ethan Hawke is passionate about, we love already!

Screening at LFF: 20th, 21st October
UK Wider Release Date: TBA

How I Went From Cine-Casual to Cinephile With Cineworld Unlimited

Written by Sasha Hornby

Cineworld Unlimited changed me.

Prior to signing up, I was a cine-casual. I would go see the latest Star War or superhero outing with my closest friend or the newest LEGO movie with my son. But 99% of the time I would feed my passion for film with a healthy blend of home releases, Film4 recordings, and Netflix streaming.

Then along came Logan.

Choosing normally to visit the most mutually convenient picture house for me and my cinema buddy, on this spur-of-the-moment occasion I chose my nearest – a Cineworld. I booked my (first ever) single ticket for the last IMAX showing 15 minutes before the start time and excitedly rushed out to get there, getting seated just as the Unlimited advert began; you know the one, with Ben and his mother-in-law and his plumber. After umm-ing and ahh-ing for a month, I took the plunge. 16 months and 61 films later, it is safe to say this was a Very Good Decision™.

There are two leading cinema subscriptions in the UK – Cineworld’s Unlimited and Odeon’s Limitless. A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, right? £17.90 per month and £17.99 per month respectively (outside Central London), they both offer similar benefits, such as truly unlimited 2D film viewings, local discounts, 10% off cinema snacks and drinks (and in-house Starbucks for Cineworld), plus exclusive screenings and previews. Cineworld upgrade memberships after 1 year to Premium, which includes unlimited 3D films and 25% off cinema snacks and drinks.

Note: for the remainder of this article, I will be talking exclusively about Unlimited, as I have limited knowledge on Limitless.

 

Film was always the religion. Cinema is now the place of worship.

 

If you ask the question “what’s the best way to watch a movie?” my answer would be on the biggest, highest-definition screen, complete with the loudest, crispest audio, in the darkest room I can find. I am, of course, describing the cinema. In the 16 months since signing up for Unlimited, I have seen more films at the cinema than in the preceding decade. A lethal combination of affordability (or lack of) and availability of cinema-going friends (or lack of) kept me from frequenting the multiplex as much as I would have liked. P.L, which I define as the period of time that began “Post-Logan”, has seen my metamorphosis into dedicated cinephile, with over 60% of my trips to the picture house being solo. Cineworld Unlimited is my affordable enabler.

For those looking for some tangible figures ripe for analysis, I’ve put together a table.  For each month I have been an Unlimited member, I have noted the number of films I saw using my membership, the cost to me, the “real cost” had I not been an Unlimited member, the saving, and, for added measure, the average rating (out of 5) I gave the films I saw.

Month  No. of films Cost Real Cost Saving Avg. rating
May-17 1 £17.90 £10.90 -£7.00 5.0
Jun-17 3 £17.90 £32.70 £14.80 4.7
Jul-17 3 £22.60 £37.40 £14.80 3.8
Aug-17 1 £17.90 £10.90 -£7.00 2.5
Sep-17 2 £17.90 £21.80 £3.90 4.3
Oct-17 3 £17.90 £32.70 £14.80 4.2
Nov-17 5 £17.90 £54.50 £36.60 3.4
Dec-17 5 £23.90 £53.40 £29.50 4.6
Jan-18 8 £17.90 £87.20 £69.30 3.5
Feb-18 5 £23.90 £60.50 £36.60 4.6
Mar-18 5 £20.90 £46.60 £25.70 4.0
Apr-18 3 £23.90 £38.70 £14.80 4.2
May-18 3 £17.90 £32.70 £14.80 3.5
Jun-18 4 £17.90 £43.60 £25.70 3.8
Jul-18 5 £17.90 £54.50 £36.60 4.0
Aug-18 (thus far) 5 £17.90 £54.50 £36.60 4.2
TOTAL 61 £312.10 £672.60 £360.50 4.0

I repeat, Cineworld Unlimited is my affordable enabler.

One of the criticisms I’ve seen regarding cinema subscription cards is that the viewer will end up seeing “a load of dross”. And it’s true, some months I’ve seen what I consider real stinkers – looking at you Valerian & the City of a Thousand Planets! That said, I’ve been pleasantly surprised, and in some cases pleasantly bowled over, by the films I wouldn’t typically have watched before at the movie theatre. Cineworld Unlimited has made me more adventurous, often picking movies outside of my usual sphere of interest.

Easily one of the best days of my new-found cinephile life has been watching The Shape of Water, Phantom Thread and Black Panther all in one day. I was desperate to see the new Guillermo Del Toro and Paul Thomas Anderson movies, however, without my membership I would have prioritised the latest MCU entry for fear of online spoilers. Cineworld Unlimited has means I no longer have to pick between franchise favourites and adored auteurs.

