Doctor Sleep review “Stephen King is as Stephen King does”

Doctor Sleep posterBook adaptations, who knows how they’ll turn out? My two favorite film series, James Bond and Harry Potter, are both based off of film series, but one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, After, was also based on a book, in the loosest sense of the word. These extend to one of the most prolific authors in recent memory, Stephen King. Currently, he has forty-eight films, twenty five television shows and miniseries, and sixteen others I’ll put under “Miscellaneous”, and they range from amazing (Shawshank Redemption, Misery), to terrible (The Mangler, Cujo) which really made me worried about the latest film to be based off of a Stephen King story, Doctor Sleep.

While it is directed by Mike Flannagan, the director of Gerald’s Game, which is one of the most terrifying Stephen King films in recent memory. The movie had an amazing trailer, was directed by someone with talent, has a pretty good cast featuring Rebecca Ferguson, and is based off of an amazing boo- OH GOD IT’S THE SNOWMAN ALL OVER AGAIN. While I can’t say that Doctor Sleep is a bad movie, I don’t think it’s close to the best Stephen King adaptation. Not to sleep on the matter any further, let’s get into Doctor Sleep. Continue reading

Retro review – The Shining: Stanley Kubrick’s almost masterpiece

The Shining movie posterIn the words of Stanley Kubrick himself, it’s easy to make a good film, difficult to make a great one, and it takes a miracle to make a masterpiece. For many, The Shining (1980) sits firmly in that third group, a true masterpiece both of the horror genre and cinema at large.

You can imagine my excitement then, when I heard that my local Cineworld were hosting a limited screening of the remastered director’s cut of the film. Having been thoroughly terrified by The Shining during my first viewing well over 10 years ago, and with the upcoming release of its sequel Doctor Sleep only days away, I relished the chance to recapture the terror of the Overlook Hotel in remastered 4k. Continue reading

The Shining: Horror Movies Explored

The Shining movie posterEliciting horror in film is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult tasks a director can take on. Meticulous planning in camera, lighting and pacing and so much more go into leaving an impression on the audience. As a huge fan of horror, I recently gave The Shining a watch, one of the undisputed champions of the horror genre.

Although it lived up to its reputation as being scary as hell, I was left scratching my head by the end of it. I couldn’t pinpoint why I found it so scary. There weren’t any jump scares or tense music cues to reveal an ugly monster or any other conventional horror means of scariness. Continue reading

Best Movie Easter Eggs: Top 5

The best movie Easter eggsSo, it’s Easter Sunday and no doubt everyone will be chowing down on some frightfully delicious chocolate eggs over the course of the next few weeks. Cadbury, Nestle, Mars; all the big names in chocolate must make an absolute killing in the run-up to Easter, especially in the UK: people go mad for it as soon as Christmas is over.

Of course, the movie industry is full of Easter eggs too. Not in the literal sense of course, that would be just ridiculous. No, I’m talking in the figurative sense. After all, an Easter egg in a movie, TV show or game isn’t about munching on chocolate, it’s about finding something hidden by the producers, the developers or the directors that only the very hardened fans notice.

With that in mind, I’ve trawled through the archives to find five movie Easter eggs that are simply scrumptious. I could’ve gone for “eggcellent” there but I thought that would be one Easter pun too many. From Toy Story to Harry Potter and to Star Wars, read on for a voyage of discovery (in no particular order). Continue reading

5 Alternative Christmas Movies for Those Who Hate Christmas

Alternative Christmas MoviesHas the endless tirade of Christmas television and forced familial interaction done some serious damage to your peace, love and goodwill to all men?

Does the idea of indulging in festive cheer make you throw up in your mouth a little? Boggled by the insidiously universal embrace of bad taste, baubles and brussel sprouts?

If you answered yes to any of those questions then you probably have nothing but a cold, dark and empty chasm where your heart should be and that’s okay. I do too. Therefore I know that if there’s one thing you hate more than pulling crackers and extended family, it’s a good old paint-by-numbers, schmaltzy Christmas film. Continue reading