Paul Recommends: Scary Movies for Halloween

Hey guys! I just wanted to quickly re-introduce my movie buff of a friend Paul, you may remember him from his reviews of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and The Diary of a Teenage GirlSince Paul is such a huge horror movie fan (he’s been trying to convince me to watch some for YEARS) I thought it’d be fun for him to recommend some ‘scary’ movies that’ll be perfect to watch this Halloween. So without further adieu, I give the floor to Paul!


So I love Halloween, and what better way to celebrate it than by binge watching a bunch of horror films?? I love scary movies, when they’re good at least, and I think this selection will provide enough scares for you and your friends or family. While these are some of my favorite horror movies, I specifically picked these because I think they fit the holiday perfectly and they aren’t the ones that you typically read about on similar horror movie lists, for example I tried to steer away from movies like “The Shining” and “The Exorcist” because everyone knows these movies are great. So please, come with me on this adventure of movies, thrills, and…. MURDER!

*Least extreme to most extreme in terms of violence, blood, and terror!*

the haunting

 

The Haunting (1963)

The Haunting is a classic ghost film about a group of people who decide to stay in a supposedly haunted house. There is no blood and gore but it really plays with suspense. This is a movie that while dark will probably not give you nightmares.

Spooky level: 6 Gore level: 0 WTF level: 2

Total: 8

 

dracula

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

This is another movie for those of you who may not enjoy scary movies. While this movie isn’t scary per say, it is definitely spooky and the cinematography is very beautiful and haunting. Add creepy performances by Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder and you got yourself one sexy vampire movie!

Spooky level: 4 Gore level: 4 WTF level: 4

Total: 12

 

housebound

Housebound (2014)

This Australian gem is a recently discovered fave of my sister and me. It is SO friggin creepy. But another great thing about it is that it is a comedy as well as a horror film. This is a movie you should see if you and your friends want to have a bloody, scary, and hilarious evening with a twist you never saw coming.

Spooky level: 5 Gore level: 6 WTF level: 7

Total: 18

 

the orphanage

The Orphanage (2007)

This Spanish film is excellent. The first time my family and I saw it, my cousin and I had to walk around the house together because we were so creeped out. Make sure to watch with the subtitles because in my opinion something is lost when you watch with the English dubbing. This is a movie you should see if you want to watch a well done ghost film that is also a poignant story about a mother searching for her missing son.

Spooky level: 8 Gore level: 3 WTF level: 7

Total: 18

 

you're next

You’re Next (2011)

This is a masterpiece. It works on so many levels. This is something you MUST see with a group of people, if anything just to see everyone’s reactions. It is basically a home invasion movie where the characters actually try to fight back. It’s like the horror of “The Strangers” met the high jinks of “Home Alone” and did a bunch of cocaine. Splendid.

Spooky level: 4 Gore level 8.5 WTF level: 7.5

Total: 20

 

 

REC

REC (2007)

Another Spanish film, “REC” is probably the best found footage movie I’ve ever seen. It’s also one of my favorite zombie movies. This is a great movie for you if you really like intense movies about dire situations. Also, it is even better than “Quarantine” which is the American remake, so watch “REC”. Use the subtitles for this one as well.

Spooky level: 8 Gore level: 7.5 WTF level: 8

Total: 23.5

 

 

the descent

The Descent (2005)

This is also a fun one to watch in a group, because by the end you will all be huddled in the corner of your couch in terror. Trust me, it happens. This film is what happens when cave diving goes wrong. It is so claustrophobic throughout and the creatures that are attacking the characters are utterly frightening. I love this movie so much and really recommend it for your Halloween viewing.

Spooky level: 9 Gore level: 9 WTF level: 9

Total: 27

 

evil dead

Evil Dead (2013)

Oh my lord, this movie is effective. This was the movie I showed for my friends last Halloween and it was such a rewarding experience. The reactions varied from my sister saying it was a movie to watch for fun to a friend saying it was the scariest movie they had ever seen. The scares definitely come from the extreme gore that takes up almost every scene. This is basically the Joan Rivers of horror movies in that it doesn’t believe that there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. Definitely a great party movie but also a good one for just group of two. Check it out, I personally like it better than the original.

