Tag Archives: halloween

Tricks and treats

Age: 16 1/3 months
I like: Saying no, chocolate digestives, indie rock of the angry feminist persuasion, sitting in boxes and drawers, riding my trike – sometimes sideways, boobs

In the last week the O family has experienced both tricks and treats, which of course ties in nicely with Halloween. Read more…

HALLOWEEN MOVIE REVIEW: Final Destination (2000)

In honour of Halloween Mr O and I have been watching cheesy late 90s/early 00’s horror movies. I had a brief flirtation with enjoying horror around this era when I was in my late teens. Back then the films were silly and not actually particularly scary and my expectations were much lower so I didn’t realise how bad they all were. The The Ring came along and scared the crap out of me and I stopped watching horror pretty much altogether. I haven’t reviewed any of the films we’ve watched so far because I have reviewed them in the past as part of Film Friday but it turns out I have never reviewed Final Destination.

Read more…

Film Friday #284: Halloween special

I pretty much only watch horror movies once a year because they really aren’t my thing and that’s in the lead-up to Halloween. So here we go… my 4 horror movies for the year.

Hush (2016)

Deaf mute writer, Maddie (Katie Siegel) lives on her own in a remote house in the woods where she is working on her latest novel and struggling with the ending. As she works into the night a masked man (John Gallagher Jr.) stalks her but he’s going to get a lot more than what he bargained for. Read more…

Film Friday #253: Halloween Special-ish

So I was totally going to watch 4 horror movies this week for Halloween Film Friday but then I got super busy and I only watched like three… so this is 3/4 of a Halloween special…. which is more horror movies than I’ve watched for the whole rest of the year so um… go me? Read more…

A belated Halloween post

So I know Halloween was like four days ago but I couldn’t resist posting some pictures of my costume. My book club decided to meet on Halloween so we agreed to come as book characters. I was Alice in Wonderland… but dead.

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The cool thing was that we had a fancy dress competition at work as well so I got to wear this awesome look all day. Unfortunately I didn’t win because I was pipped to the post by a homicidal nun.

Post book club we headed to a bar called Project Orange, where Mr O and some of his band members were hanging out. I think the two of us make a frankly terrifying couple.

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Poor Mr O had some trouble getting all the fake blood off but fortunately since he recently started working at the London Dungeon, he probably has one of the few jobs where it’s okay to look like you’ve been on a murder spree.

Film Friday #204: The Halloween Edition

I am not generally a fan of horror movies, which is something that probably became very clear in my answer to The Oracle of Film’s Question of the Month. However it feels like Halloween is a time of year to put prejudices aside and take one for the team so I have watched and reviewed four horror movies purely for your titillation (yes, Eric… I said tit). I have tried to mix it up by going for one comedy horror, one found footage, one modern classic and one what the actual fuck was that. I hope you all enjoy it because I am probably not going to watch anymore horror movies for a whole year!

Sinister (2012)

Ethan Hawke plays, Ellison Oswalt, a true crime writer who had one major hit ten years ago. Since then he’s been looking for the next big thing and when a family is hanged in their backyard apart from one child who is abducted, he thinks he might have found it. Ellison uproots his wife (Juliet Rylance) and two children, Ashley (Clare Foley) and Trevor (Michael Hall D’Addario) and moves them into the house where the murder happened… without telling them the history of their new home. While exploring the house, Ellison finds a box full of old 8mm home movies, which depict a series of murders which seem to be related to the hanging. As he investigates further, throwing himself into his work, strange things start to happen in the house – including increasingly strange behaviour from Ashley and Trevor. Is there a killer on the loose or is there something much more sinister underway? What I liked about Sinister was that time was taken to build characters you could care about and to develop a story line that was mostly coherent and cohesive. It was also really quite unsettling, not resorting to endless jump scares. You spend more time freaking out about what might be about to happen than what is actually happening. Hawke plays Ellison as a man so desperate to recapture his former glory that you can imagine he would keep watching the terrible videos without alerting the police. Ultimately the ending was a bit meh though and the “monster” was less scary than the idea of him. Not bad. 3.5/5

