Top 10 Halloween (Horror) Movies

October is ending, and that brings with it the most entertaining and thrilling night of the year… Halloween!!

I am a sucker for scary movies. I love to not being able to look under my bed at night or walk down the hall to my kitchen to grab something at 3 in the AM. I get great pleasure in getting jumpy at the slightest of sounds after I’ve seen a few good horror scenes of a horror movie.

This got me thinking about curating a list of my top 10 Halloween flicks that I have enjoyed over the years. So skip the cinema and have yourself your very own thrill fest with these gems…

                                                                Hocus Pocus (1993):
I remember I saw this one when I was 6 or 7 and it left a huge impact on me in my formative years.  I know it is a bit Nickelodeon/Disney but if you haven’t seen this, you’re not doing Halloween right.

   Donnie Darko (2001):

It’s not your average “Horror” movie; it’s on a different tangent all together.  With the right script and cast, this movie is a cult classic in psychological thriller category. Watch it and try to contemplate what happened…I dare ya!

      Nosferatu (1922):

Kids these days don’t know what the real vampires were suppose to look and do to a mere human (thank you Twilight). Thankfully, we have classic cinema to teach them a thing or two about the actual vampires, you know, how Bram Strokes originally imagined it to be.

   The Amityville Horror (1979):

Oh boy! The best horror movies are those that are inspired by real life events. This is the best example of it. The infamous Amityville Horror is a Halloween treat and a spine chilling movie to enjoy with (or without) family. See what I just did there 😉 You’ll understand when you watch this.

    The Changeling (1980):

A haunted house, a vindictive ghost and Martin Scorsese’s stamp of approval, need I pitch this more?

     Orphan (2009):

What you see is not what you’ll get in this thriller. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you about what goes down in this 2009 thriller/drama. See it to figure out what I’m talking about.

     The Craft (1996):

What happens when four beautiful Catholic school girls decide to run the world on their terms? It’s a more creepier version of Mean Girls to say the least.

     The Addams Family (1991):

My list won’t be complete without mentioning this “all together ookie” family. They scare you, disgust you, confuse you and even make you giggle. Their home is full of dark magic and they find it difficult to adjust to the normal outside world, so they just stay the way they are. We love them!

           Carrie (1976): 

American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King’s 1974 epistolary novel of the same name. The King of horror, Stephen wrote this story so well that to this day, directors try to remake this movie, in the attempt to out shine the next.

  The Wicker Man (1973):

A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed.This British mystery horror film is like no other. It has it’s weird moments (look out for songs and dances) but thats a given being a British film, which is great as it brings a whole other cinema into light.

Well, I hope you’ll enjoy these movie recommendations and I hope that you have an uneasy sleepless Halloween night. (Insert evil laugh here)

Trick or Treat?!?!

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My Top 10 (dead of) Summer Flick Picks 2016

Well, now that we’re on a break from all the GOT drama (for a while); let’s not forget the simple pleasures in life that are equally enthralling and worth the while.

I’m talking about the slumber summer! Yes, that time of the year when your body is on a constant drowsy mode and your mind just feels like procrastinating on your “To-do list” (please don’t tell me it is just me).

If that’s the case, I have you covered. I curated a perfect summer movie list to put those unproductive days to shame.  Let’s get your summer on…  Continue reading →

Irrational man

irrational-man-wallpaper“Human reason is troubled by questions that it cannot dismiss, but also cannot answer.”- Kant

So what are we talking about here…

Morality? Choice? Randomness of life? Murder?

Taking this philosophical opinion from Kant, Woody ventures into the new tale of his latest movie plot.

Irrational Man is a story of a middle-aged philosophy (Ethical Strategies) professor Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix), who has trouble finding “inspiration to breath” in his life and so, his only option is to drink through his days. He’s simply bored of the sufferings of meaningless day-to-day existence. He’s very radical and original. You either love him or hate him.

Jill (Emma Stone), his young, bright-eyed student who is fascinated by his sufferings, desires to know him on a much deeper level and in doing so falls in love with Abe, and out of it with her serious but naive (young) boyfriend.

One day, “randomness” strikes their lives. A serendipitous encounter causes excitement in Lucas’s life and he thinks he has finally found a reason to live. He finally decides to stop whining and to take actions in his own hands. He calculates his activities in favour of someone he doesn’t know (pure altruism with a dash of selfishness) and this brings his existential crisis to a riveting adventure.

The movie moves back and forth with the voice over narrations of Jill and Abe; one (Abe) voicing his troubles and the other (Jill) trying to figure out those troubles. This is what made the film have a gripping artistic quality about it. The audience is left to choose which side of the argument are they on or want to be at least.

The idea of randomness in life was very well portrayed in Allen’s previous work with Match Point and now this film tries to do the same with the similar idea but in a different light. Getting away with murder in a godless universe is what Allen tries to show through these films; or is it just pure chance that governs our lives?

Almost each (I might be exaggerating) Woody film starts with despair and ‘life is meaningless and there is no god’ but, ends with completely instilling the audience with a hope for a better tomorrow or a second chance.

See, there’s a difference between the theoretical world of philosophy bullshit and the real life (nasty, ugly life). There is the classic economic “Problem of choice” one is confronted with.

What world would you chose to live in? The answer to which can only be found in your “Rationale”.

Irrational Man is an American mystery drama film written and directed by Woody Allen, and starring the brilliant Joaquin PhoenixEmma StoneParker Posey and Jamie Blackley; with great work (yet again) done by Darius Khondji for cinematography. Soundtrack was unlike any other Woody classics but suits the background.

