A List of Alternative – Christmas Movies

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Well, not for everyone. Nowadays, stores are putting up their Christmas decorations even before Thanksgiving, the grocery stores are filled with snowman and reindeer items, while all the other stores are playing Christmas music almost 2 months in advance. I myself feel slightly annoyed when I get my Thanksgiving groceries and have to listen to Wham!’s Last Christmas. I am sure I am not alone. By the time we are supposed to get in the Christmas spirit it is hard to even put on a happy face. Christmas has lost its magic, and has become yet another event for businesses to make more money. And while it seems to be Christmas everywhere, the last thing I want sometimes is coming home and watch a traditional Christmas movie, even though they are great.

So I have created a top ten list of movies that keep the idea of Christmas and a little bit of its spirit, but in a non- traditional sense. I call them Alternative- Christmas movies, because they are not quiet and peaceful, but definitely naughty.
Join me, let’s forget about all the phoniness around us, and hopefully while watching all this naughtiness we find our spirit again… or not. Either way it is going to be a welcome change to all the foolishness that is going on right now.

The Ref
1.The Ref (1994)

Category: Comedy
Rated: R
Duration: 93 min
Actors: Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey, Christine Baranski

After a heist goes terribly wrong, a burglar is forced to kidnap a couple that is on their way home to prepare a Christmas Eve dinner for the family. What he doesn’t know is that the couple just came from their therapist because they have serious marriage issues, and won’t stop fighting.

The Ref is a treat that no one should miss. It’s dark, crude, sarcastic, and lots of fun. It’s the proof that marriage counselors shouldn’t even exist, because all they do is ask question like “How do you feel about it”, and get paid for having people fight in front of them. What couples really need is confrontation and an open discussion without sugar coating the issues. The Ref is a bitter sweet dosage of reality and gives us an important message: Don’t let anyone interfere in your relationship, otherwise it is doomed to fail.

Die Hard
2. Die Hard (1988)

Category: Action
Rated: R
Duration: 131 min
Actors: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

John McClane has to safe his wife and many other people who have been taken hostages during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

I have never heard that anyone didn’t enjoy Die Hard, even my mother loves it, and she doesn’t watch action movies. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, even though it is longer than two hours. It is a no- brainer, no doubt about that, however, it has a sharp storyline, a great hero and villain, and lots of explosions. Part one and three are my favorites out of the whole franchise. As a matter of fact, I think I am going to pop it in right now. Get the popcorn ready and save your seat on the couch, it’s blockbuster time!

Bad Santa
3. Bad Santa (2003)

Category: Comedy
Rated: R
Duration: 91 min
Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Bernie Mac

Two criminals are on a road trip to a small town mall, dressed up as Santa Clause and his elf, so they can hide up in the department stores and rob them. But things don’t go as they have planned. A chubby eight year old boy who is convinced that this Santa Clause is the real deal follows them, and won’t leave until Santa got his spirit back.

Billy Bob Thornton is hilarious as he portrays a guy who simply doesn’t give a crap about life. He is drinking, cursing, has sex with random women and thinks life is okay that way. But it’s the entire cast who make this movie a winner and must- see for everyone who likes a dark and crude sense of humor. And I love Bernie Mac. May he rest in peace.

Gremlins
4. Gremlins (1984)

Category: Fantasy
Rated: PG
Duration: 106 min
Actors: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton

Billy gets a Mogwai, a cute fury pet from his father for Christmas. But to prevent something bad from happening he has to follow three rules. Don’t put him into direct sunlight, don’t feed him after midnight, or let him get in contact with water. But soon one of the rules is broken.

This movie takes me back to my childhood. I always wanted to have a little Gizmo, and knew I would take so much better care of him. It was definitely something special for that time, especially the the way the gremlins looked. And, yes you have read correctly, it got a PG rating, even though it would have been better of with a PG-13 rating. Gremlins and Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, which was also rated PG, have been the reason for the additional PG-13. Before, they only had a PG or X rating, but since parents complained about the huge amount of violence in these two PG movies, they changed it.

The Long Kiss Goodnight
5. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)

Category: Action
Rated: R
Duration: 121 min
Actors: Geena Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Yvonne Zima

8 years ago Samantha was found pregnant and heavily injured on a beach in New Jersey, and nobody including her knows what happened to her. Now she is a perfect suburban house wife with a seemingly normal life. After a car accident she starts to establish knife and fighting skills that might be a clue to her past life. Together with a private investigator she tries to uncover the truth that her mind has been trying to suppress for far too long.

