Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Fear Factor

Clare:

I'm a wimp who loves horror movies. Confusing no? Basically I haven't seen very many and they always freak me out for LONG LONG after the movie finished. This is why I usually watch monster movies and disaster movies - all the fun none of the "OMFG WHAT". So I decided to let Veronika @ Regal Critiques pick out some horror movies for me to watch and rate the "fear factor" of them. This is, obviously, a fully flawless idea that cannot go wrong in any way.

The Conjuring

 movie film horror the conjuring lili taylor GIF
The DVD claims this was "the scariest movie of the year" which is already a forbidding start. For science I'm going to watch this with the lights off. For science or because I'm an idiot. We'll see.

After watching:
OK. Uhm. Right. So first off lights off was a bad idea. But also maybe a great idea because I was so very, very scared for most of this film. I started the film laughing which slowly devolved into me sending Vera messages along the lines of "WTF WTF WTF". Genuine jumpscares which I always love but not so many of them that they become predictable. There was even one where I fully expected a jumpscare and tensed up and then nothing. Which was almost worse. This is a full on haunted house and possession movie so felt like a classic. I did think Annabelle would have a larger role to play but kinda glad she didn't cause sheesh. Overall I definitely recommend this. But maybe don't watch it alone in the dark. Or do. Who am I to judge?


Insidious

 horror scary demon insidious GIF

Again with the lights off because I guess horror is just no fun unless you're properly scared.


After watching:
It had its moments but for the most part this wasn't that scary. The old lady sure was. Something about elderly ladies with veils and Victorian garb that is just mega scary. But funnily enough men with bright red faces and hooves make me think "circus" more than fear. There were, like I said, some actually scary moments but there were more times when I was bored than scared. I will give it props for a great ending though.


The Descent

 movie horror the descent GIF
This one actually wasn't recommended to me. This is the first horror movie I ever watched but I was very young when I watched it so thought I'd try again and see if it still scares the heck outta me.

After watching:
Yep. OK. This is still the horror movie I measure all other horror movies against. So tense, so terrifying and so, so dark. I'm majorly claustrophobic so the whole caving angle really adds a layer of extreme fear for me. If you love horror and haven't seen this I highly recommend it.



I've now successfully given myself lots of nightmare fodder and had a really good time doing it (weirdly enough). Have you seen any of these movies or do you have any more recommendations for me?


Monday, 30 October 2017

Monday Highlights #30



The idea is to just link your favourite blog post from the past week (for example a post you're very proud of or just had a lot of fun making) and then I, and hopefully others, can discover new blogs to follow and interact with and discover more posts from blogs we may already follow!






You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.



Sunday, 29 October 2017

Sunday Post 29th October 2017

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, it's a chance to post a recap on the past week, show the books we have received and share what we plan for the coming week. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality and the aim is to show our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops or downloaded on to their e-reader.


Books We Got This Week:

Ann:
The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous MagicThe Marked Girl (Marked Girl, #1)Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo: Clare got this in her Fairy Loot box but already owned it so she gave me this copy and we are currently buddy reading it.
The Marked Girl by Lindsay Klingele: I wasn't sure what I was in the mood to read next and Clare picked this out as something she thought I would enjoy!
Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo: Bought this as Clare has started reading it and wanted to buddy read this as well (very Leigh Bardugo themed reading at the moment).


Clare:

The Stars Are LegionNyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)Otherworld (Otherworld, #1)Things a Bright Girl Can DoForest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1)Girls Made of Snow and GlassFinding Magdalena
The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley: I am actually currently reading this! I picked it up because of the dedication to "brutal women" and then was pleasantly surprised to discover this is LGBT!! Really enjoying it so far.
Nyxia by Scott Reintgen: Really, really into Sci-Fi at the moment so this super appealed to me. Plus the cover is gorgeous!
Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller: I've been intrigued by this since we saw it at YALC but we didn't get an ARC! I love the finished copy and cant wait to read it!
Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nichols: Suffragettes AND LGBT characters? I'm truly being spoiled here. Again, saw this at YALC but wasn't lucky enough to get a copy so I'm super excited to have it now!
The Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao: This was the Fairy Loot book for October and I cannot wait to read it! It sounds dark and intriguing and I believe it has morally grey main characters?
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardous: A snow white retelling but where Snow White loves the Evil Queen as the only mother she has ever known and the Evil Queen may not be so evil? I am so on board for this!
Finding Magdalena by Shannon Condon: Many thanks to Austin Macauley publishers for sending a review copy of this. It sounds emotional and heartwrenching and I can't wait to read it!

Reading Update:


Clare:

The French Exchange Whale and Other Rejected Book IdeasLa Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, #1)Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)The Stars Are Legion
The French Exchange Whale by Cal King: 4 stars, This was so cute and fun. What does it say about me that I would read almost all of these as actual books? If you're looking for something short - or a stocking filler since Christmas is coming up - then this is definitely for you!
The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman: 5 stars, All the love for this book. It was probably my most anticipated of the year and I started it the second it arrived. It was a little slow getting started but I actually super appreciated that because it helped me ease my way back into the world. I cannot wait for the series to continue!
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray: 4.5 stars, Buddy read with Veronika @ Regal Critiques. I had read this last year and reviewed it I think. I love how goosebump scary these books are and how totally invested I am in the characters!
The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley: 3.5 stars, This was such a unique read. It is a world (or universe) in which men don't exist and the world building around that was so interesting. All of the characters were very morally grey (or outright bad). This is not a book to read if you have a weak stomach because OMG THE ICK FACTOR. But I kinda really enjoyed it and definitely want to check out more by Hurley!

