Wednesday, 31 October 2012

World Cinema; Is Australian Horror The Best?

Like many countries across the world, Australia has seen a resurgence of horror films in the past decade, with a range of titles now reaching us from down under. As with any country, these vary in quality somewhat but there are some gems to be found if you're a dedicated horror fan. I've chosen three of my favourite Australian horror films to determine whether the country that also gave us Kylie and Neighbours could really be the best at horror worldwide. My first choice is...

The Loved Ones (2009)


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

World Cinema; Is Japanese Horror The Best?

Japan has a long history of disturbing and influential horror films, ever since the release of silent film 'A Page of Madness' back in 1926. I was lucky enough to see this innovative film at university but for the majority of film fans, it is the more recent horrors that have catapulted Japan to the forefront of terrifying world cinema. The past decade has seen the most popular of these films copied and parodied to a ridiculous extent so I think it is worth taking a look back at the originals, to see what makes them classics of the genre. In this post, I have chosen my three favourite Japanese horror films to try and determine whether Japanese horror really is the best. Obviously, not every fan favourite could make it onto such a short list so some popular releases like 'The Grudge' and 'Pulse' might be notably absent to some. My apologies. But let's see if you agree with my three choices...

Ring (1998)

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

When it comes to scares in a book, it takes more than a few ghosts rattling round in a haunted house to scare me. In fact, very few books have ever sent chills down my spine and of the small cluster that have only one had me rooted to the spot with fear and that was Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs.

World Cinema; Is Spanish Horror The Best?

From mathematical chillers like 'Fermat's Room' and the sci-fi terror of 'Timecrimes', to even the fantastical world of 'Pan's Labyrinth', Spain has produced some of the most exciting and unusual horror films of the past decade. These films take ideas from a range of other genres, all in an attempt to scare the hell out of us and boy do they succeed! In this post, I have chosen my three favourite Spanish horror films to try and determine whether Spanish horror really is the best. Let's see if you agree... 

Rec (2007)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Whatever Happened To RnB? - TLC

Remember when ‘Unbreak My Heart’ ruled the charts and Lil Kim was the biggest thing in female rap? In this weekly feature, I’m going to take a look back at some of the best RnB artists of yesteryear, sharing their signature videos and underrated hits, as well as looking at what they’re up to nowadays.

Previous posts have focussed on Cassie, Ciara, Missy ElliottBrandy and Monica. Today, the focus is on TLC, one of the biggest RnB groups of all time.

Hey TLC!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

World Cinema; Is Korean Horror The Best?

Asian horror gained a huge following after the success of 'Ringu' back in the early 2000s, but in more recent years, Korea has overtaken Japan in the horror stakes, with a number of darkly innovative films making their mark on world cinema. Korean cinema is no longer the 'poor relation' of Japanese film and has become hugely successful in its own right, with a distinctive national identity all of its own. But is Korean horror the best worldwide? Here are three films that I've handpicked to prove that Korean horror is where it's at!

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson's classic haunted house story is one of my personal favourite books ever, I love a good ghost story and this is a very good one. Dr Montague, a scientist who's obsessed with ghosts as I am, manages to convince four people to come and spend the summer in a big old house that he's rented to study the existence of psychic disturbances. Oh and did I mention that the house is haunted? Cause it totally is. A simple set up to a book that is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, haunted house book ever written and if you don't believe, just ask Mr. Stephen King, go on ask him.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

I Love The 90s: The Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors

The other week, I wrote about how much I loved The Simpsons in the 90s - what a great show it was, its cultural impact, influence and its many identifiable characteristics - but I forgot to mention one thing (and by forgot, I mean deliberately chose to write about it separately) and as it's October and Halloween is nearly here, I thought it was perfect timing. I am of course talking about The Simpsons annual treehouse of horrors Halloween specials. Some of my favourite Halloween pastimes are to dress up, eat lots of chocolate, try to contact the dead and sit down and watch some classic Simpsons Halloween episodes, obviously from the 90s of course. But what makes them so special? What is it about these episodes that we all look forward to each year? Lets find out...

Monday, 22 October 2012

New Music by Girls Aloud, Little Mix, Alicia Keys, Solange, Rebecca Ferguson, Nicki Minaj, Marina & The Diamonds and Pink

New video time now and there are a lot of big names coming out with new material in time for the Xmas frenzy, so sit back and press play for a feast of sexy new pop promos.

Girls Aloud - Something New

The girls are back with a reunion tour and a new uptempo dance track for the new greatest hits album.

