Monday, 4 April 2016

Top 10 best made films of all time.

The top 10 best made films of all time.

A list of the best made films, in my personal opinion.

1. The Shawshank Redemption.

One of the best films I've ever seen and been able to study at college; I'd never seen it before I began studying it for Emotional Cinema this year, but I love it. I wouldn't say it's predictable at all, and the acting is unbelievable.

2. Forrest Gump.

One of the most heartwarming films I've ever seen, I remember the first time I saw it I watched it about five times that week. It's a long film, but it's worth the watch. An unbelievable story and Tom Hanks' performance was definitely worth the multiple Academy Awards and Golden Globes.

3.A Clockwork Orange.

Definitely one of the strangest films I've ever seen, and I have only seen it once. But it's brilliantly made, and had to make it onto the list for how incredible it is. The acting and the mise en scene made this film what it is, because otherwise the storyline would be extremely difficult to pull off and be able to have made it's name as a cult classic.

4.Shutter Island.

Again, very strange film, but 10/10 for best plot twist I've ever seen. Probably been said a million times, but Leo should have got an Oscar for that performance. Like I've said for most of the others, unbelievable performances from all of the actors.

5. The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Just the making of these films is unbelievable, and one of the best book to film adaptations in terms of capturing characters and setting. The mise en scene for these films is absolutely amazing, and even if you find the genre boring, it's worth a watch purely for how its been made.

6. Whiplash.

Fell in love with this film when I saw it, and it instantly made me want to be really cool and talented enough to play an instrument, but no, I'm just not that good. I am adore Miles Teller, so that was a bonus anyway, but the intensity and the relationship between Teller and Simmons was insane. One of the best made films (obviously, it's on the list) in terms of acting that I've ever seen.

7. Pulp Fiction.

I've talked about this film before, and how brilliantly made it is, and that's exactly why it's on the list. Most Tarantino films are fantastic in terms of cast, narrative and mise en scene, but this one in particular just shines out to me. The editing especially, just makes the film such a pleasant viewing experience and it's one of the best films I've ever had the pleasure of watching.

8. Gone Girl.

Another crazy film with a crazy plot twist. The storyline in this film is immensely entertaining, and the acting is unbelievable, especially for Ben Affleck. Neil Patrick Harris also breaks his typecast, and that's shocking, yet amazing to watch.

9. The Help.

I very nearly bawled my eyes out at this film, the performances were stunning and I haven't seen a more influential film since this one. Such a powerful film, and definitely something everyone should watch.

10. Jurassic Park.

Even though I've watched it so many times it's not exactly thrilling anymore, there's no denying it's brilliantly made, especially for it's time with a pretty original storyline. The performance from the actors was fantastic too, and made the film all the more scarier when I was young.

Gender in the horror genre: Hard Candy

Gender in the horror genre and the final girl trope in Hard Candy (David Slade, 2006).

How gender stereotypically represented.

Within the horror genre, men are almost always presented as a killer or monster, or a just as powerful masculine figure, such as a police officer or detective. The men are always the ones to try and save the final girl, even though they often die themselves, but if not, they’re usually the killer of the monster threatening the female victim. This is so that females appear weaker, and in need of men to help them survive, which is why the final girl trope is occasionally seen as a positive for women in the film industry, as she overcomes evil and survives. However, women in horror, especially friends of the final girl, are very often killed for partaking in sexual activity, or drinking and smoking, and are also very often unclothed in their death scenes, in order to give a male gaze and sadistic viewing experience for a male audience. On the other hand, in some films women are the killer, and in lots of films where the monster is un-gendered, they use vagina dentata or phallic imagery to give the monster a gender. In films like Predator, the monster is a vagina dentata, and even in Alien when the monster is phallic, there is still vagina dentata in the structure of the monster, and the aliens are in fact a mix of both. But going back to my previous point about girls being killed for ignoring vices of the final girl, such as being sexually active or taking drugs and alcohol, they're also often killed whilst being sexualised or unclothes. My point is proven clearly in the opening of Halloween, it makes it clear what can get a girl killed in the horror genre, especially because the boy who she had sex with had walked away unharmed and it shows a clear example of the tropes in traditional horror films and where they stem from. 