Even though The Long Kiss Goodnight hasn’t been a huge success at the box office I think it is one of the best spy movies ever made, especially since we have a female lead. Geena Davis is a bad ass and Samuel L. Jackson is a good supporting actor, and proves that he doesn’t always have to be the lead in order to shine. It is packed with action and can compete with any other action movie. This could have been an awesome franchise.
Oh, and it takes place around Christmas, which is why it got a place on this list.

Dead End
6. Dead End (2003)

Category: Horror
Rated: R
Duration: 85 min
Actors: Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Mick Cain, Alexandra Holden

On Christmas Eve a family is on their way to the their relatives to celebrate the holidays. The shortcut they choose turns out to be their biggest mistake, because besides the road that doesn’t seem change, very strange things start to happen.

Dead End caught me by surprise because I really didn’t know what to expect. It starts off quiet, but soon it gets weird and mysterious. Things don’t seem to make sense, and at the end, I was actually a little confused, but once I got it, I thought it was a very cleverly constructed mystery horror movie.

Black Christmas
7. Black Christmas (1974)

Category: Horror
Rated: R
Duration: 98 min
Actors: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder

A sorority is being terrorized by a stranger, who keeps calling their house to scare them. On Christmas the sorority sisters have to realize that it is not just a creep playing pranks, but a sick and gruesome killer.

The voice of the killer on the phone still gives me chills, it sounds really frighting and sick. Black Christmas is a classic horror movie from the 70’s, which is over the top violent, has a lot of screaming and is definitely lacking in Christmas spirit. After this movie you will be ready to let the peace in your heart.

There was also a remake released in 2006, which wasn’t needed at all. But despite the horrible reviews that tore it apart, I don’t think it was bad, but obviously made for the younger generation.

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Home Alone (1990)

Category: Comedy
Rated: PG
Duration: 103 min
Actors: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara, John Heard

What would Christmas be without Home Alone, Macaulay Culkin’s only successful role? I don’t think this movie needs any introduction. It is annoying but entertaining at the same time. God, how much I always hated Kevin’s mean brother and the cousin who pees in the bed.

This movie takes me back to a better time, where presents certainly played a big part, but what the gathering of the family around the Christmas tree, the special home cooked meals during the holidays, and the love that was in the air. We used to watch it every year for Christmas. Good Times.

While She was Out
9. While She was Out (2008)

Category: Thriller
Rated: R
Duration: 88 min
Actors: Kim Basinger, Lukas Haas, Craig Sheffer, Leonard Wu

Della lives in an abusive relationship and the only reason why she stays are her two children. She quietly takes the verbal and hurtful punches from her husband every other day to keep the peace in the house. But this Christmas Eve she is going to blow some steam off. And it all starts with a heated argument with 4 youngsters who threaten her at a mall parking lot.

While she was Out has such a simple, almost non existing storyline, but Kim Basinger plays that role so well, and all I wanted was seeing her survive this horror. She gets chased by these guys and is forced to get out of her shell and fight back. To me this is a very entertaining movie about a strong woman, even though certain parts don’t make sense.

Santa's Slay
10. Santa’s Slay (2005)

Category: Comedy/Fanatsy/Horror
Rated: R
Duration: 78 min
Actors: Bill Goldberg, Douglas Smith, Emilie de Ravin, Rebecca Gayheart, Fran Drescher, Chris Kattan

Santa Clause is a demon who has lost a bet with an angel, making him the giver of all gifts on Christmas. But this year the bet is off, and he doesn’t care who is naughty and who is nice. He is ready to kill them all.

This movie is ridiculously funny and tacky. The storyline doesn’t need any acting skills, nor is there any significant quality to this movie, but it works. If this Santa is in town, I definitely won’t be around!

Bonus Recommendation:

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Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

Category: Fantasy/ Horror
Rated: R
Duration: 84 min
Actors: Jorma Tommila, Peeter Jakobi, Onni Tommila

Rate Imports is a movie from Finland (with subtitles) and takes a different approach to Santa Clause: Right before Christmas, an excavation team discovers something in the core of a mountain, that seems to be a grave. Excited about this discovery the head of the corporation hands out a list of how to behave from now on, because he is sure no one wants to be naughty any more. In the meanwhile a boy is trying to find out why all his friends are disappearing.
It is very dark and mysterious, but it could have been executed with a more compelling storyline. Nonetheless, it is an interesting watch.