Spooky level: 9 Gore level: 10 WTF level: 10

Total: 29

 

I hope this list helps some of you find a great movie to celebrate the upcoming holiday. Have a safe and scary Halloween everybody!!

Scream Queens Saturday // Chainsaw, Haunted House, Pumpkin Patch

scream queens cast

Hello everyone and welcome to Scream Queens Saturday! This is a weekly post where I will be sharing my thoughts and predictions of Fox’s latest show Scream Queens. If you’re a fellow Screamer please feel free to leave comments with any thoughts or theories you have as well!

Unfortunately I haven’t been keeping up with Scream Queens Saturday for the past two weeks- but I’m back now (: For this post I’m going to do a quick run down of what has happened in the past three episodes as well as discuss my thoughts and theories. However, for the upcoming weeks I’m thinking of shaking things up a little and start doing character profiles and maybe even a ‘deep analysis’ of a certain scene- what do you guys think?

Some of the major discoveries that were made are:

♦ There are two Red Devils

♦ Gigi is the Hag of Shady Lane

♦ Gigi is also an ally of the Red Devil

♦ Chanel #5 is beginning to stray from the Chanels

♦ Hester aka Chanel #6 is plotting to ‘take over’ Chanel’s life, including her boyfriend and title as president of KKT

♦ Denise believes that Zayday is the killer

I have to admit, at this point the only thing I was right about was the fact that there was more than one red devil. There has been so many unexpected twists and turns that I no longer know what to expect anymore- I can only assume that people are either going to be killed or betrayed.

I guess the only thing I can guess is that Boone is somehow involved with the red devils, if he isn’t one himself. I also believe that Gigi is smarter than she acts and is also involved- but I don’t think she puts on the suit herself. It’s so frustrating not having any idea what’s going to happen next or who is going to die, but it does keep me on my toes!

What do you guys think of the past three episodes? Any theories? Please comment any thoughts below (:

Scream Queens Saturday // Pilot – ‘Hell Week’

Scream Queens

Hello everyone and welcome to Scream Queens Saturday! This is a weekly post where I will be sharing my thoughts and predictions of Fox’s latest show Scream Queens. If you’re a fellow Screamer please feel free to leave comments with any thoughts or theories you have as well!

*I know today isn’t Saturday but for the sake of this post lets transport back in time and act like it is 😉 *

This past Tuesday, September 22nd, I rushed to do all of my homework and chores so I can watch the two hour premiere of Scream Queens live (which is super rare since I literally record everything). As you can see in my previous post, I have been anticipating this series for months! You can only imagine my excitement when the show started, I think I might have squealed…

As much as I’d love to go over every single detail of the premiere I’m just going to go over my ‘experience’ watching the show as well as my overall thoughts, favorite scenes and characters, and theories for upcoming episodes.

While watching the show, I was live tweeting (which is so much harder than I’d thought it would be, how do people do it?!), live texting my friend Tiff, and talking to my sister- who was watching the show with me. After the show I thought it’d be fun to ask them what were their favorite scenes and theories, here’s what they said:

Favorite Scene

Tiff: When Chanel #2 (played by Ariana Grande) was being killed by the Red Devil; the exaggerations were hilarious

Bianca: The blood oath scene with all the Chanels because it was funny and because of the reference to Odin and Loki in Norse mythology

Favorite Character(s)

Tiff: Boone (played by Nick Jonas) and Zayday (played by Keke Palmer)

Bianca: It’s too soon to pick one

Theories

Tiff: Boone and the Red Devil are going to become a thing; the Red Devil could be Grace’s dad trying to get revenge on KKT for letting his girlfriend die in the bathtub (which leads to another theory that the woman who died was Grace’s mom) and because he wants to protect his daughter- she thinks this because the Red Devil had a chance to kill Grace but didn’t

Bianca: The Red Devil is more than one person and Gigi might be one of them because she still helps out with KKT and is keeping the Chanels close by. She also thinks that Pete will *eventually* die

Okay so my turn! Where do I even begin?! Scream Queens was everything I love in a TV show wrapped with a cute, bloody bow. It was hilarious, suspenseful, and full of mystery- the writers did an excellent job balancing the satire with the horrifying plot line. At first I was concerned that the satire was going to be a bit too over the top, but those fears were murdered ten minutes into the show, it was excellent! So props to the writers, I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us.