Hard Candy: enigmatic horror film.

It could be argued that the film doesn’t have a final girl, and I personally agree; Hayley was never a victim of Jeff’s, she only let him believe that, she was always in control and never threatened by Jeff, so despite having some traits of a final girl, like being sexually unavailable and avoiding drugs, she can’t really be seen as the only survivor from the killer, since technically, she is the killer. Obviously this is untypical, and so are the gender roles within the film which add to it being an enigmatic film within the horror genre in terms of gender. The roles are completely switched from a typical horror film, because, in a nutshell, the paedophile is the victim, being tortured by a fourteen year old girl. As well as this, the killer in the film never actually kills anyone, she is clever enough to make Jeff kill himself, without ever actually having to harm him. However, it could be argued that she is a modern day version of the final girl, as she takes a complete twist on the typical character, yet is still technically a final girl. 

Hayley's dynamic character.

Hayley is dynamic in her appearance, especially for the main female character within a horror film. Geena Davis’s Institute of gender in the media shows that within the film industry, 36% of teenage girls are sexualized, whereas only 32% of adult women are sexualized and within this film, Hayley isn’t sexualised once, which is usually a key part of horror, that the main girl at some point is undressed, sexualized and/or vulnerable. This is yet another reason why the film could be seen as enigmatic, as Hayley (Ellen Page) takes on a diverse female role. Due to Hayley not being a stereotypical female in the film, she has to take on other roles and her main role is taking stereotypical male roles for the genre and doing them herself. Her brains and calm being during the whole situation, like mentioned before, are typically male in the genre, as well as her ability to do typically male actions, like tying a noose or performing surgery. As well as this, the investigative role that she plays, is typically a male role, as they’re normally the hero in the form of a police man or detective. After completely emasculating Jeff, like previously mentioned, and her boyish style, combined with her intelligence and calm manners during intense situations, she takes on many typically male traits, which further distances her from a typical final girl in horror films. It could be argued that it's a negative gender representation because of her taking on male roles, however the fact that she's able to take on different gender roles and be multifaceted is definitely a positive in my opinion.

Jeff's dynamic character.

Within the media, and horror films, men are usually the dominant figure, and this is different in Hard Candy, as Jeff is portrayed as weak and has a lack of control from the start. Men are either the powerful, invincible killer, or the hero who saves the weak female lead. However. in this case the male lead is portrayed as weak, being made to beg or his life and tortured to the point he breaks down all his own walls and tells his own story of childhood abuse. Due to him being so weak, the audience might also start to sympathise with him, which is what makes the film so controversial and dynamic. The paedophile murderer, is presented as the victim, and completely emasculated when Hayley performs a fake surgery to castrate him, causing him to beg for his own life, which is very unlike a male in a horror film, as screaming and begging for your life is a female trait in the horror genre. Jeff’s character is the complete opposite of a generic lead male in the horror genre, as he lacks any form of power or masculinity.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

TOP FIVE: TV shows.


American Horror Story.

Even though the latest season (Hotel) isn't on Netflix yet, it's still worth a watch. Each season keeps the most of the same cast, but they play different characters in different periods of time or places. My favourite season up to date has to be Freakshow or Murder House, but Freakshow definitely was a bit too gorey and was more over the top than the other seasons. Murder House was the first season, and I've watched that twice now because I enjoyed it that much. The second season was Asylum, which is confusing and strange at times, but the main storyline definitely makes it worth watching. Third season was Coven, and it seemed very stereotypical teen TV programme, almost Sabrina the Teenage Witch like, but I did still enjoy it. Freakshow, like I said, was my favourite; the characters and casting in this season was absolutely perfect. I haven't watched Hotel yet as it isn't on Netflix, but it looks amazing from what I've seen on Tumblr and Twitter.

Sons of Anarchy.

