Thursday, 30 October 2014

The veil is getting thinner

I love horror films, but I'm picky about them. I hate the killer rampage slasher style movies (I know, let's split up to look for the serial killer!), and one's that rely on cheap effects like things jumping out every two minutes. Last night I watched We Are What We Are, an absolutely perfect film up until the final 15 minutes. It was beautifully atmospheric and compelling, reminding me in many aspects of Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in The Castle. Then it suddenly dwindled into typical modern horror movie cliches.

As it's the season, I thought I'd share some of my favourites to binge watch at, well any time of year to be honest.

The Craft (1996) - I know, I know. Tumblrs favourite. I've been obsessed with it since I saw it round a friend's house in 1999. The magic of it has never worn off. I know it's far off the point of the film, but I always feel like I want to live in their world. It's about a group of misfits at high school who practice witchcraft in their spare time (a fictional variation of Wicca.) New girl Sarah comes along and completes their circle of north, south, east and west, enabling them to get up to all kinds of mischief. There's no gory violence - it's more like a Halloween version of Clueless - so it's worth checking out if that stuff makes you queasy.

The Addams Family (1991)  - Who doesn't love The Addam's Family? I'm adamant that this is the very best version with a flawless cast - Raúl Juliá (I love Raúl Juliá, check out all of his other movies if you can), Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci, Anjelica Huston. It does not get any better than this.

Beetlejuice (1988) - Obviously. You can't go wrong with most of Tim Burton's pre-2000 filmography. The Nightmare Before Christmas is another seasonal favourite although I think of that one more as a Christmas film. When Michael Keaton's good he's brilliant, and this film is proof of that. Fun fact: Lydia Deetz was my style queen when I was teenager. I even copied her spiky fringe - daily.

Rosemary's Baby (1968) - This is one of my all time favourite films. It so perfectly builds up the sense of quiet unease, and I love how ambiguous it is right up until the end - is this woman mentally ill or are the old people next door really out to do her harm? I also love that it doesn't look like your typical horror film, with it's pastel candy coloured palette and achingly stylish '60s decor.

Repulsion (1965) - Another Roman Polanski film, it's seen as being part of an "apartment trilogy" and closely linked with Rosemary's Baby. This was before Polanski made it to Hollywood, and goodness is it tense. It stars Catherine Deneuve as a woman who's suffered through sexual abuse, and left to her own devices she begins having hallucinations as her past comes back to haunt her and she descends into madness. It may not be your cup of tea, so tread carefully.

Martyrs (2008) - This is a French subtitled film, and it's violent. I hesitated to put it here for that reason. I first heard of it from one of my closest friends who remarked how shocking it was, and intrigued I saw it. I found it incredibly uncomfortable viewing, to the point where I felt distressed. But afterwards I couldn't stop thinking about it, and I ended up watching it again a few weeks later. It's not a film to watch regularly unless your some sort of sadist, but if you can stand the gore I'd give it a go. Once you get past the emotional reaction it really has a lot of intelligence to it. It will make you think and ask questions for a long time after.

And you of course can't possibly go wrong with any of the classics - my personal favourites are anything starring Béla Lugosi or Lon Chaney (Sr), or Tod Browning's movies.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Hollywood infected your brain

Outfit Details:
Everything 1960s vintage

A few posts ago you may remember I mentioned that I'd been to a vintage fair and picked up some treasures? Well here's two of them! I wasn't too sure of the yellow crimplene dress when I first saw it. I fell in love with it's coloured smocking and beagle collar but I wasn't convinced I could wear such a bright yellow. I'm very olive skinned and sometimes yellow clothing picks up on my yellow skin tones, making me look like an extra from The Simpsons. But this shade is surprisingly OK! I'm so glad because I love these bright yellows from the era. The jacket is probably one of my most favourite vintage finds to date - if only it fit me better! It's fine worn like this, but I have no hope of ever doing it up with my ample bust. The '60s weren't terribly kind to girls of an hourglass figure.

These past couple of days I've had the house to myself, which means I've had full charge of the 50" internet TV in the main room. It doesn't have a DVD player so I never normally take any notice of it as I'm not a great lover of TV shows. So it wasn't until the second day I realised the possibilities that lied in it being an internet TV. I immediately signed up for a free trial of Netflix and have spent the last two days holed up with a duvet and cups upon cups of coffee. UK Netflix pickings are rather slim, but I did watch Disney's Tarzan, Melancholia (a film I'd wanted to see for ages and was sorely disappointed with), Pretty in Pink (can you believe I'd never seen it before?), The Addams Family, Mystic River, Milk. It really reminded me just how much I absolutely fucking love movies. Like, so so much. I haven't taken much time to watch films lately and it completely reignited my passion. My own TV is a paltry 18" which felt fine before, but now I can't help but sneer in it's direction. I'm currently saving up to move, which now feels ever more paramount as I cannot to wait to see what's the biggest TV I'll be able to fit into my new home so I can repeat the experience to my hearts content.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Must be the season of the witch

October, one of my most favourite months. The month autumn is finally in full swing, which means beautiful oranges and golds strewn throughout nature and the mild weather turns truly chilly giving me an excuse to overindulge in hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts, apple tea, and cinnamon everything. It's the time of year I actually get interested in vegetables, this year even feeling drawn to trying pumpkin (I know that might seem surprising but squashes just aren't popular here. Nor native.) Also with Halloween at the end of the month it means I can relish in all things macabre and spooky and be up to my ears in horror without getting the side eye.

One of my favourite tracks, a haunting instrumental piece based on Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story and just perfect for the season. You can read the story here.

Currently listening to The Parlour Trick on loop.
Currently watching old Béla Lugosi movies.
Currently reading anything by Stephen King or Shirley Jackson. I recommend Skeleton Crew and We Have Always Lived in the Castle as personal favourites (although you can't go wrong with any of them).
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