Seguing nicely into a pastime I am now very fond of: cinema days. Speaking as a single parent who works full time, my free time is limited to late evenings and alternate weekends. I didn’t start my blogging days as Binge Watch Bash for nothing – I can sit for hours engrossed in stories on screen. In a single day, I have laughed until my stomach is sore, sobbed until my face is raw, and gripped the arm rest so tight my knuckles were white. Cineworld Unlimited has empowered me to spend full days lost in other worlds and other eras.

In the past, only one film had compelled me to revisit on the big screen, The Dark Knight. Now I won’t hesitate to return to films that I feel deserve to be truly appreciated at the cinema. Easter-egg-filled chapters in major franchises (The Last Jedi, Black Panther, for e.g.) have gotten the ‘two views’ treatment, though I can’t deny this is in-part influenced by my first watches being at midnight screenings. The fully immersive experience of seeing Dunkirk on IMAX with Dolby surround sound was so jaw-dropping, that I couldn’t resist seeing it again as Christopher Nolan intended. Cineworld Unlimited makes it easy to see instant favourites again and again in all their glory, as the movie gods envisioned.

Since becoming a member of a cinema subscription service, I’ve grown in personal confidence with multiple solo visits, reignited my passion for film, found a community of film lovers I respect and admire to be a part of, got a spot writing about film, and generally broadened my cinematic horizons.

Cineworld Unlimited changed me. For the better.

We’d love to hear about your experience with either your Unlimited or Limitless cards! Feel free to share your comments below or over on Twitter! 

 

Films I Watched Way Too Young

Written by Cameron Frew

A person’s relationship with film is often rooted in childhood experiences. Whether it be that first fateful trip to the cinema, that beloved classic you ruined the VHS of with repeat viewings, your first proper horror movie experience or perhaps a movie you watched alongside your family on a regular basis. Though, anyone who’s grew up around film will likely have a story about watching something they were probably a bit too young for, a movie their fun Uncle or naive Gran showed them without much foresight as to the trauma they were about to inflict. Over time though, that trauma turns into a treasured memory, and this article will look at a few of the films I recall watching at a hilariously young age, and how they changed my perception of film forever.

Film: The Ring 2

Age: 8

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© – Dreamworks Pictures

This is a bit of a strange one. I actually watched the first of The Ring remakes back when it was initially released in 2002. I struggle to recall how that came to be, but it was likely alongside my Mum at Halloween (we’d watch a horror film every year), and yes, it bloody terrified me. But in 2005, I was on holiday in Israel, and my Uncle decided to take us to the cinema. We had no idea what we were going to see, so he said, “We’ll just have a look at what’s on when we’re there.”

So we arrived at this metropolis-esque cinema. Greeting us first and foremost at the doors was a poster for the newest horror release – The Ring 2. Now, I know what you’re thinking; that I was too young to get into such a film in a cinema. And you would be absolutely correct, I was far too young, and the Israeli age rating system is not too dissimilar to the UK’s (unlike say, Canada’s, which allows kids into 18-rated movies if they have their parents). But my Uncle was utterly determined to go see this movie. So, as I stood enjoying the cool air-con, he waltzed over to the box office and started to chat. From a distance there appeared to be a lot of charming going on from his side, and a repetitive shaking head on the other. After around five minutes, he returned to us with a big smug smile on his face, with four tickets in his hand. It was happening, I don’t know how he did it, or why he thought this was a great idea, but we were actually going to watch this on the big screen. Upon a re-watch, this sequel is staggeringly average, contrived and not as tasteful as the still impressive sequel. But let me tell you, I was speechless at the time. Utterly shook, completely taken down by it. I mean, I was 8; what did he expect? I didn’t cry or anything like that, I just sat with a chalk white, stone-cold expression, processing and trying to dispose of any post-film thoughts that were tormenting me. With time, the fear faded, and looking back now, the experience helped prepare me for the much scarier efforts that were to come in my filmography.

Film: Alien

Age: 7

 

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© – 20th Century Fox

After getting a book out the library about movie extraterrestrials, I was unhealthily obsessed with Xenomorphs. Something about the nightmarish monsters drew me in, intriguing in their horrific, unique design (at this point I was still a fairly inexperienced viewer). I soon became very aware of the franchise they came from; to my joy there was four films on offer, plus an upcoming crossover with another major movie alien called Predator. The begging to the parents swiftly begun, trying the convince them that it wouldn’t scare me and that, as was always the golden rule with movies with a high age rating, I wouldn’t repeat anything from them. Ultimately, they decided there were worse things out there I could watch, so they allowed it.