I've almost finished this show, and I can honestly say it's one of the best shows I've ever seen. It's not generic, predictable or cringey; I am constantly being surprised by it, and it's even made me tear up once or twice. I won't give out any spoilers for it, but it follows a man who's father owned a motorcycle club, but has now died and the gang has turned to other ways to make money besides just working at a car garage. It's hard to explain too much without spoilers, but it's worth the watch.

The Walking Dead.

I absolutely adore this show, and I have ever since I first started watching it. Some seasons were pretty slow, I do admit, but it's always worth it. I have cried sooo many times! The casting in this show is unreal, honestly; most characters fit the appearance and personality of the ones in the comics. And if you've read the comics, the storyline does differ so there's no spoilers there. I've lost count of how many seasons there is, but it's still going strong and just keeps getting better in my opinion. If you do want to watch it it's available to watch on Amazon Prime.


I watched the entire two seasons of this show in the space of a week, and the only thing I regret is not taking my time because once I was done I felt so lost without it. It's not a  very well known show, as it's an Amazon original, but it's amazing. I'd recommend getting the a free month trial of Amazon Prime just to watch it. The story line is brilliant, and it cross cuts an entire families story lines and each persons struggles. The main character is a trans* man, who finally comes out to his family and everyone else really late on in life, and it shows the struggles of being trans and/or gay in often upsetting, but fairly realistic ways. I wouldn't want to give out too many spoilers, but it's quite emotional at times and often very funny.

Orange Is The New Black.

I think almost everyone who has seen this show loves it, and I can see why - it's fantastic. It's hilarious, gritty, entertaining; it's almost everything you would want from a TV show. It follows a woman called Piper who finds herself in an all women's prison, and as the series go on, you discover other inmates back stories, why they're in the prison and who they are. And even though it's about an all women's prison, the casting is so varied and fits each character perfectly. The shows only downfall is, in my opinion, that as you learn so much about other characters, Piper becomes less likeable and you end up finding favourites in less major characters. But maybe that's just me.

Friday, 1 April 2016

TOP FIVE: Horror Films.

TOP FIVE: Horror films.

Like the 'top five' posts I did before, this is my top five horror films, which will fit into all different sub genres of horror, and could possibly not be considered horrors to some, but personally, I'm categorising all of these as horror. 

(AGAIN, no particular order.)

1. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014).

I watched this film for the first time quite recently, and it has just the perfect amount of "scary" for it to be enjoyable, and leave me able to sleep comfortable that night. I love the fact that it's a new idea, and not something I've seen before. Many horror films use social fears and present them in the form of a monster, like The Hills Have Eyes or Eden Lake. Yes, vampire films could also be said to be a metaphor for societies fears of STI's and the spreading of them, but I feel like this film is done so differently, and  I like that. Although, the ending was ambiguous and felt like it was cut short. Despite the ending though, I would definitely recommend watching this if you're looking for an unpredictable horror film.

2. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980).

Like I said in my Top Five films post, I adore this film and Nicholson's performance is absolutely fantastic. It's a wonderful portrayal of Stephen King's book, and definitely something to watch if you're wanting a classic, or simply something different.

3. The Amityville Horror (Andrew Douglas, 2005).

If you didn't guess from my Deadpool review (I did try to be subtle), I am in love with Ryan Reynolds, and his performance in this film just makes me love him even more; the intensity of his character is insane, and causes me to watch this remake of the 1979 original over and over again. This is a film for those who like to be scared, and it always makes me jump, time after time.

4. The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014).

This film is one of the most terrifying horror films I have ever seen! I've only been able to watch it full throughout once, and I genuinely struggled to sleep without seeing figures in the dark corners of my bedroom. Honestly, it's terrifying, but the storyline is enigmatic and worth the watch. Despite the young boy being extremely frustrating to watch at times, he redeems himself eventually and makes the film worth watching.

5. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991).

An absolute classic! There isn't much to say about this one, as I like to rudely assume that everyone has seen it due to its mass following and popularity. It follows a detective played by Jodie Foster who seeks help from Hannibal Lecter, and despite my personal disliking to Foster, I could watch this film over and over.