Geen categorie · TV-series

The Haunting of Hill House (2018) no spoilers!

When it comes to Netflix movies or shows, usually it goes either way for me. Either it’s really good or incredibly bad. I’m never able to find the middleground.

Recently Netflix uploaded a new Horror Series called ‘the Haunting of Hill House’ based on the novel by Shirley Jackson. A spooky ghost series about a haunted house and it’s inhabitants. Get ready to be spooked!

Summary

The Haunting of Hill House revolves around the Jackson family. Hugh, Olivia and their five children; Steven, Shirley, Theodora and the twins Luke and Eleanor (shortened to Nell).

Olvia and Hugh are house renovators. They buy a house, fix it up and then resell it for more money. Hill House is the next project. A large mansion standing on a hill surrounded by a forest in a secluded area. The idea is to fix the house during the summer and hopefully sell it by then so the children can start school again in September.

The house is already taken care of by the Dudleys, a family who has taken care of the house and worked for the previous owners. The Dudleys however don’t stay on the property after dark, because they claim it to be unhealthy and to dangerous.

The family soon experiences weird things, especially the mother and the twins but pretty soon the other children (except for Steven) and Hugh have their own experiences with the unnatural. Beginning from simple spooks such as scratch noises to loud bangs and eventually entities appearing and haunting them.

Good night, baby girl. Sweet dreams…

One night something goes immensely wrong and Hugh takes the children away in the car, leaving Olivia behind for unknown reasons.

‘Why do I have this feeling that I forgot something?’

Review (no spoilers)

What makes this series so intriguing is that it switches back between the present and the past (the past being when they lived in Hill House).

In the present we see the kids as grownups, it’s with their own respective problems and issues varying from anxiety, addiction and loneliness to pretending to live a happy life. Each of them are drawn back to that house. No matter where they are the house won’t let you go….

‘We still haven’t sold the house…’

The series jumps perfectly from present moments back to past moments. Each episode is dedicated to either one person of the family and sometimes the complete family, which makes this a pretty well filled 10 episode series.

The scares in this series are brilliant. As a horror fanatic I don’t scare that easy but this series had me on the edge of my seat multiple times, sometimes even hiding my face into the shoulder of my significant other.

The bent-neck lady

Conclusion

If you love horror and are looking for a new series I suggest you give this one a try. It was highly enjoyable from start to finish. It is a series you have to pay close attention to because otherwise you might lose the clue to the ending.

The cast is brilliant, from the children to the adults. They did a really good job. Michiel Huisman, plays adult Steven, did a very well job hiding is Dutch accent. Being Dutch myself and an English teacher, I tend to criticise Dutch actors quickly but Huisman did a great job at sounding American and not Dutch at all (unlike Carice van Houten in Game of Thrones).

The horror elements and ghosts are a treat as well. The decor and makeup was top notch.

To conclude. I rate this Netflix series a 9 out of 10.

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Board & Video Games · Geen categorie

Star Realms, deck building game.

You guys know Raistlin right? You do? Yeah I thought you did, how could you not? (But if you don’t, here is the link to his blog. Raistlin).

Last weekend we had a gaming day, I have to say day because we started around noon and stopped playing around 10 p.m.

Raistlin is a friend and colleague my boyfriend and every now and then we play boardgames together. Sometimes with another colleague and friend.

This Saturday, Raistlin brought the game Star Realms with him. A game I did not know. It turned out to be pretty great so get ready to read a review about this fast paced deck building game. Spoiler alert…I won.

Star Realms

As I mention Star Realms is a deck building game. It starts with a core set which you can expand with more sets and expansions, giving you the opportunity to play from 2 to max. 6 players.

The game is set in outer space (hence Star Realm). The object of the game is to destroy tour opponents.

Everyone has 50 points and once you bring this down to zero, you win the game. (Side note: I won).

You play the game on a mat which contains 7 squares. One for the scrap deck (where destroyed cards go), the trade deck (where the cards you can purchase are) and 5 squares where you place cards from the trade deck in order for you to purchase.

The game has 4 factions with their own respective colours:

  • The Trade Federation (blue)
  • The Blob (green)
  • The Star Empire (yellow)
  • The Machine Cult (red)

Each faction has their own pros and cons but collecting a certain amount of one type is the key to beat your opponents quickly and with heavy blows (I won).

The cards have various icons, the yellow circles with numbers in the upper right corner means the price ro purchase them.

The red circles with a number represent the attack damage you can do to an opponent.