Calling all Horror Film Lovers – An exclusive interview with acclaimed writer/ director Lauand Omar

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2014 was a bad year for horror movie fans; the hand-held-camera or documentary-style genre was probably at its peak and has hopefully reached its end. So how much longer do we have to wait to see a decent horror movie? What if I told you there is a chance that we will get see a horror movie with motivated and talented cast and crew, an original and very creepy storyline that is not just a cheap copy from other movies, and a breathtaking setting? I know you just heavily nodded full of excitement and asked “Who? What? When? Where?”

10369029_10154226642655322_5009651494962030355_oAcclaimed writer and director Lauand Omar already made a name for himself in the Middle East and North Africa and is about to take over Europe – France to be precise – with a new TV series.
One of his latest movies, Curse of Mesopotamia, will be released in the United States in Spring/Summer 2015. It is a horror movie based on a terrifying legend from Kurdistan.
The movie is about half way done. The crew started shooting the movie in Iraq when all of a sudden it came to an abrupt ending. Due to a crisis that involved Isys they had to leave the country, and are now in need of funds to finish the movie and spread the Curse of Mesopotamia.

It is up to you now to help them shoot the remaining scenes and present this interesting movie to the world. Before we continue, have a look at the creepy teasers that are out right now.

Did I promise too much??

I had the pleasure to interview Lauand Omar and find out more about this highly anticipated movie and Lauand himself.

How did you know about the legend of Kawa, and what made you come up with a story about him?
I’m Kurdish from Syria so I grew up celebrating Newroz with my family, every march, the Newroz celebration is like celebrating New Years for Kurds and Iranians and others from the region formerly known as Mesopotamia, parts of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey.
I always loved horror movies and the legend itself is about a Demon that tricked a King in to eating children’s brains, very creepy! Magic, Witches and Demons – I always thought a modern take on it would be fantastic! So I took the legend and played with it. My story plays with re-incarnation; it’s set in both the present time and the past. Also, the legend of Kawa has never been told, like so many other legends and stories from this region, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only film lover that is ready for something fresh and original.

How would you describe your directing style?
I’m a big fan of 70’s cinema. I would say my storytelling style is very character and dialogue driven. I’m not much into the quick cut style that has become more and more popular. I love long takes, where the characters take you on a journey with them, for that strong dialogue and great actors are needed.

Name three movies that inspired you to become a director.
I spent half my childhood in the video store annoying the owners to let me rent horror movies! The Omen was one of the first movies I remember that left a huge impact on me, and is still one of my all-time favorites. Also Rosemary’s Baby, a classic, copied so many times but no one has been able to get close to its magic. Oh, and also The Goonies (smiles)

Are there any directors you look up to?
I love David Lynch! I was hooked to Twin Peaks when it came out and still watch the DVD’s every now and then. Also, Mulholland Drive is one of my all time favorites. David Lynch is amazing, his characters are so interesting, so original. he has such a magical view on the dark side of life.
I also love Gregg Araki’s movies. Again, interesting characters, I love how he explores characters that are not considered mainstream, be it LGBT characters, troubled heroes or just plain out crazy Motherf****s. Nothing predictable with him.

Where did you grow up and who inspired you to be the person who you are today?
Life itself inspires me, my family, my loved ones. We had to leave Syria for political reasons when I was little and I grew up between the Middle East, Tunisia and Germany. Being a Kurd without a country, and moving all over the place kind of stuck to me. After Germany I lived in Mexico for 4 years, then went to film schools in the US and Canada. Then work has taken me to live in UAE and Morocco. I spent the last couple of years between France, North Africa and Kurdistan Iraq.

What’s after the Curse of Mesopotamia?
It’s hard right now to jump in to new projects, there is the fear of losing focus on finishing Curse of Mesopotamia, but it has been 4 month since we had to stop filming and things need time. For now I’m lucky to be able to work on 2 exciting series, one for France and one for Tunisia. I will be writing, Switchers and Aassas, which made a lot of noise and had huge success in Morocco and Algeria last year, Switchers becoming the most watched web series in all Africa and the Middle East, Aassas (Al Khamsa in Algeria) the first supernatural/comedy TV series for an arabic audience, currently in post-production, both directed by my co-creator Aksas Actarus.