The funny thing is, the film didn’t scare me at all. In fact, I can’t remember all that much about that initial viewing experience apart from the uncontrollable excitement. This was like a dream come true, finally seeing this crazy alien killing all these poor engineers, and me, the single spectator the carnage, sitting wide-eyed and jaw-dropped. But that excitement was my greatest downfall, as I definitely didn’t take it in as much as I should have. Don’t get me wrong; the slimy face-huggers still gave me the creeps, that scene in the air vents made me jump out my skin, and I was cheering on Ripley as she went up against the titular monster in the brilliant climax. But it wasn’t until I reached a later age I could fully immerse myself in its claustrophobic, thorough set-design, appreciate the unnerving score, and actually understand the graft Ridley Scott put in to create such a masterful horror. It’s now one of my all-time favourites of course. Anytime I see a Xeno, it feels like home.

Film: Dawn Of The Dead

Age: 7

 

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© – Universal Pictures

This isn’t the less trashy George Romero version from 1978 we’re talking about. This was the gore-soaked, ultraviolent, hyperactive remake from Zack Snyder. And who showed me it? That ol’ reliable Uncle who took me to The Ring 2 a year later. We were heading home from a day out in Glasgow, and he said we were going to get a McDonalds and watch Constantine. I hadn’t seen the film yet, and at the time I was a massive Keanu Reeves fan after falling in love with The Matrix early on and forever more. When we got in, he couldn’t find the DVD. Disaster. “What will we watch then?” I disappointingly asked, crushed by the lack of Keanu on the upcoming viewing schedule. From his trusty disc wallet, he whipped out Dawn Of The Dead. “Aw this is brilliant, it’s about zombies!” he exclaimed, with the kind of cheeky smile like he knew it was forbidden fruit to a youngster. Naturally, I agreed. Why wouldn’t I? And while now I can appreciate the satire and gentler suspense of the superior original, I maintain the remake’s opening, with the little girl in the bedroom, is a perfect sequence. It introduces you to the dangers in the small spaces and the widespread chaos outside like an escalating nightmare. I was petrified, and the rest of the movie didn’t do much to aid that. What I didn’t realise at the time was it subconsciously wet my appetite for more flesh-eating goodness, and although I was scared, I wouldn’t change that memory for anything (not even Keanu).

 

Film: Scream

Age: 6

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© – Dimension Films

Picture the scene. It’s a rainy late night in a dark flat, blinds down, still hearing the gentle taps of the water on the window and the symphony of the strong winds. My older brother, little cousin and I are huddled on a sofa bed around a TV, after enjoying a trusty late night snack courtesy of my Gran. The clock struck 11pm, and what movie comes on? Scream – Wes Craven, you ingenious devil. The opening, which I soon learned is fairly iconic in the horror sphere, was on another level. We innocently watched as Drew Barrymore made herself some popcorn on her lonesome. Then the phone rang, and the ordeal began. Barrymore is put on trial by this nefarious phantom caller, growing more sinister as the call goes on. At first it seems like a hoax call, but there is something much worse at play here. As a 6 year old, I couldn’t handle it. The heart was thumping; the covers were clutched up at my eyes. The way it inevitably goes (avoiding spoilers in case you haven’t watched it) knocked me for six. I was in bits, destroyed by the massacre on my senses. As I sunk under the sheets, bawling by eyes out, I wondered why anyone would ever want to watch such a film. But as the years progressed, and especially now as a film obsessive, I really admire what Craven did with Scream. Not many horrors are as funnily engaging, dissecting the tropes of the slasher movie while retaining the scares. One of the very best (but certainly not for youngsters).

Film: Chopper

Age: 5

 

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© – First Look Pictures

And the winner of the most stupidly inappropriate film I managed to see at the tender age of just 5 years old, is Australian, extremely explicit gangster biopic, Chopper. Initially released in 2000 and starring Eric Bana, it’s an adaptation of Mark “Chopper” Read’s autobiography. Chopper was a man seduced into a life of crime by a love of violence – he had no will to act as one should, he just wanted to be known as a legend, living in infamy. The way the film paints a portrait of someone whose psyche is so deeply steeped in vicious desires is quite remarkable, led by an electrifying performance from Bana. Now, the thing is, this film opens with a grotesque and realistic murder in a prison, and doesn’t really let up from there. There’s an age to watch a film like Chopper, and it certainly isn’t 5. I was so out of my depth. All I saw was blood, all I heard was swearing; other than that, I comprehended nothing. But it’s one of those memories that probably attracted me to the dark world of more adult entertainment at a young age, leading me to seek out films like Snatch and Lock Stock.

What are your favourite movie memories? Did you watch something you really shouldn’t of when you were younger? Let us know in the comments.

Why I Hate The New Oscar Changes

Fernando has a few things to say about the newly announced Oscar changes, so he’s compiled his thoughts and created a video to discuss why he doesn’t agree with these changes the Academy are going to introduce.

What are your thoughts on the new changes? Do you agree with Fernando?