Sure there's more of a focus on Cheryl and Nadine than the others but what did you expect? They all look great though and the video has left me craving a new Girls Aloud studio album. And Sarah's naked! 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Whatever Happened To RnB? - Monica

Remember when ‘Case of the Ex’ ruled the charts and Wyclef Jean produced good music? In this weekly feature, I’m going to take a look back at some of the best RnB artists of yesteryear, sharing their signature videos and underrated hits, as well as looking at what they’re up to nowadays.

Previous posts have focussed on Cassie, Ciara, Missy Elliott and Brandy. Today, it’s Monica’s turn!

Hey Monica!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

My 5 Scariest Moments in Gaming!

Computer games are not just for kids. In fact, they can be fricking scary at times, perhaps even more so than horror films at the cinema because with a game, you are literally in the character's shoes. As the player, it's up to you whether you open that freaky box with all the noises coming out of it or turn that dark corner, knowing full well that a psychopath is waiting there for you with his knife. In the cinema however, all you have to do is sit back and watch and if you don't like it, you can close your eyes and the horror will continue without you. That's definitely not the case with scary games.
There are so many twisted games developers out there who aim to freak the hell out of you but even some games that are supposed to be normal can still have those sh** your pants moments so with that in mind, here are my 5 scariest moments in gaming.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Tim Burton: Top Five Films.

Halloween is the perfect time of year to indulge in one of my favourite directors dark, atmospheric and quirky themed filmography.  Since the mid 80s, Tim Burton has been entertaining audiences with his unique vision of the world and in doing so, became one of the most successful film makers of all time. This week, his most recent film has hit the big screen, Frankenweenie.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Dark Matter: A Ghost Story by Michelle Paver

Jack is eager to get away from London and so takes the first opportunity he can to escape, participating in a scientific expedition abroad. The only catch is its in the Arctic and the team will be stationed there during polar night, where they will be engulfed in darkness for months on end. As you might imagine, things don't go particularly well for the group and gradually, each member is forced to leave, until Jack is left alone in the camp... except of course, he's not alone.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Whatever Happened To RnB? - Brandy

Remember when 'No Scrubs' ruled the charts and Busta Rhymes was actually an interesting artist? In this weekly feature, I’m going to take a look back at some of the best RnB artists of yesteryear, sharing their signature videos and underrated hits, as well as looking at what they’re up to nowadays.

Previous posts have focussed on Cassie, Ciara and Missy Elliott. Today, it’s Brandy’s turn!

Hey B Rocka!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Disney's Scariest Moments of All Time!

Classic scary films; 'The Exorcist', 'Halloween', 'The Little Mermaid'?! 

Forget what you thought you knew about horror and cast your mind back to those 'innocent' Disney films that warped your young fragile minds as a child. Sure Disney seems all cute and light but underneath the bright colours and catchy sing-a-longs, there are some darker moments that seem surprisingly messed up in retrospect. Damn you Walt!

I'll bet you money that the Mickey doll is possessed. Stay out of the Disney store kids!

Hocus Pocus: Why it's The Best Kids Halloween Film.

If you, like me, are a child who grew up in the 90s, then there is nothing quite like whacking on 'Hocus Pocus' to get you in the mood for Halloween. It's the age old story of a virgin who lights a black flamed candle and brings back to life a trio of 300 year old witches. Oh yeah, and they plan to suck the lives of all the children of Salem. It is by far my favourite Halloween film ever and here's why...

Friday, 12 October 2012

Coraline: Why it's The Best Kids Halloween Film

Fairy tales are scary. It's a fact. And I don't mean crappy Kristen Stewart films but real fairy tales like the original Rapunzel and Hansel & Gretel stories, where people were terrorised by monsters and main characters died. But unfortunately, most of these classic tales were written hundreds of years ago. Thank god then for Neil Gaiman.

Monster House: Why it's The Best Kids Halloween Film

Monster House  has got to be my favourite kids Halloween film by far. When I settled down in the cinema to watch it a few years ago, I wasn't expecting to be sucked into the 'kid's horror' - but I couldn't help myself. The mixture of peformance capture, humour for adults and kids, and the traditional concept of a haunted house gives it the creepy atmospheric feel that any worthy Halloween film needs.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


It's that time of year again, where the leaves begin to fall off the trees, where the weather gets a little colder, the morning and evenings get a little darker and everyone gets in the mood for a good old fashioned scare. It's dwarfism awareness month and  also national squirrel awareness month, but, most importantly it's the month of Hallowe'en, my personal favourite Holiday of the year.
So crack out the cauldron, start craving that pumkin and warm up the oujia board. Over the next few weeks, we've got of lot of Hallowe'en themed posts coming up for you to read and enjoy, from our favourite scary films to books, our favourite Hallowe'en activitites and much more, so be sure to check back and see what we're up to. Enjoy. 