Judging by the teasers I want to see a sequel. Do you plan on writing/directing a sequel?
OH YES! The Sequel is in the works. I shouldn’t say much yet, but be prepared to see Kawa fighting alongside one of your ancient hero’s maybe….Each part of the world has some legends that should be told. Finding the way to cross over from the past into the present and taking care of unfinished business is one of the main themes of the sequel I’m writing.

In my opinion 2014 was a horrible year for horror movie fans. As a horror movie lover, can you name or recommend any good scary movies that have been released this year?
You are right. I’m so bored of the same story told over and over again. I have been very busy this year but I tried to watch as many movies as possible. I stayed away from the sequels and remakes, and from what I have read and heard I didn’t miss out on much. The only movies I remember watching this year are The Canal, really really good! Also an indie called The possession of Michael King. It had some really creepy moments.

Tell us one interesting fact about you that no one would guess?
I’m an open book, whatever you guessed is probably true, and worse! (Laughs loudly)

What would it mean to you if the funds for the movie were covered?
Finishing the movie and getting it out there means everything! I have been trying to make this movie for 3 years now. And it will hopefully happen, one way or another. Having a script and trying to get funding is hard enough, having to stop in the midst of production after starting to see amazing footage is the real nightmare! Feels like a curse almost, but when you start a curse, you have to finish it. (smiles)
We are eying a LA or Morocco shoot to finish the remaining 3 weeks, all depending on when and how much of the required budget we can raise. We got what we needed most from Kurdistan Iraq, which are the 600B.C. scenes, most of them filmed in the 6000 year old castle Citadel. Now what is left are mostly the present day scenes, which could be shot anywhere. If all goes well we will be happy to present the world Curse of Mesopotamia early summer 2015.

Thank you, Lauand for this great interview!! I am sure I’m not the only one who can’t wait for the movie to be released!

TO DONATE AND HELP LAUAND OMAR AND HIS AMAZING TEAM TO FINISH CURSE OF MESOPOTAMIA PLEASE KLICK ON THE LINK BELOW.

http://igg.me/at/mesopotamia

And to finish this whole post, here’s a little sumary from the master himself, Lauand Omar:

Annabelle (2014) – Average horror movie with good Cast

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Category: Mystery/Horror
Actors: Annabelle, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola, Alfre Woodard, Kerry O’Malley, Brian Howe, Eric Ladin, Ivar Brogger, Geoff Wehner, Gabriel Bateman, Shiloh Nelson, Sasha Sheldon, Camden Singer, Robin Pearson Rose, Keira Daniels

Duration: 99 min
Rated: R

You might Like this Movie if you enjoyed:
Rosemarie’s Baby (1968), Insidious (2010), The Conjuring (2012)

Long Story Short:
After their home has been invaded by members of a satanic cult, a couple experiences supernatural activities that seem to be related to a vintage doll.

Review:
Annabelle starts off strong, with a few jump moments, some mystery and a little gore. After we have been introduced to the major plot, however, there aren’t following any surprises or twists any more.

We see cliché jump scares, people in bad situations not reacting in the brightest way at all, and an ending that was rather predictable than surprising or refreshing.

I have to be honest, I wished James Wan would have gone all out there and basically created a more evil and vicious doll than Chucky, I actually wanted the doll to chase people and kill without remorse, but maybe his budget wouldn’t allow those kind of special or CGI effects.

Don’t get me wrong, Annabelle is not a bad movie, it is probably one of the best horror movies that has been released this year – but 2014 was probably the worst year when it comes to horror movies – it is just nothing new.

I also enjoyed the acting a lot, especially Alfre Woodard did an excellent job, even though I didn’t like her character development as much, because it was just too predictable. But that’s not her fault.

Go rent Annabelle on a cold winter night and cuddle up on the couch with your significant other or a friend, or have a buddy night and order pizza and have some beers. Either way, it is not the worst you can do with your time.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Annabelle is based on the true story just like The Conjuring? But the plot of the movie itself was entirely made up, none of the main characters actually existed. The doll, however, existed and did some scary things to its owners. It is sitting in a wooden box behind a glass door in Monroe, Connecticut.