The Irrational man released in 2015 has much homage to works of Alfred Hitchcock (of course, in notable Woody Allen style). It received mix reviews from the critics.

How would you rate it?

 

Interiors (1978)

Interiors_Woody_Allen_1978

After a much acclaimed success of Annie Hall in 1977, Woody Allen began a new project; a new film that will make his critics, audience and everyone else see him in a different light. The “Early funny ones” bracket of movies is not what Allen wanted this time. Even with Annie Hall, Woody said that he ‘compromised’.  With Annie Hall he had wanted to make a deeper and more meaningful artwork but found himself retreating to his safe spot, i.e., comedy. Everyone would now agree that comedy did Annie Hall a lot good than bad. United Artists earned a great deal of income and the film went on to winning an Oscar for Best Picture.

I guess Woody now wanted to tread in uncharted territory; and thus made a movie that was far away from funny. Released in 1978, Interiors is Allen’s most dramatic/serious movies till date. The movie is a perfect inside look at a crisis in a modern age family living in New York. The three sisters (all women in their early-to-mid 30s) , the talented one, a writer Renata  (Diane Keaton) who based everything on art and believed in it firmly had now come at a point in her life where she is questioning herself and worrying about posterity and whether or not she has done enough in her life. She is married to Frederick (Richard Jordan), an alcoholic, arty-crafty, abusive novelist who hates both himself and his work. They are constantly in need of approval and validation, but they are unable to accept compliments.

“I can’t seem to shake the real implication of dying. It’s terrifying. The intimacy of it embarrasses me.”

“I can’t seem to shake the real implication of dying. It’s terrifying. The intimacy of it embarrasses me.”

The actress, the prettier one, Flyn (Kristin Griffith) who seems happier than anyone else in the movie but is made fun of both in the family as well as in her career. She represents empty sensuality. The third sister, the protagonist (according to me), a searcher for meaningful occupation Joey (Mary Beth Hurt). She is shown as a character who has deep intuitive feelings about everything artistic and creative but she has no talent (I personally relate to her a lot). She finds it hard to focus on one thing when her mind is off focusing on something more meaningful. She lives with a filmmaker (Sam Waterston) who seems like the only nice guy in the entire family as he puts up with her and supports her in every way imaginable without losing his wits.

"I feel the real need to express something, but i don't know what it is I want to express or how to express it."

“I feel the real need to express something, but i don’t know what it is I want to express or how to express it.”

These daughters were victimize by the family’s mother, Eve (Geraldine Page) an interior decorator and a restricted individual who felt the need for everything (including the interiors) to be perfect and in exact order at the expense of the whole family. She once had total self confidence and poised elegance, a reason why the girls’ father, a wealthy lawyer Arthur (E.G. Marshall) married her long ago. She maintains a very pale color scheme in her designs; a lot of blues,ice grays, pastel greens, whites, etc. Which somehow shows the vibe she now tends to give off (cold). Thus, the title Interiors seems apt for this feature. Eve is suffering from severe case of depression and gets overly dramatic about anything that tics her. She even tries to commit dramatic suicide. 19-Interiors Her husband one day breaks the hard news to the family saying that he has done more than enough for them and that he now feels the need to take some time off from his responsibilities and take a break from his marriage. The family is completely taken aback and tries to make sense of this sudden befallen tragic episode in their lives. They however seem to understand his view point and decide to take care of mother while father takes his ‘break’.

The 'cold' mother

The ‘cold’ mother

The 'warm' vulgarian

The ‘warm’ vulgarian

Time passes by… Into this mess now comes, Arthur’s new girlfriend Pearl (Maureen Stapleton) he met her during his break time, who is referred to as a “Vulgarian” by Joey. A lively, simple and happy person who loves to tell stories and wear bright colors (the only one who does that in this entire movie). Arthur, seeing what he was missing all these years of his life, then decides to divorce Eve and marry Pearl. The girls find her a complete antitheses of their mother and what they’ve been brought up to love and respect.The family breaks down even further. Eve decides to commit suicide once again by drowning and is successful at that. And now, somehow Pearl seem to give their family a new meaning and direction at the end. A more fit mother to be to these girls. One hopes at the end that this new women brings in warmth into their lives. Whether that is achieved, is not quite told.

Interiors is a great psychoanalytical case study of one particular family who seem perfect on paper but are so deeply messed up that one might like to think that too much of perfection can turn against you and do more evil than good.

Woody is not seen in the entire movie, which came as a shock to the audience back then as it was the first time that he didn’t star in his creations. The amazing direction was such in this movie that we are not shown anyone else in it except the members of this family, as if they lived in their own spooky world. They seem socially disconnected from the world outside and emotionally disconnected with each other. Gordon Willis photographed the movie with immense color control that it needed. There are no major soundtracks. It almost feels like a foreign movie that Woody made inspired by Ingmar Bergman films. Interiors went on to winning major awards like, BAFTA in 1979 for Best Supporting Actress to Geraldine Page, New York Film Critics Circle Awards in 1978 for Best Supporting Actress to Maureen Stapleton and was also nominated under various categories at the Oscars in 1979.

There is a lot more to this movie than I can write down. It’s a shocker and a good one at that. At least for me. Now, instead of watching it as a serious movie, you might learn a thing or two by watching it as a movie with no funny business. I did. 🙂