Ashley's new playmate was not mom approved

Ashley’s new playmate was not mom approved

Idle Hands (1999)

Anton (Devon Sawa) lives to smoke weed, hang out with his friends and watch as much TV as possible. Unfortunately his right hand has become possessed by the devil and is trying to kill everyone. That’s about the extent of this completely unfunny, unscary snoozefest. I am trying to think of a good thing to say about this but the best I can manage is that Sawa’s hand movements really do make his hand look like it’s possessed. Pity his face acting doesn’t live up to it. Idle Hands also features a young Jessica Alba sporting a hideous mushroom-like haircut that I also happened to sport in 1999. The shame. Her character’s sole purpose appears to be to parade around half naked while lusting after Anton for unfathomable reasons. There is one scene where she seems simply incapable of resisting her desire to shag him despite the fact that he is filthy, covered in blood, stinks of weed and he can’t stop waving his hand around. She doesn’t even react negatively when he tries to strangle her while they’re making out. I also couldn’t understand why Anton’s friends, Mick (Seth Green) and Pnub (Elden Henson) come back from the dead after he kills them. He kills his parents and they don’t come back. I can only imagine this was made by a fourteen year old boy with a similar audience in mind. Avoid. 0/5

What do you mean my hair looks fuggly, you're the one who looks like he's been dumpster diving

What do you mean my hair looks fuggly, you’re the one who looks like he’s been dumpster diving

House of 1,000 Corpses (2003)

While on a road trip, two couples come across a gas station with an attached amateur theme park. The creepy clown-painted attendant (Sid Haig) shows them around and tells them the legend of Doctor Satan, who supposedly performed loads of dodgy experiments on people and was hanged from a tree out in the woods. Of course the blokes want to go and check it out but the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and they’re forced take up the offer of a sexy hitchhiker (Sheri Moon Zombie) to seek shelter at her house. What they don’t realise is that she and her family are all complete hillbilly psychos and it’ll be a miracle if any of them make it out alive. I have to admit that this film was probably wasted on me. I didn’t get the point of all the weird visual effects and I found the endless ranting of the family patriarch (Chad Bannon) annoying… but not as annoying as Sheri Moon Zombie’s laugh. Maybe I’m missing something but it was all a bit too weird and off the wall for me. 1/5

I'm ready for my close-up

I’m ready for my close-up

Scream (1996)

A masked killer is stalks the sleepy town of Woodsborough on the eve of the anniversary of Sidney Prescott’s (Neve Campbell) mother’s murder. There’s nothing particularly complex about the plot of this modern slasher classic but what makes it stand out is the way it self-consciously plays on all the typical horror movie tropes following, and occasionally breaking, the rules that seventies and eighties slashers all seem to be based on. It’s like a fan love letter to the genre. I have probably seen it about fifty times and I bet most of you have as well but I am still not going to spoil by telling you the twist. What I will say is what also helps Scream stand out is its great characters. Sidney is a tough yet vulnerable heroine that you can root for and she’s backed up by a brilliant turn from Courtney Cox as a bitchy, cut throat reporter called Gale Weathers. Even Skeet Urich (what happened to him?) is suitably charming/creepy as Sid’s boyfriend and David Arquette makes a great rookie deputy. An absolute must watch for any movie fan, whether you love horror or not. 4/5

Hey baby... wanna spoon?

Hey baby… wanna spoon?