Here is a picture of the real doll and paranormal researchers Lorraine Warren:
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This and more interesting images and facts about Annabelle can be found on historyvshollywood.com

Rating: 6/10

Horns (2013) – Starts of promising, Ends in a huge Disappointment

Horns-Movie-Poster-All-Seeing-Eye
Category: Drama/ Mystery/ Fantasy
Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, Juno Temple, Kelli Garner, James Remar, Kathleen Quinlan, Heather Graham, David Morse, Michael Adamthwaite, Nels Lennarson, Don Thompson, Jay Brazeau, Alex Zahara, Kendra Anderson

Duration: 120 min
Rated: R

You might Like this Movie if you enjoyed:
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Long Story Short:
After being accused for his girlfriend’s gruesome murder, a man grows horns and realizes that they give him the power to find the person responsible for the death of the love of his life.

Review:
I was looking forward to see Horns, mainly because I loved the whole idea of it, and was excited to see Daniel Radcliffe in a movie that actually takes place at present times. Little did I know that this was going to be the biggest disappointment I had in a while.

The movie starts very odd and the script feels very cartoony especially the dialogues, but since the plot was interesting I was willing to overlook that. After 30 minutes I got frustrated with the main character and how he doesn’t use his “powers” in a smart way, but instead, runs around without a clue, transforming from what I thought was going to be the hero of the story, into an annoying cry baby.

This genre is definitely not Alexandre Aja’s strength, he should stick with directing horror movies. While this movie is advertised as a horror mystery it is more of an intense mystery drama with a few comedic elements. The acting seems forced and lifeless. There are no emotions, nor motives given to the characters, which is why they seem constantly confused, and at the end when the final showdown was supposed to happen, I was not even surprised that it fell flat.

The entire time I kept wondering if the book the movie is based on is just as bad. It was written by Stephen King’s son, so I would have expected something different.

I wouldn’t know who to recommend this movie to. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t even know what to compare it with. I felt sorry for all actors involved since none of them couldn’t really show what they are capable off. Daniel Radcliffe to me is like Kristen Stewart: While I think he is good actor, it seems hard to find the right character for him to play due to his one dimensional performances. But maybe he hasn’t been given the right script yet.

Rating: 4/10

Sex Tape (2014) – Expect Nothing and You’ll be pleasantly Surprised

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Category: Comedy
Actors: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe, Nat Faxon, Nancy Lenehan, Giselle Eisenberg, Harrison Holzer, Sebastian Hedges, Timothy Brennen, Krisztina Koltai, Randall Park, Joe Stapleton, James Wilcox

Duration: 94 min
Rated: R

You might Like this Movie if you enjoyed:
The Sweetest Thing (2002), Bad Teacher (2011), This is 40 (2012)

Long Story Short:
A married couple wants to spice up their sex life and records a sex tape that is supposed to be just for them, but instead it gets accidentally uploaded to all their friends’ devices.

Review:
Okay, let’s be honest, who actually expected something unexpectedly new and refreshing from this movie? Well, if you did, you were probably deeply disappointed and wanted your money back unless seeing Cameron Diaz’ naked butt, and getting a glimpse at her nipples were enough for you.

Personally, I thought this was going to be just as bad as Bad Teacher, which in my opinion was a disgrace for Cameron Diaz, since I am a big fan of her work, especially the work that showcases her acting skills, and doesn’t seem like a role she just accepted because she had no other offers. But, after having the lowest expectations possible, I was actually pleasantly surprised; sure, it could have had a few more funny moments, and the cursing seemed forced at times. But there were some good jokes, it kind of had a “Dude, Where’s My Car” charm to it, and the two leading actors were charming and committed.

Many times I have read people criticizing the lack of story, but I wonder what they expected from a movie called Sex Tape; a deep love story that will stick with you for days because it was so touching and moving? That’s just like expecting romance in a porn.

Sex Tape is a light weight comedy for a movie night with friends. You can lash out in a conversation and check back in without missing out on anything.

Rating: 5.5/10

31 Days of Halloween

For those who have been following my blog, this was last year’s “31 Days of Halloween List” with one movie for each day of October. Since last year, I haven’t seen any memorable horror movies, so I will just re-recommend the ones from 2013’s list.

I hope you will find one you haven’t seen yet. Let me know if you have any new recommendations for me or want me to watch and review a new movie for you. :)

To get more information about a movie just click on the movie title.

Enjoy.