The shields in the lower right corner represent protection. If it’s a black shield it means you have to destroy that card before you can do damage to your opponent. The grey shield means you can avoid destroying the card and hit your opponent directly. But this can be tricky as that card might be very powerful and actually gives the opponent bonuses for either attacking or purchasing.

Conclusion.

The estimated game time for this game is 20 minutes. It took us about 2 hours to finish. We were all very polite and made sure we were equally losing points instead of destroying each other with a few blows.

None the less this game was amazing. Easy to play and so much fun. Definitely a recommend if you like to play board games or deck building games.

Also…did I mention that I won the game?

9/10 stars for Star Realms.

Geen categorie · Movie Reviews

Slender Man (2018)

We’re nearing the end of October and so far I have seen a couple of horror films but haven’t reviewed any of them!

I know, shocking, me a horror fanatic without a horror movie review during the month of Halloween.

But that is going to change, because today I am writing a review for a highly anticipated movie. One that horror game fanatics have been waiting for.

Slender Man.

For those of you unfamiliar with the gaming world or specifically the horror gaming genre, slender man the movie is based on an Indie game.

Back in 2012 (not that long ago actually) Mark J. Hadley created a game known as Slender: the eight pages. Where the goal is to collect 8 manuscripts scattered around in a forest. Each page you collect draws the creature nearer. Sounds simple enough right?

Well the thing which makes the game scary is the combination of music, static noices, darkness and of course jump scares. It is the recipe for a good horror game even if it is incredible simple.

After the first Slender game, more versions were created and after 6 years a movie was finally based on the folklore of Slender-man.

Now no worries, no spoilers for this movie. The movie revolves around teenagers summoning the Slender man. Thinking it’s all a game or a joke and of course it turns out to be anything but. Slowly one by one the four teenagers encounter this horror, a creature with no face dressed in a suit.

After the first girl goes missing the other 3 girls try to look for ways to bring her back. But will they or will they succumb to the creature?

The conclusion

It all sounds like a standard recipe to make a horror movie, doesn’t it? To me this means the movie could have gone either way, either with a brilliant bang or a lousy fart (yes, I said fart).

I had high hopes for this movie as I enjoyed the Slender games. You can probably already guess the outcome of my conclusion.

This movie sucked. I really did not enjoy it. Sure a good jump scare here and there, but oh boy…the movie was lame. Not to hate on the cast, I thought they were okay. The story is what sucked.

One thing which also annoyed me to my very core, is that the Trailer of this movie contained a couple of scenes which never made it into the movie. How lame is that?

Very disappointing overall.

I rate this movie a 4 out of 10 stars.

Geen categorie · Movie Reviews

Solo, a Star Wars story (2018)

* cue brilliant John William music*

You’ve got to love this man, he made so many iconic soundtracks and the Han Solo soundtrack and Star Wars OST is no difference.

But I’m not here to bore you with my taste in music. I’m here to review the latest Star Wars movie, or prequel to all the others and focus point on our favourite outlaw pilot. Han Solo, or as the movie is called;

Solo

Summary (no spoilers)

This Star Wars story takes us back to the origin of Han Solo. Living on Corellia as a thief, Han is busy finding a way to get off the planet together with his girlfriend Qi’ra (originality in spelling right there…).

Han enlists in the army (the empire) in order to become a pilot. After 3 years he manages to get out and join a couple of bandits on heist in order to collect money so he can get back to Corellia to find Qi’ra. Along the way he meets people we all know from the Star Wars franchise, including some new friends.

The plot is about how Han ventures in the world of thieves and outlaws, how he actually came to be Han Solo and how he met some of our beloved characters.

The movie also shows just how closely Han already was with being involved with Jedi’s, the Sith and the Force itself. Seeing hints and hidden easter eggs is always fun when watching a prequel.

Sunmary with spoilers!

After Han found his ticket off the planet, he and Qi’ra get seperated at the border. This is where he enlists into the Imperial army in order for him to eventually get back to Corellia to retrieve his girlfriend. This is also the moment where Han gets his name. As Han has no family the enlister names him Solo, and so Han Solo is born.

Three years later Han fights on the imperial side and meets Beckett (Woody Harrelson, great bloke). Beckett is not a member, but an infiltrator, along with his partner Val (Thandie Newton, brilliant woman) and an Ardennian named Rio (voiced by Jon Favreau, another legend).

Han wants to join them, but they initially betray him to the Empire and Han gets thrown into a cage to be murdered by an unknown creature. This creature turns out to be our favourite furry friend, Chewbacca and thus the famous duo is finally together.

Han gets out with Chewy, impressed by this Beckett allows the two to join him on his current heist.