In my first post I included my theory that I based solely on the trailers and YouTube content I’ve seen. Although my theory that Grace’s mom was the girl who died in the bathtub wasn’t proven, it was strengthened by the fact that this mystery girl gave birth before dying. Another theory I had, although I didn’t include this in my post, was that Chanel #2 aka Ariana Grande was going to be the first to die. Which wasn’t 100% true but she was the first Kappa to die, so I was close! However this theory was solely based on the fact that she’s currently working on an album and was touring at the time they were filming so I figured she didn’t have time to be in every episode 😛

To continue with the little theme I started- my favorite scene has to be when Chanel Oberlin (played by Emma Roberts) made a scene at the campus’s coffee shop when the barista, Pete (played by Diego Boneta), questioned her order for a ridiculous pumpkin spice latte order. I couldn’t stop laughing! I think that my favorite character at the moment is Chanel, I find her both fascinating and hilarious.

In the next episode I think they are going to confirm that Grace’s mom is the person that died in the bathtub. I think we’re going to uncover some more lethal secrets and I think that the Asian girl (can’t remember her name :/) is going to die next.

As for the Red Devil? I agree with my sister, I think that more than one person is the Red Devil and (like Tiff) I believe that Boone is in on it- especially since he wanted to join KKT. I also have this very far fetched idea that could be the perfect plot twist but is highly unlikely. I think that the Red Devil could be Grace’s mom (see: the woman who died), since Boone’s character didn’t really die I’m really suspicious of the death of the girl in the bathtub. Maybe she is super angry at KKT for abandoning her when she needed help and that anger was refueled when she noticed that her daughter wanted to pledge there. What better way to prevent people from hurting your daughter then killing them? I know it’s far fetched, but if you REALLY think about it it’s possible! It will explain why the dean helped ‘hide’ the murder and why she’s suddenly trying to exterminate the sorority…

Okay that’s going to be all for today, I really wish I could’ve dove further into the details but this post is long enough as is! Please let me know what your thoughts were on the first episodes (: Until then scream on!

Movie Review: The Diary of a Teenage Girl

the diary of a teenage girlA Review by Paul Harrington

One day a couple weeks ago, my mother came home and told me about a movie she heard about on NPR and wanted to go see. It was called The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Upon further research I found that it was based on the semi-autobiographical graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner. Not only that, but Kristen Wiig was playing one of the main characters! Ok, now it had my interest. So this past Friday, my mother and I went to go see if the hype surrounding this movie was warranted. And Oh. My. God.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl follows Minnie, played by Bel Powley, a 15 year old girl living in San Francisco in 1974 (coincidentally, my mom was the same age that year, only she lived in Oregon at the time, not California). Minnie, who wants to be an artist, and her sister are being raised by their unmarried mother, Kristen Wiig, who is a very free-spirited individual who loves to party and do drugs with friends, sometimes even with the girls present. While this is a very colorful backdrop for the movie, the actual plot is addressed in the beginning of the film when we find out that Minnie is having an affair with her mother’s 35 year old boyfriend, played by Alexander Skarsgard. From there the film is a whirlwind of sex, drugs, and lies. But at the heart of The Diary of a Teenage Girl is a 15 year old discovering her sexuality in a world where female sexuality is often stigmatized.

I give mad props to Bel Powley. She really steals the show here. I was very surprised to find out that she is actually a 23 year old British actress. She really does have the sensitivity and talent to embody an American 15 year old girl, and because of that, the movie rests on her shoulders. I cannot wait to see where her career takes her. Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard are also brilliant.

At the end of the day, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is not for the faint of heart. It is very blunt when it comes to showing sex and drug use, often going to very dark places as the situation becomes grim. But this is balanced by film’s poignancy and humor, even having some animation which just adds to its’ charm. All in all, I came out of the theater loving this film while my mother came out a little shaken by the material. I would recommend this coming of age movie if you aren’t afraid to see an unflinching depiction of a teenager’s life in the oh-so crazy and splendid year of 1974.