Halloweenies

I know it’s now the 4th of November and Halloween is old news but I couldn’t let the season go by without at least a little post of my activities. On actual Halloween Mr Osbiston and I decorated some pumpkin cookies… although worryingly his looks a little bit too much like a certain dictator…

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On Friday, Jen had a Halloween house party. I was a zombie, Mr Osbiston was a steam punk Lestat and we had visits from The Invisible Man, an alien and Chucky…

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Our final Halloween activity was a party at Tracy’s house with a twisted fairy tales theme. This time I was Evil Riding Hood and Paul was the wolf in granny’s sexy lingerie. Jen came as Gretel, witch hunter and we had another murderous Gretel along with her Hansel and the Queen of Hearts. As per usual, my make-up scared the shit out of several people en route…

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Film Friday #153: Halloween special

Since it’s Halloween next week, I figured a themed Film Friday might be in order. I am not normally a fan of the horror genre, mostly because I am a giant wuss and I get freaked out really easily but because I take this blog very seriously, I have bitten the bullet and watched four actual horror movies… well two of them are horror comedies, but they still count, right?

Grabbers

On a small island off Ireland, where nothing ever happens, there’s not much police work to be done. So when, plucky Garda Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley) arrives, heavy drinking local Garda Ciarán O’Shea (Richard Coyle) is none too pleased. At the same time weird creatures appear to be attacking the townsfolk, forcing the two Gardas to work together. With the help of a straitlaced English biologist (Russell Tovey) they figure out that the creatures don’t like the blood of drunk people meaning that they’ll have to get the whole town wasted until the authorities arrive, but fighting off giant tentacled monsters is not as easy as it looks when you’ve had a skin full.  This film is in equal parts ridiculous and hilarious and overall rather a lot of fun but really not very scary at all. 2.5/5

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So what you’re saying is that we all need to get really pissed? What’s the catch?

Tucker and Dale vs Evil

After spending all their money on a deserted cabin in the woods hillbillies, Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are excited to spend the weekend there doing it up. What they didn’t bank on was that a group of college kids would be camping in the same woods on the same weekend. When Allison (Katrina Boden), one of the college hotties, falls into the lake while the two best friends are fishing, they come to her rescue but the college kids immediately get the wrong idea and mount a rescue. As more and more misunderstandings occur, the college kids begin to die in gruesome ways leaving the two friends with no choice but to defend themselves. This clever twist on the murderous hillbilly trope is really funny and Tucker and Dale are so endearing that you can’t help but love them. Also loads of fun but not at all scary. 3/5

There's something stuck in the wood chipper

There’s something stuck in the wood chipper

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

This iconic zombie flick thrusts us straight into the action with the plague already underway. Two soldiers (David Emge and Ken Foree), a pilot (Scott H. Reiniger) and his girlfriend (Gaylen Ross) manage to escape in a helicopter and take shelter in an abandoned shopping mall. Here they secure the surroundings and build a sort of a life for themselves attempting to fight off the creeping boredom and claustrophobia. But they’re not the only ones who want access to all the supplies that the mall contains and soon they have more to contend with than just the ever-present threat of zombie attack. Dawn of the Dead is less about zombies and more about what happens to people in isolation. It also manages to be remarkably clever for a zombie film. A classic. 3.5/5

I'm feeling a bit blue today

I’m feeling a bit blue today

Drag Me to Hell

Christine (Alison Lohman) is a loan officer struggling to get a promotion because she finds it tough to say no. When her boss challenges her she decides to deny a gypsy woman (Lorna Raver) an extension on her mortgage, the woman attacks and then curses her. Christine then has her fortune told and a spiritualist (Dileep Rao) tells her that in three days an evil spirit called the Lamia (or Llama or Labia or something) will drag her soul to hell for eternity. Now Alison must find a way to escape the curse before it’s too late as more and more weird things start to happen around her. There are a few good jumps in this and although it has moments of silliness, it’s relatively watchable and Christine is a heroine you can root for… and I have learned never to cross a gypsy. 2.5/5

SURPRISE!

SURPRISE!

The four horror movies of the apocalypse

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It’s ten days to Halloween and over at The Cinematic Katzenjammer they’re having a blogathon called The Four Horror Movies of the Apocalypse. The details are as follows:

“This October-long event is not only inspired by but also challenges everyone to come up with four movies that define the end of it all, each representing one of the horseman of the apocalypse- Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death. Keep in mind, while the title is The Four Horror Movies of the Apocalypse, they do not necessarily need to be horror movies. Just make sure in your piece to focus on the horrific parts of the film and how it relates to each horseman.”