1. The Descent
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2. The Shining
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3. The Silence of The Lambs
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4. Dead Silence
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5. Trick’ R Treat
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6. Sinister
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7. The Ring
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8. Mirrors
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9. It
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10. The Hills Have Eyes
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11. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
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12. Orphan
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13. A Nightmare on Elm Street
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14. Fallen
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15. The Strangers
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16. Insidious
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17. Drag Me To Hell
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18. The Sixth Sense
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19. Frailty
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20. Saw
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21. Scream
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22. Pet Sematary
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23. Mine Games
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24. Fragile
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25. Friday the 13th
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26. The Craft
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27. Psycho
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28. The Pact
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29. Child’s Play
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30. The Exorcist
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31. Halloween
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The Fault in Our Stars (2014) – Tissues, Please!

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Category: Drama
Actors: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Willem Dafoe, Lotte Verbeek, Ana Dela Cruz, Randy Kovitz, Toni Saladna, David Whalen, Milica Govich, Allegra Carpenter, Emily Peachey

Duration: 126 min
Rated: PG-13

You might Like this Movie if you enjoyed:
Untamed Heart (1993), A Walk to Remember (2002), My Sister’s Keeper (2009)

Long Story Short:
Hazel and Gus, two teenagers who shouldn’t have a worry in their life, share the same sharp sense of humor and instantly feel a connection when they meet for the first time. But unfortunately they share something else; they are both trying to survive a fatal illness.

Review:
The Fault in our Stars is a beautiful (but also sad) movie based on a young adult novel of the same name, but it is actually for everyone who can remember falling in love so hard that nothing else mattered.

The two leads Shailene Woodley (The Secfret Life of The American Teenager, 2008- 2013) and Ansel Elgortare (Carrie, 2013) are refreshing and delightful and can compete with any other actor in Hollywood right now. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie since I expected something completely cheesy and immature but it was so much more. This is why people love dramas. It brings you sadness, joy, laughter, hope, tears and butterflies. It is a beautifully tragic rollercoaster and raises the question: If these two can keep smiling and appreciate life, why can’t we?

If you cry easily , get some tissues ready. And if you love dramas, you are in for a real treat.

Rating: 8/10

#MovieReview : Kite (2014)

Kite
Category: Action
Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, India Eisley, Callan McAuliffe, Carl Beukes, DeVille Vannik, Deon Lotz, Keci Eatock, Lionel Newton, Jaco Muller, Terence Bridgett, Zane Meas, Cleo Rinkwest, Russel Savadier, Matthew Van Leeve, Liam J. Stratton

Duration: 90 min
Rated: R

You might Like this Movie if you enjoyed:
Leon (1994), Kill Bill Vol. 1 + 2 (2003/2004)

Long Story Short:
After her parents get killed a young woman enters the underworld of human sex trafficking to track down their murderers to take bloody revenge.

Review:
Not having any background information about it, I watched Kite and enjoyed it for what it was. The picture treatment is interesting; very dark and dull with a few color splashes in it like the bright red wig the main character is wearing. The storyline is simple but enough to fill a 90-minutes action spectacle, and may I add we get a lot of action here. There Martial arts sequences, plenty of gore and one on one fights, and it almost seems like a whole different world we are thrown into.

Samuel L. Jackson is doing what we are expecting him to do, no unpleasant surprises here. Indie Esley – known from the TV-Show The Secret Life of The American Teenager (2008- ) – on the other hand seems a little stiff, which can be due the lifeless script. That leads me to the character development that doesn’t really exist. We have very two dimensional characters without any depth; even if we want to connect to the lead it is hard because even though we know her motivation that feeling of desperation and rage doesn’t really come across.

After watching Kite I found out that it is based on a very cruel anime series from 1998 that included multiple explicit rape scenes of the protagonist, and since the she was under age it was forbidden in many countries to sell the uncut version. Due to its cruel content it was hard to imagine to even make a movie without getting a NC-17 rating. But not only did the director toned it down, he also changed the storyline. So I assume that many fans of the original would be very disappointed, not because of the missing rape scenes, but the complete change of events that would have given our leading lady the needed depth. Furthermore I don’t understand why – if based on a Japanese series – there weren’t any Japanese or at least Asian actors chosen for the movie????!

Nonetheless, I would say Kite is a decent movie that impresses with its style, setup and soundtrack. It is worth a watch if you don’t expect a thought provoking message at the end. It won’t stick with you, because at the end it is just another movie.

Rating: 6/10