TV Talk: Scream Queens

scream queens cast

 

Yes, you read the title right! I am finally expanding my blog to discuss non-book related things such as TV shows. From now on I will be sharing my latest TV show obsessions, Netflix binges, and any other TV related fixations here and it all starts with my over-excitement for Scream Queens!

Warning: This post is going to longer than average!

As soon as I saw the teaser for this show a few months ago I became instantly obsessed. For those who haven’t heard- Scream Queens is about a sorority with a lethal secret that has been kept quiet for over 20 years. However things begin to quickly change after the dean of the school (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) orders the current sorority girls to accept anyone who wish to join and all of a sudden a string of murders are committed. No one is safe and everyone is a suspect.

 

The cast have described the show as a horror comedy, with an emphasis on comedy, and I’m very excited to see how the writers play it all out. It’s either going to be a disaster or genius, let’s hope for the latter.

goals

♥ The show premieres September 22nd and will be two glorious hours long, my goal is to watch the first episode live and then make a post with my thoughts, predictions, and any other comments I may have.

♥ Every week afterwards I will probably record the show and watch it later on, however I do not want to hoard all the episodes so I will aim to watch them before that Monday.

♥ I will post weekly about my thoughts and predictions for the show as a mini series on my blog. I’m toying with the name ‘Scream Queen Saturday’.

the cast

 

I am absolutely and irrevocably in love with the cast of the show! It’s basically an all star cast and everyone is extremely talented in acting, as well as singing. Which makes me wonder if there will be any singing…

Anyways here’s a quick glimpse of who’s on the show:

♥ Emma Roberts                                 ♥ Keke Palmer

♥ Jamie Lee Curtis                              ♥ Abigail Breslin

♥ Skyler Samuels                                 ♥ Ariana Grande

♥ Lea Michelle                                     ♥ Nick Jonas

Of course there are plenty more people on the cast, but for the sake of this post I shortened it to my personal favorites actors (:

theories

Obviously there isn’t much to go by as of right now but I do have a theory as to why the murders begin at that specific time. At the beginning of the trailer there is a clip showing the firsts mysterious death, presumably a murder. Later on Skyler Samuel’s character is:

  • Reassuring her dad that she was going to be okay when he asked her not join any sororities
  • Determined to rush into Kappa specifically
  • Mentions to a guy that she wants to join to ‘feel closer to her mother’ that died really young
  • Is actively looking around and trying to solve the mystery of the murders

It seems obvious to me that Samuel’s character’s mom is the one who died 20 years before, but then again the timing is kinda off since most people start college when they’re around 18.

I am so stoked for this series to kick off, until then- scream on!

Scream Queen Emma

Movie Review: Paper Towns

John Green is definitely the obsession of this generation. After the worldwide success of the movie adaptation The Fault in Our Stars, which made over 300 million dollars worldwide, Green’s fame skyrocketed even more- turning non-readers into bibliophiles. With the recent release of Paper Towns and the not so recent announcement that Looking for Alaska will join Green’s other books on the big screen, it makes sense that critics and fans are calling him the ‘next Nicholas Sparks’.

Paper Towns is about a high school senior named Quentin. Q lives across the street from Margo, a girl that he has been in love with since they were kids. After years of barely talking, Margo shows up at his window one night asking him to help her do 9 things. Q had the best night of his life and woke up the next day confident that things between him and Margo were looking up, until he discovers that she’s missing. Throughout the movie Q finds clues that Margo left, determined to find her.

The Paper Towns movie was a lot different than I’d imagined it. Although I’d been trying very hard not to read reviews and posts about the movie, I still saw some reactions on Twitter. One thing I noticed was that everyone commented on how funny the movie was- of course the skeptic in me thought that everyone was just hyping up the movie like they did the book so I didn’t pay much attention to those tweets. I went into the theater with relatively low expectations (strangely, I wasn’t very excited for the movie) and I think the low standardIMG_6378s helped me enjoy the movie way more than I’d thought. Everyone on the twitterverse was right, the movie was hilarious, I was laughing so hard during one scene that my face started to hurt.