And here is my entry:

Pestilence

Ashley-Judd-horror-actresses-7054672-1400-924The film: Bug (2006)
Directed by: William Friedkin
Starring: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon
Lonely, isolated waitress, Agnes (Ashley Judd) meets Iraqi vet, Peter (Michael Shannon) and allows him to move into her motel room with her. He soon convinces her that the room and both of them are infected with bugs that were implanted by the army and the government. Before long Agnes is completely immersed in Peter’s paranoia and becomes convinced that the outside world out to get them. As Peter’s conspiracy theories wear away at Agnes’ very self, the couple physically hack away at their bodies trying to find the ever more elusive bugs. If any film ever epitomised the term “claustrophobic” this is it. The truly horrific element of this particular “pestilence” is that it’s all in their heads.
“Dr. Sweet: Bugs are a fairly common delusion among paranoids… Bugs, spiders, snakes… spiders. You haven’t had any snakes, have you?
Agnes White: You’re the first.
Dr. Sweet: Have you at least entertained the idea the bugs are a delusion?
Agnes White: How do I know you’re not a delusion?
Dr. Sweet: Touché.

War

3900802_idz-i-patrz--idi-i-smotri--1985The film: Come and See (1985)
Directed by: Elem Klimov
Starring: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Lauciavicius
This Belarusian World War II drama is one of the most intense and relentlessly dark and harrowing films I have ever seen. It follows the story of child soldier Florya (Aleksei Kravchenko) as he joins the Byelorussian resistance fighting German invasion. Kravchenko is incredible and his portrayal of Florya’s loss of innocence is note perfect. Probably the best and most disturbing war movie you will ever see. The scene where German soldiers ransack a village and burn the residents alive in a barn will stay with you long after the credits have rolled. Not a horror movie but horrifying none the less. And just to add to the relevance (in lieu of a quote), the film’s title is from the Book of Revelations, referring to the summoning of witnesses to the devastation brought by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Famine

photo-Terreur-Dread-2009-5The film: Dread (2009)
Directed by: Anthony DiBlasi
Starring: Jackson Rathbone, Hanne Steen, Laura Donnelly
College student, Stephen (Jackson Rathbone) is surprised but pleased when charismatic classmate, Quaid (Shaun Evans) offers to assist him with his dissertation and suggests a study on fear. When Quaid volunteers to be part of the study, Stephen discovers that Quaid is plagued by terrible flashbacks from an incident in his childhood and it soon becomes evident that his obsession with fear goes far beyond the limits of their project. Dread is a pretty below average horror film but it does contain one brilliantly disturbing “famine” element, where Quaid chains his strictly vegetarian classmate to a radiator, leaving her with no food except a piece of raw steak to see at what stage she’ll crack and eat it. I won’t lie to you, there are maggots.
“Cheryl Fromm: I grew up in a small town in upstate New York. My mom worked at the local supermarket and my dad… and my dad worked at the… at a meat packing plant about 20 miles outside of town. They’d slaughter cattle there and supply our markets with corn-fed organic beef. And he’d work late. And by the time he’d get home, my mom would always be asleep. I’d lay there on my pillow and… listen to the sound of his boots walk to my bedroom door. I don’t know if my mother just pretended not to know what the fuck was going on or if she was just too weak.
Stephen Grace: You don’t… you don’t need to do this.
Cheryl Fromm: But what I remember the most about it was the way… the way his flesh smelled when he’d come home from work. This heavy, metallic smell that would follow him home from the plant… like warm blood on the grass… cold fat in the freezers. I can hardly stand to look at a piece of meat now, let alone think about eating it.

