Film Review – Twilight – not completely crap.

Mean, Moody, and really twinkly in the sunshine. Terrifying.

Firstly, I realise this review is at least a couple of years late. Secondly, it’s not really a ‘review’ as such, but more an answer to earlier reviews and a shameless nostalgic trip for my former sixteen year old self. Thirdly, and look away now if you can’t hack it, I’m going to say nice things about Twilight.

Oh Yes. You heard me.

Fan of Horror. Fan of, well, good film in general, but I have my reasons, and I shall stick to them.

The reason this review is so late (I believe there have been other Twilight’s, in fact, a whole ‘saga’ so I hear) is that I only watched it recently, and the only reason I watched it is because it was my little sisters birthday, and she insisted (I should also add, my ‘little’ sister is twenty-six, so shame on the pair of us). We got a couple of bottles of red, some stilton and crackers (see, we’re grown-ups!) and got ready for some vampire action.

Now I had expressed my reservations about this a number of times. Having read reviews such as  this one by Charlie Brooker, I was ready to hate every minute. In addition, I really do like ‘proper’ horror. You know, the scary stuff, the classics. So much so that I’m quite excited about this film about The Shining, as well as loving the actual film, so I really was pretty sceptical about the whole thing.

And I remained that way until about a third of the way through. Pattison is a chump. He looks like a cheap version of Robert Smith from The Cure. With worse lippy. Also, what happens to these vampires when they get out in the sun? They go all sparkly. Like they’ve been dipped in glitter. How shit is that?

However, the reason I stick up for this epic pile of twaddle is that it’s not a horror film. It’s like Dawson’s Creek shagged the X-files and you get this weird looking, but oddly attractive offspring. A bit like Steve Tyler.  I defend it, despite all this nonsense about films like this being ‘the beginning of the end for horror’, due to the numerous complaints that horror is full of these pouty, angsty, whiny little bastards. Vampires used to be cool, and scary, and now modern cinema has ruined that.

It hasn’t.

Because it’s not horror.

It’s not meant to be scary, and films like this have been around for decades. And when I was sixteen, I loved them. They’re basically as much sex as a teenage girl can see, obviously, without seeing any actual sex. Ooh, he’s a bit bitey. And he’s really strong. And he’s been alive forever, so he’s wise. That’s pretty sexy when you’re a teenage girl, although you don’t yet really understand why. And given how crap real teenage boys are, you can completely forgive the appeal.

I would like to furnish you with a list of similar films, which I have also thoroughly enjoyed and which, by and large, are no less crap than this. Pattison will in time I’m sure, also be remembered fondly by grown women for all the same reasons as this lot. (Seriously, all the hot men are the same – and if you haven’t watched these, you really should. Trust me ladies). The Crow’s Brandon Lee, Blade’s Stephen Dorff, The Craft’s Skeet Ulrich, The Lost Boys Keifer Sutherland…

The list could go on infinitely.

None of these films are going to win an Oscar, and they’re not really very scary, but they all have those wonderful screwed up gothy guys that teenage girls go daft for. And as a side note, I’m also pleased to know having watched Twilight, that goth music hasn’t changed at all. It’s still pretty good.

So don’t be so bloody judgemental. Take Twilight for what it is, a bit of a laugh, and a film aimed at teenage girls. And I’ve warmed to Pattison. He looked pretty good dancing with what’s-her-face under that nice sparkly gazebo thing at the end. Even if he is seventeen or whatever.

And don’t judge me for that, either.

Bristol Review – Igfest – 2.8 Hours Later. The Zombie Apocalypse is here.

Urgh…Arghhh…etc.

Who hasn’t had a conversation about what they would do in a Zombie apocalypse?

I may have had this conversation more than most because, as you will probably know if you have ever read this blog, I am slightly horror film obsessed. Ever since I watched A Nightmare on Elm Street when I was about eight years old (and only because I was told not to) I just love horror – books, films, poems, whatever the medium, just anything slightly macabre!

However, what I learned at the weekend is that, when faced with an actual Zombie apocalypse (OK, not ‘actual’ but as close as I assume I’ll ever see) is that I have a penchant for identifying the exits, then running in a mad panic into the nearest corner for no discernable reason.