During the movie I felt as if I was right there with Q, almost as if the huge screen between us had disappeared (a la Harry Potter style) and I can only attribute that to great acting on Nat Wolff’s part. Nat totally embodied the essence of Q- from the way he speaks to the way he stands. I’m not one to comment on people’s acting abilities, since I know zilch about it, but it was amazing how Nat transformed from being a confident, blind teen (as seen in The Fault in Ours Stars) into an awkward, insecure teen in this movie. I have to admit that I had some doubts when Cara Delevigne was first cast, but when Papa Green said that he was very impressed with her audition I knew that we were in good hands. Cara did a great job masking her accent as well as acting, I’m really excited to see her in future films like Pan and Suicide Squad. Overall the movie was super enjoyable and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a funny movie about friendship and ‘finding yourself’.


Warning: You’re now entering a book AND movie spoiler zone. Read at your own risk!

There are very few times when I like major plot changes in movie adaptations, that being said I absolutely LOVED the fact that the writers chose to make the road trip to New York before prom and graduation. When I read that Q not only missed his prom but skipped his graduation I was so angry! He was literally throwing away once in a lifetime moments for a girl that, in the end, didn’t want to be found by him.

Here is a quick list of changes I didn’t like:

  • Angela and Radar having sex…….was that really necessary to add in?!
  • missing Sea World scene
  • missing scene: when Margo buries her black notebook + the story she wrote
  • Q going to all the different ‘paper towns’

I also wanted to throw in how much I loved Ansel Elgort’s cameo! It couldn’t have been longer than a minute but he definitely stole the spotlight with his smile while making the audience laugh at his only line at the same time!

In the end, I really did enjoy the movie- flaws and all. I think it’s a nice break from all the dystopian and fantasy worlds I’ve immersed myself in lately. And I’ll be honest, I’m a sucker for movies about friendship, self discovery, and fun.

Movie Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

A Review by Paul Harrington

I would like to begin by saying that I have never written a review before. However, I am a very annoyingly opinionated person and a medically diagnosed cinephile, so I guess Speedy (you may know her as Ana, but because of the time we shared during our missions in Guadalajara, she will always be Speedy to me) put two and two together and thought “Paul would be great at this!” So please, if you don’t agree with my review, just know that you are wrong and I am right. Here we go…

At first, I was very hesitant to see “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”. I was very worried it was going to be yet another of a long string of mediocre films capitalizing on the success of the YA genre (Lookin’ at you Maze Runner and Divergent, you sons of bitches). I was especially concerned that it was a wannabe cancer drama that was riding on the coattails of a little known film entitled “The Fault in Our Stars”. So when Speedy and I walked into the Boynton Cinemark (which makes the Boca Cinemark look like Dachau, I say much to my chagrin) I didn’t know what to expect. However, when I exited the pride of Boynton, I was convinced that “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” may be one of the best movies of 2015 so far. Thomas Mann stars as Greg, a very socially awkward high school senior and comedic film maker alongside his friend (he actually uses the words business partner to describe their relationship) Earl (Ronald Cyler II). After Greg is pressured by his mother to hang out with Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a classmate who was diagnosed with Leukemia, the two form an unlikely bond and a very lovely friendship blossoms. This is just the basis for the film and the plot does go through changes as it goes on.

What really makes this film work is the chemistry between the characters. I loved listening to their humorously dry banter and the way they interacted on and off their high school campus. Some of the more poignant scenes take place in Rachel’s room where Greg and Earl visit her after school. These scenes really displayed the actor’s ranges and I am very excited to see their work in the future. Another highlight of the film is all the colorful side characters. Most notably, Nick Offerman and Connie Britton play Greg’s parents and Molly Shannon of SNL fame plays Rachel’s mother. These actors really know how to steal scenes and provided some of the best moments of the movie. I was also surprised to see Jon Bernthal from “The Walking Dead” play the badass and quirky history teacher.

Putting the hilarity of the characters aside, what “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is about is struggle. I really found myself identifying with Greg sometimes just because of how he described high school and how rough it can be. Rachel’s deterioration is also very heartbreaking to watch and I would always try to relax by remembering what Greg promised us at the beginning of the movie. What I really found amazing about this movie was how based in the struggles of reality it is. There is no dystopian future, there is no chosen one, hell, there is not even an attractive boyfriend to swoop in and take us all to Amsterdam. There is a realism to this story that I believe everyone can at least partially identify to. I am very happy I saw this movie, and I really hope that some of you find the time to check it out.