Monday, 8 October 2012

I Love The 90s: The Simpsons.

If there was one TV show that could define the 90s, it would have to be, in my eyes, The Simpson's. Ok, so  I know it started in 1989 and is still on to this very day, but it was in the 90s that The Simpson's ruled and was at its very best, setting a standard that nearly every comedy show, and not just animated ones, would follow for years to come.  From their instantly recognisable yellow skin, to the countless couch gags and the identifiable cast of thousands, The Simpson's is a 90s icon and my favourite show ever, there I said it.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Whatever Happened To RnB? - Missy Elliott

Music is always changing and what is popular one year might be derided as hilariously crap the next but there are certain genres that will always be around, albeit in different forms. Rock will always be rock, whether it’s indie or grunge, and rap will always be rap but RnB is RnB dammit and not this crap dance pop stuff that’s been knocking around the charts for the last couple of years. Do you remember when the term ‘quiet storm’ referred to sensual and mellow RnB and not a deaf person standing in the rain? Artists like Brandy, Mya and TLC used to rule the charts back in the late 90s and early 2000s but gradually, these singers either declined in popularity or sold out to perform a more poppier or dancey sound… I’m looking at you Rihanna and Usher! And damn you Guetta!

In this weekly feature, I’m going to take a look back at some of the best RnB artists of yesteryear, sharing their signature videos and underrated hits, as well as looking at what they’re up to nowadays.

Last week, we took a look at Ciara's career. Click here if you missed it. This week its Missy Elliott's turn.

Hey Missy!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

X-Factor Returns! Top 10 Live Studio Performances

The X-Factor live shows have returned once again to our screens yay! Sure the auditions can be fun and boot camp's great but for me, it's all about the final 12... or 13 battling it out to be crowned the winner. Just a shame about those cheesy themed weeks. Anyway, to celebrate, I thought we could take a look back at the 10 best live studio performances that blew the nation away. Sadly though, this means boot camp and auditions performances are not eligible so that means no Cher Lloyd 'Turn My Swag On' or 'Diana Vickers 'Hallelujah'. Sorry girls. Let's see who made the cut then.

Five Reasons Why You Should Love Resident Evil: Retribution!

Let’s get one thing straight; The Resident Evil films are terrible. I know it. You know it. Milia Jovovich knows it. Hell, the whole world knows it. But there’s just something about this film franchise that does it for me. And it’s not just because of the original games (which I love by the way). There’s something about the ridiculous fight scenes, wooden acting and barely-there plot which just combines into something awfully brilliant. And I can’t get enough of it.

My mission today is to basically persuade any snooty film fans out there to give Resident Evil: Retribution a chance, purely for entertainment value alone. Sure it’s bad on every level but that’s what makes it so good! So here are five reasons why you should throw away your preconceptions and buy yourself a Resident Evil: Retribution ticket. Right now. This very second. So let's get started.

Adele Skyfall: Review.

After months and months of people speculating, gossipping, hearing rumours, seeing Adele leaving the recording studio, rewatching the Jonathan Ross interview on youtube where she says she's writing a theme, saying she would have a new single coming out in October, oddly at the same time as the new James Bond film, the world had been left to ponder over these very cryptic clues as to what Adele had been up to...  Wonder no more cause bugger me, they've only gone and announced that Adele will be singing the new theme from Skyfall. Something that I don't think anyone saw coming. But whats it's like, what does everyone think? lets take a look shall we?

Friday, 5 October 2012

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

'Kitchen' is Banana Yoshimoto's first novel and was first published in 1987 in Japan, before later being translated into English. 

The book is actually comprised of two separate stories, 'Kitchen', and a novella titled 'Moonlight Shadow' and while both stories feature different characters, they both explore similar themes of loss and grief in a startingly original way. I have to say straight off that I loved this book. It was my first time experiencing Yoshimoto's writing and already I am hooked, eager to read more. Here's Banana;

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Sia - The Most Underrated Singer/Songwriter of All Time?

What do Christina Aguilera, David Guetta, Rihanna and Flo Rida all have in common?

No, it's not some strange fungal mouth disease! The answer is that they've all recently worked with Sia Furler, the Australian singer/songwriter responsible for such hits as 'Titanium' and 'Wild Ones'. While there are still many people out there who haven't yet heard of Sia, I'm sure most of the planet have been exposed to something she has written or sang by now. 2012 was a big year for the star and is set to be capped off by the success of the Rihanna song 'Diamonds', which Sia wrote the lyrics and melody for.