The zombie apocalypse of which I speak is the almighty Igfest – 2.8 Hours Later And although I may be more obsessed than the average wannabe zombie hunter, that also means that I had very high expectations which could easily have been dashed by a lack (even a small, perceived lack) of adherence to and respect for the genre…but I tell you, fellow fans of the undead, I was not disappointed.

The whole thing kicked off at St. Nicholas Market in the dead of night (8pm to be precise) with a quite necessary warning given the very large group of hyped up, cammo clad zombie killers, that this was, despite our excitement, a game.

A warning not to punch the Zombies in the face, and to remember that pedestrians/passing busses did not give a shit if you we’re running for your lives from an army of flesh devouring creatures.They would indeed still get angry/run you over respectively.

And after that, the game commenced. We were equipped with reflective arm-bands (even zombies need a little help recognizing who to, and who not to chew) and a map of Bristol, on which were written the coordinates for our adventure. In teams we were given the first coordinate and sent out, expectant and anxious into the night.

The whole purpose of the evening was to reach the designated coordinate, find the slightly mauled and slightly mad survivors within and get the next coordinate, leading eventually to the zombie disco (once you had passed through quarantine of course). The venue was not specified – simply reach the coordinate on the map, and work it out, avoiding those lurking inside, as well as in hidden corners on the way.

And that was the best thing about the whole experience – these guys knew their zombie hideouts. They knew that we knew. And they picked places that would scare the crap out of you whether you had watched numerous zombie flicks or not, but if you had, there were so many nods to so many fantastically horrible memories of films, games and stories, that there was no way of avoiding the adrenaline kick as soon as you entered the game.

The venues consisted of abandoned warehouses, disused banks and office buildings, and dark tunnels as well as the undead lurking outside shopping malls and behind pillars in the streets. Various bedraggled, blood stained and withdrawn strangers warned us (and yes, in parts of Bristol on a Friday night, it was difficult to spot them, which added to the suspense, on our part as well as on the part of numerous confused non participants I assume) and advised us about where to go – but we didn’t know whether to trust them.

A vicar lured us past photos of the missing and presumed dead pinned to a church notice board, past darkened pews and to an eerily lit altar before lunging at us only restricted by his chains. This sent us running into the graveyard to find our next destination, in the dark, through the trees, looking over our shoulders and trying to follow the map.

The abandoned office and prison building were so like scenes from Resident Evil (the game that is, and I add, much more eerie than the settings in the film) that there was a beautiful mix of fear and nostalgia that made me feel like a kid being warned not to watch something again, and one who will obviously disobey and sneak off to watch anyway, only to find themselves satisfyingly and expectedly unable to sleep.

And that was the great thing about it – the whole thing was so recognizable – you knew what was coming, which only added to the suspense. You were ready to run, and run you did. And I mean really run, over most of Bristol. We ended up at the zombie disco – right out by Feeder Road, through the dark tunnels and to an old pub opposite a warehouse aptly named ‘Limbs and Things’ – which I don’t think was in fact part of Igfest, and which sold, I can only guess, either something to do with Coppicing, or Prosthetics.

I thought about looking it up, but decided it’s probably more fun in my imagination.

And that was the best thing about the whole event. Your own daft, easily triggered imagination. Igfest was organized brilliantly, and for anyone with a sense of gory fun, who enjoys being scared, it’s definitely worth the stinging lungs and aching legs.

And when you reach the end, it’s actually more fun if they send you through quarantine and you find you’ve been bitten. The zombie make up tent en route to the party gives you chance to sit down and change character before exiting as the walking dead to enjoy a sinful, and well deserved bloody cocktail.

Theatre Review – Play Dead: Horror Circus Theatre!

New Graduates (of circus school, mind) ready to enter the world of work…

Weird, fun and creepy – Circomedia’s first theatrical offering! Click here for Review

Theatre Review – Play Dead: Horror, Circus & Theatre combine!

New Graduates (of circus school, mind) ready to enter the world of work…

Preview of ‘Play Dead’, the first horrible offering from Circomeadia Graduate company…Looks Great! Click Here for Preview

Horror and Classical music fans check this out… a very entertaining evening!

Nuff said. You’ve got the music in your head already…

Review of Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho Suite at Colston Hall

Review of Ernest and the Pale Moon at Bristol Old Vic

Ernest and the Pale Moon Review