Things go wrong obviously, half the crew dies and the coaxium they were suppose to obtain is destroyed. Beckett goes back to the man who hired him. This is where Han is reunited with Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke, mother of dragons) who is very surprised to see him there.

In order to make up for failing to obtain the large quantity of coaxium, Dryden Vos orders them to try again but this time Qi’ra comes along to make sure they succeed.

In need of a ship, Han and Qi’ra meet with Lando who is known for having one of the best ships in the galaxy. After losing from Lando, they make a deal offering him 25% of he coaxium if he helps them. He, of course, accepts. Along with his robot, L3, they head out for the coaxium.

Beckett warns Han that there is one thing he should always realize and that is to trust no one.

This is, in my opinion, the main theme from there on. Everyone betrays someone at one point and in the end those Han thought to be his friends all turn their backs on him. Except for Chewy, who is the most loyal companion one can have.

The movie ends with Qi’ra having betrayed Han and killing Dryden Vos. She makes contact with a Sith we all know too well and if you haven’t seen the Star Wars Rebels cartoon series, you are in for quite a surprise who this Darth is….

Conclusion

I really enjoyed the Solo movie. I mean I’ll be honest that the beginning was better than the ending. But overall it was not a bad movie. It’s not easy to fill an iconic role played by one of the most iconic actors known in the franchise, Harrison Ford (bless him). But I think Alden Ehrenreich did a good job, at least when it comes to the behaviourism we know Han for. Looks wise, he did not resemble Harrison that much in my opinion, but it didn’t ruin the movie at all for me.

Lando was a great cast as well, he truly resembled the original Lando in every way possible.

Overall I rate this movie a 7 out of 10.

Geen categorie · Movie Reviews

Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom (2018)

*Que John William Jurassic OST*

Gosh, I do love a good movie soundtrack and this one is a classic, epic and brilliant one.

I doubt this song really needs an introduction as I am sure you all have seen at least one of the Jurassic Park or World movies.

But you are not here for the music. You are here for a review (I reckon). To not further dawdle, here is my review on the latest movie in the Jurassic franchise.

Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom.

Summary (no spoilers)

The 5th installment in the franchise, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom brings you back to Isla Nublar where the once dormant volcano has become active again.

The island, which once was the tourist attraction featuring real life dinosaurs , is falling apart. Now the question is should the dinosaurs be saved by humans or be subjected to their own survival?

The movie stars Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt as Claire and Owen. Claire has been asked by Mr. Mills who is the representative for Mr Benjamin Lockwood (former partner and co creator of Jurassic Park and he dinosaurs with Mr. John Hammond) to save the dinosaurs and transport them to a new location.

Claire calls for the help of Owen. She needs him because he has a bond and can control the Velociraptor named Blue (the last Velociraptor on the island). Owen eventually agrees and together, with two of Claire’s coworkers, they head to the island accompanied by an army to get the dinosaurs to safety.

With limited time to save the dinosaurs, the two heroes find themselves in a predicament. Can they get out before the island is covered in lava and who is the real friend or foe on this island? Men or dinosaur?

Summary with spoilers!!!!

The movie begins with the army already collecting dinosaurs of the island. Of course as expected things go wrong. Really wrong….

And some dinosaurs escape the island.

The country is currently divided wether or not to save or kill the dinosaurs.

We are greeted by an old friend from the Jurassic Park movies, Dr. Ian Malcolm (it’s great to see Jeff Goldblum back in the franchise). Ian states it was wrong to recreate the dinosaurs as they should have stayed extinct. As we all know him and John Hammond never saw eye to eye regarding the cloning of dinosaurs and the creation of Jurassic Park.

Depsite his opinion and the government agreeing with him, thus not interfering with Isla Nublar, other people are helping the dinosaurs.

Claire and Owen along with the army start collecting the dinosaurs for Mr. Mills, who works for Dr. Benjamin lockwood. But soon they find out the dinosaurs are not being transported at all to a new island but back to the mainland where they will go up for sale as weapons to the rich and powerful.

Whilst on the island the volcano has reached its highpoint and the entire island starts to erupt on several locations.

Many dinosaurs are killed by the lave, falling debris or drowning as being forced into the ocean (it was really sad…I cried during that part).

Owen and Claire make it back to Lockwood manor, where the dinosaurs are brought.

Through the help of his granddaughter, Dr. Benjamin Lockwood (who is old and fatally ill) find out what his representative Mr. Mills is really up to. But before he can put a stop to it he is murdered.

Meanwhile we meet another familiar face, namely that of Dr. Wu. Who was one of the scientists in the 1st movie. He is back and helping Mills vreate the perfect and ultimate murder weapon. A Velociraptor mixed with the DNA of the Indominus Rex (also a hybrid from the 4th movie).