Death

Beetlejuice-2The Film: Beetlejuice (1998)
Directed by: Tim Burton
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton
After discovering that they are dead and their house has been sold to a new family, Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis) attempt to haunt the new residents in order to get their home back. Unfortunately they’re not very good at haunting or reading the death handbook so they enlist the help of ghost for hire, Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), to help them out but he doesn’t exactly have their best interests at heart. This is a really interesting take on death and what might happen to us after we pass on. I love the concept of death being just as endlessly bureaucratic as life is. Plus Michael Keaton is hilariously creepy as the decomposing Beetlejuice. This is Burton at his best.
“Juno: Okay, have you been studying the manual?
Adam: Well, we tried.
Juno: The intermediate interface chapter on haunting says it all. Get them out yourselves. It’s your house. Haunted houses aren’t easy to come by.
Barbara: Well, we don’t quite get it.
Juno: [knowingly] I heard. Tore your faces right off. It obviously doesn’t do any good to pull your heads off in front of people if they can’t see you.
Adam: We should start more simply then?
Juno: Start simply, do what you know, use your talents, practice. You should’ve been studying those lessons since day one.

Happy Halloween!

After the debacle with our tickets for Halloween weekend, we couldn’t face staying home. Very fortunately, my lovely friend, Tracy, was having a house party and was kind enough to allow last minute guests. It also meant that it was time for last minute costumes.

I think Jen and I did quite well.  Here’s Jen as an extra from The Walking Dead. I might have had just a little too much fun teasing her hair though.

Braaaaaaaains…

I decided to put my best make-up skills to the test and come as a tattoo.

Inspiration

My interpretation

Fortunately we managed to get Karen and Paul along for the ride…

Pink punk!

Need anything measured, luv?

And a good time was had by all. Possibly too good a time. Jen and I managed to drink more than enough gin for five people.

I spent Sunday remembering why I don’t really drink anymore. Urgh… Happy Halloween, kids!

Life’s no fun without a good scare

I am somewhat concerned by the fact that I was more comfortable in my Halloween costume last night than I am dressed like a normal person. Unlike many of the Halloween revellers we saw out there, my costume was most certainly not cute. I painted my face like a skull, put on a dishevelled back wig, painted fake blood across my throat and coming out of my mouth and then fashioned a Goth style dress out of a skirt, top and bra. My intentions seem to have served me well since I managed to frighten not only a number of small children but quite a few adults as well. Is it possible I got too much into character?

I think our journey from Earlsfield to Limehouse provided entertainment for quite a few travellers. I suppose part of it was down to the nature of our outfits. I was walking around with my bra out, Kelly was a Playboy Bunny suicide, Barb was a very saucy witch and Candice was a slinky kitty. Boys stared. A lot. One even came and draped himself on me telling me I had the most beautiful breasts he had ever seen (how suave). Unfortunately his girlfriend didn’t seem to think so. As they exited Canary Wharf we watched the beginning of the carnage and giggled… a little. Here we are all regaled.

The occasion was not only Halloween but also Fi’s birthday. I have to say that I ADORE her house. It has this mad funkiness about it that makes me feel very much at home. Fi and flatmates had gone to town with the décor and everything was draped in cobwebs, bloody handprints, spiders and pumpkins. The whole house was packed with people in mad outfits including Hilton – the Stormtrooper, Don – The Mummy and Tino who was a Knight To Remember complete with giant penis… don’t ask.

The night descended into drunken randomness and I bounced around with a cup of vodka cranberry talking to anyone and everyone before realising that it was 4 am and even zombies get sleepy. Happy birthday, Fi. It was the best Halloween ever!

Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King

I took the tube all the way home yesterday. Not something I am usually inclined to do but there were huge problems with the South West Trains line that runs through Wimbledon and I was not risking spending half an hour in a scrum at Waterloo. On the trip from Earls Court to Southfields I had the absolute pleasure of standing next to the Girls Of The Playboy Mansion… 45 years on. There were four ladies in their 70’s sitting on the tube, all made up to the nines and gossiping like mad about their husbands, going shopping and meeting up for lunches. They giggled incessantly and eventually parted with one telling the others not to overdo it on the weekend. They were absolutely fabulous. There truly is hope for the future.

