“A triumph of social horror” Get Out review

Get Out review: by Rob Stoakes

UK certification: 15

14886217_1040838869357950_851251975_nSocial horror is a dying genre, and no it’s not how I feel when I awkwardly try to interact with other human beings. No, horror where the scary aspect comes from or inspired by a societal issue. When communism was about there were tonnes of them, like The Thing, Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and any of George Romero’s films.

Now, though, it seems like when the Berlin Wall fell it took this subgenre with it, and now all we have is that rubbish Straw Dogs remake and A Serbian Film, where the commentary on nationalism and European film culture is kind of hard to focus on when the main character puts his <censored> in the <censored> drugged while his son’s <censored> with an eye socket. Also, really cool beards. However, the genre could rise again like the undead, at least if we get some more films as good as Get Out. Continue reading

“Put the horror back in horror” Lights Out review


Looking back on it, I’m not so sure that I liked It Follows as much as I thought I did. While it is tense and much smarter than the average modern horror, there’s not much in the way of scares and it’s got a very ho-hum anti-climax.

Aside from that really good beach scene, it’s mostly an inferior version of Under The Skin. And yet if you read reviews or went on the internet, It Follows was the Second Coming of Horror Christ. The Witch was pretty similar, a film I enjoyed but thought was just good being lauded as a masterpiece. Why? Continue reading

MM Top 5: Movie Franchises

Counting down the biggest movie franchises of all time was never going to be an easy task. It is one of those things that you should never enter into lightly; after all, there are so many different ones to choose from; picking just 5 and putting them in order of greatness is not an easy thing to undertake. However, after all the waiting, it’s finally done. Here, are the 5 greatest film franchises of all time. Shall we begin?

5. Halloween 1978-2009


The only horror franchise on this list enters in at number 5 but only just made the final cut. A toss-up between Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street is the reason why, but the Michael Myers franchise lucked out – partly because of its superior sequels and better direction. Another, perhaps more poignant reason is because of that chilling  score and that iconic mask. Halloween has had some truly awful entries in its history, Halloween: Resurrection anyone? But there have been some highlights and the 2007 reboot was a fantastic way to recapture the magic of the 1978 original. The series started all those years ago but remains popular to this very day.

4. James Bond 1962-present


There is no denying that the digits 007 will go down in history, but do the films associated with Ian Fleming’s numbers stack up? Well they definitely make it into the top 5, but only as far as number 4. Numerous celebrities have played the iconic spy over the years with Daniel Craig continuing his incarnation with a third film, Skyfall, which became one of the most successful films of 2012 across the globe. Sean Connery started the proceedings in 1962 and the franchise has gone from strength to strength ever since. The series as a whole has grossed over $5billion at the worldwide box office and remains perhaps THE most iconic film series of all time. However, it most definitely isn’t the greatest.

3. The Lord of the Rings 2001-2003

Lord of the Rings

Peter Jackson became a household name in 2001 with his take on J.R.R. Tolkien’s three outstanding novels. When the first film was released it received near universal acclaim from movie-goers and critics alike, cementing its place at the very top of the movie chain. The second film was received with perhaps a more  mixed response but still did nothing to detract from the phenomenon. By the time the third film was released the series had become one of the highest grossing of all time and earned a spot in the hearts of movie-goers across the world. Therefore, it takes the bronze medal on this list.

2. Jurassic Park 1993-?

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

Steven Spielberg is widely regarded as the king of blockbuster cinema and his effort in 1993 made sure that everyone knew that; it grossed over $900 million at the worldwide box office and remained the highest grossing film of all time until 1997, when funnily enough its successor was released. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Jurassic Park II which stole the crown; it was the highly inferior snooze fest that is James Cameron’s Titanic (awaits the impending boos).  Whilst the two sequels that followed (1997: The Lost World; 2001: Jurassic Park III) failed to capture the magic and delight of the original, they still

provided the same blockbuster entertainment that pleases the masses. Jurassic Park is the epitome of everything that can be done right with a paper thin script and cardboard characters. Yes the story is lacking and yes the characters are thinner than Tesco value paper; but it didn’t matter, it was all about those terrifying Velociraptors and that staggering T-Rex rampaging across the screen. The effects in all three films still stand the test of time and each film will have a place in the heart of fans the world over. Now, with film number 4 due for release in 2014, the franchise is hopefully being given a new lease of life. Jurassic Park and its sequels changed the way films were made and that is why it deserves a silver medal in my Top 5.

1. Harry Potter 2001-2011

Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone

Here we are, the franchise which I believe has had the biggest impact across the world. It has to be, without a doubt, the Harry Potter saga. It all began 11 years ago with director Chris Columbus taking the reins of what seemed to be another children’s film. Did anyone really know that the biggest movie franchise of all time was brewing? I think

for the most part, no was the answer. Harry Potter, like Jurassic Park changed the way we look at films forever and all 8 of the films have remained at least of a good standard. Of course, with any saga spanning so many movies there were bound to be a couple of lapses and thankfully here there were only a couple. Film number 2 and 6 were perhaps the worst of the bunch but they all created memories in the minds of those going to watch. In 2011, it all came to an end and a void was left without a new franchise to fill it. Will a phenomenon like Harry Potter ever come about again? In my opinion, the answer is no. This is why the biggest movie franchise of all time takes the gold medal in this list.

An honourable mention must also go to the following film series’ that nearly made it into the Top 5, but, for one reason or another just missed out on a coveted place. They are as follows:

  • The Alien franchise
  • The Toy Story franchise
  • The X-Men franchise
  • The Spiderman franchise
  • The Indiana Jones Franchise


How do you feel about my Top 5? Did Harry Potter deserve to take the top spot or was another franchise more deserving of the gold medal? Leave a comment below!