This creature, called Indoraptor (congrats with that incredible iventive name… very original…) is a true murder weapon. Of course it escapes and wreaks avoc during dinosaur auction night in the manor.

In the end the bad guys die and the dinosaurs are let loose, free to roam the earth.

What will happen next?

In 2021 a 6th movie is expected to show in theatres but what the plot shall be…we can only guess.

Conclusion

I do love the Jurassic franchise and though none of the new ones can ever replace the 1st movie, this one wasn’t that bad.

Okay, there were some mistakes in the film regarding timing, contradicting statements and goofs. But all in all it was a good film. In fact I liked it more than Jurassic World (4th movie).

One comment though on the who is this granddaughter storyline (spoiler she is a clone…), I thought that was really unnecessary to include in this movie. It didn’t add anything in my opinion.

The quality of the cgi regarding the dinosaurs was great. They were lovely.

Overall conclusion I rate this movie a 7.5 out 10.

Geen categorie · Movie Reviews

Hereditary (2018)

Well hello there friends! It has been too long!

It has, I apologise for my absence. Work has started again (I’m a teacher) and as you know the first few weeks are always a hassle.

But I did have a great Summer holiday, so now I am back!

So let’s not dawdle and begin with one of the many horror movies I’ve seen during the Summer. Perhaps you’ve seen it and hopefully you will agree with me that this one is worth to be called a good horror film.

I am talking about… HEREDITARY

*clacks tongue*

Summary (no spoilers here)

The story revolves around the family Graham. Annie, Steve and their son Peter and daughter Charlie.

Annie makes a living as a miniature artist (which I thought was pretty awesome). The movie starts with her mother dying and her funeral. Annie makes a speech about her relationship with her mother which was simply non excistent, though she lived in her daughter’s house before her death. They had spent many years before that not talking and having basically no relationship at all.

A few days later after the funeral, Steve gets a call about his mother-in-law’s grave having been desecrated. He decides not to tell Annie.

Meanwhile the only person who seems a bit hurt about grandma’s death is Charlie. But Charlie seems more worried about death itself than her grandmother.

Soon things start to happen in the house. Annie starts to see her mother in her workshop and when another accident befalls the family, slowly everyone seems to be losing their marbles.

Extended summary (with spoilers!!!)

Charlie is a bit of an odd child at first glance. She clacks her tongue (like a tick), stares a lot, but she loves to draw (which she does during the funeral), is allergic to peanuts and sleeps sometimes in her treehouse. Okay perhaps it doesn’t seem that odd.

After the funeral she starts seeing a light every now and then in her room. She cuts the head of a pidgeon with a pair of scissors after it died from flying against the school window. She takes the head back home.

Annie starts to see things too. Images in her workroom but she brushes it off.

Peter (the son) doesn’t seem that fazed by it all and he just lives his life smoking weed with friends and having fun.

The movie takes a twist. I mean a real twist!Peter goes to a party and he has to take Charlie with him. He tell her to have fun, mingle (she is only 13, he is 16) and even have some cake.

Bad idea as Charlie has a peanut allergy. She gets a allergic reaction to the cake and Peter has to rush her off to the hospital. Driving through a bad lit country section, Charlie gets worse and she sticks her head out of the window to try and breath. Peter accidentally swerves to the right and BANG!

She hits a wooden lampost full frontal, cutting her head clean off (I decided to not include a picture of it as it is too gruesome).

Peter gets into a shock, but manages to get home and crawl into bed. The next morning he wakes up to his mother’s screams as she finds her headless daughter’s body in her car.

After this more weird stuff happens. From talking to ghost, to people catching on fire, bugs crawling on your face, wall walking and posession.

In the end only one person survives and it might not be who you suspect at first.

Conclusion

The more I thought about the movie once it had ended, the more I started to understand the plot and why it ended the way it did. Because it is a tricky ending to grasp, but once you get it you can go “oh yeah, cool” or “why…?”

What I loved about this film, something they did really well was the emotional suspense near the end.

Usually in horror movies when someone is possessed they appear out of nowhere, even though you expect them to already be in the room. You might think you see a shadow but it’s nothing in the end.

In this movie that person is literally in the room and you can see them there! Lurking over a door, standing in a corner. Hanging on a wall. The shadow is there but they move. It was done so well! Something I’ve been wanting to see in a horrir film for a long time.

To conclude, this movie is a must see in my opinion. Not to buy, but at least see it once. It carries the ghost horror element really well.

I rate this film an 8 out of 10.