Of course today is my favourite day of the year… Halloween. Not only is it the day where everyone embraces their inner ghoul but it’s also the birthday of one of my favourite people. The fabulous, Frank Iero (drumkit clambering, make-up wearing, tattoo bearing My Chemical Romance . It is without doubt the coolest day possible to be born on. In fact Frank is so proud of his birth date that he has the word Halloween tattooed across his fingers. Frank is not the only person lucky enough to have a birthday on All Hallows Eve, it is also the lovely Fi’s birthday and we will be heading to Limehouse tonight for a bit of a celebration. I have decided for the first time to deviate from dressing as the devil and this year I am merely going to be… dead.

I missed the glory of a Halloween birthday by less than a week. Yes, that’s right kids… I will be 28 on Thursday. For the first time in recorded history I have not had a pre-birthday meltdown. Normally just before my birthday I go into a black bit of despair and feel absolutely morose. This normally lifts just in time for the party, which I am usually threatening to cancel. I wonder what is different this year. I can’t say I am excited to be turning 28. Every year is an inch closer to 30… which just doesn’t sound cool. It’s not so much that I fear aging… it’s more that I wonder how much longer I will be able to get away with dressing and behaving like a kid before I become a bit of a loser. I already regularly stand at gigs and wonder if everyone is looking at me and shaking their head.

Of course it is not quite time to grow up yet, which Kelly, Barb and I proved last night. Kelly was cooking a big dinner and Barb and I decided to keep her company. A couple of bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz got involved and the next thing we were blaring Pendulum and dancing like absolute idiots. I think the boys and poor Michelle (who is a walking zombie at the moment because she is working on the opening of Westfield) were somewhat puzzled.

Our interwebzes at home are broken so I can’t do research for obsessions at the moment. There might not be blogs over the weekend if I can’t get BT to fix it tomorrow. Grr! Wish me luck.

She’s got such hot legs

I am pleased to report that my shower has been fixed and is back in use. It was most definitely worth being booted out of my bathroom for a week because I now have shower doors that close smoothly and tightly… previously the doors were falling off the runners and often they wouldn’t seal on the sides so water would fly out. The cracked tiles are also all gone, the damp and cracks have been repaired and painted over. For me it’s like having a new bathroom… and for Mich hopefully no more mini-floods every time I decide to get clean. Now if the landlord would just fix the walls, the collapsed floorboard in the hall and the kitchen cabinets and give us a new fridge, we’d be on the road to success.

Right now the biggest pro is that I will be able to shower and keep my tattoo out of the water. I had forgotten how small the downstairs shower is. If you are in it with the door closed all of you is getting wet… end of. My shower is bigger and so I can stick my leg out of the water apart from when I am cleaning it… I intend to celebrate the new bathroom by dyeing my hair… and praying that I don’t turn all the new grouting red! Schwarzkopf have introduced a new even oranger shade of the range I use… Hayley Williams hair, here I come!

Speaking of the tattoo… it is still very much in the gross stage. The excess ink is still coming out and it is very red. Oh and if anyone needs a hot water bottle I am happy to rest my leg against them for warmth. My body is, of course, trying very hard to heal the inked area and so it’s radiating heat.

Today’s obsession is The Nightmare Before Christmas. This claymation gem from the mind of the always bizarre Tim Burton feels like a walk through my imagination. The story goes behind the scenes of “Halloween Town” where the weird, mismatched, nightmare characters spend their time preparing for 31 October and making each Halloween scarier than the year before. The problem is that their top scarer, Jack Skellington is becoming a bit disillusioned with frightening people. When he accidentally ends up in Christmas Town and sees the festivities, he sends his minions to kidnap “Sandy Claws” so he can hijack the holiday. Unfortunately the other Halloween residents don’t really “get” Christmas and things go horribly wrong. Added to this we have a gorgeous love story between Jack and “Frankstein’s Ragdoll”, Sally and a deliciously creepy soundtrack. To be honest, I prefer Jack’s version of the festive season so if it were up to me we’d have Halloween on Christmas every year!