Monday, 23 October 2017

Monday Highlights #29



The idea is to just link your favourite blog post from the past week (for example a post you're very proud of or just had a lot of fun making) and then I, and hopefully others, can discover new blogs to follow and interact with and discover more posts from blogs we may already follow!


You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sunday Post 22nd October 2017

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, it's a chance to post a recap on the past week, show the books we have received and share what we plan for the coming week. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality and the aim is to show our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops or downloaded on to their e-reader.

Last Week on the Blog:

  • Monday Highlights #28
  • Guest Post: Halloween Movie, TV and YouTube Recommendations
  • Ann's Horror Stories
  • Halloween MASH


Books We Got This Week:

Daughters Unto DevilsBeneath the MountainLa Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, #1)Harry Potter - A History of Magic: The Book of the ExhibitionHarry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic
Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics: This was a surprise gift from Vera @ Regal Critiques (who also did our amazing guest post this week). I have already read this and really enjoyed it. It was intensely dark and creepy.
Beneath the Mountain by Luca D'Andrea: I was sent this for review and am really excited for it! It's being published in the UK in January so I will definitely be reading it soon!
The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman: I dropped everything the second this arrived and immediately starting reading it. I'm a little over halfway through currently and loving it.
A History of Magic and A Journey Through A History of Magic: These were rather optimistically pitched as "new Harry Potter books". Although they're more of a 20th anniversary compendium. I haven't had a chance to look through them yet but Ann has and she loved them so I am looking forward to it!


Reading Update:

The Haunting of Hill HouseDaughters Unto DevilsFeed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)The Informant (Kaz Phelps, #1)
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: 5 stars, Shirley Jackson is now officially my favourite writer for all things creepy. This gave me genuine goosebumps and I could not stop reading until I finished!
Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics: 4 stars, Very atmospheric, super dark especially towards the end and a really exciting read.
Feed by Mira Grant: 2 stars, Kind of disappointing. As an exploration of blog culture I'm sure it's fine but I wanted a zombie story and the actual zombies were fairly scarce in this. Sometimes that works (like in the ever wonderful This Is Not a Test) but here it didn't really. Or not for me anyway.
The Informant by Susan Wilkins: 3 stars, I really enjoyed the first half of this book but started to lose interest towards the second half unfortunately. I do own the second and third books but I wont be reading them straight away.



You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.



Saturday, 21 October 2017

Halloween MASH



If you haven't played MASH before it's pretty simple! You have a few categories (like Job, Number of Kids, Type of House etc) and various options within those. You then work through the list according to a randomly selected number (crossing off whatever you land on until only one answer remains in each category) and the results are meant to tell you what your future holds. SUPER unscientific. We decided to do a Halloween movie variation and the results are how our personal horror adventure would pan out. We each picked options for each other (teaming up with Veronika @ Regal Critiques).

Ann:

Ann's options were picked by Veronika!
Ann's Thoughts: Pleased with my results because I survive but also - I get to hang out with Dean Winchester and who wouldn't be happy about that? I mean have you looked at him??


Veronika:

Veronika's options were picked by Clare!
Veronika's Comments: This was so fun, I especially liked thinking up the different outcomes, places etc. for Ann. As for my own MASH, I am quite satisfied with the results!? I mean, I survived, which is, obviously, the best option, but better yet, it was me all along!! *cheers* I would have been slightly more satisfied with an axe as my weapon, like Lizzie Borden, but overall, I'm really happy with my results.


Clare:

Clare's options were picked by Ann!
Clare's Comments: OK so firstly - feeling some animosity here Ann! I get NO CHANCE TO SURVIVE?? NONE!?? Everyone else gets to live and I get "torn limb from limb by my own doppelganger". Wow. Mona is a pretty awesome companion though and at least I didn't get Giant Caterpillar for my villain cause that would have been... dark.


Hope you enjoyed these as much as we enjoyed making them!! Let us know what you think of our results and wish me luck with my not-so-bright future? Happy Halloween!!!


You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.






Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Ann's Horror Stories

I recently entered a competition in which I had to write a story of exactly 100 words. This first story is one that I got published last year in a short story collection full of 'spine chillers after dark' stories. 

As I begin cutting, blood splatters onto my face. I smile with pleasure, he deserves this, after everything he’s done. I recall the torture I put him through first, his screams of pain, his begging for mercy, a mercy he never gave me. The bone in his leg snaps from the pressure of the saw and his leg comes away. I move onto his head, his mouth still open from his last scream, from when I finally ended his miserable life. I look over at the corner. She’s tied to a chair, watching me, crying and pleading. She is next.

This next story is another one I wrote for a competition but didn't end up using, however, I thought that I would post it for you all to enjoy.


I walk through the door not knowing what to expected. The door slams behind me making me jump. I hear a noise and start to walk towards it thinking it is Jamie. Where is he? I reach the top of the stairs and see a shadow moving around in the bedroom. I walk into the bedroom and see someone stood over by the window, I move towards them and they turn around. I see his face, it is covered in burn marks the skin peeling away, a sinister smile appears on his face as he sees me. He isn’t Jamie!

Hope you enjoyed my Halloween Horror Stories!!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Guest Post: Halloween Movie, TV & Youtube Recommendations from Veronika @ Regal Critiques



Hello everyone! Veronika here from The Regal Critiques, coming to give you a grand variety of movie, TV show and even YouTube recommendations for Halloween. I attempted to cater to everyone's tastes, so I brought some truly scary, some bloody, some hella dark, but also, some totally non-scary non gory recommendations, as well.  There are too many titles to talk about each of them individually, so I opted for selecting one, my most favorite, from each sub-category, and discussed why exactly I love it so much. BUT, as a simple list would probably make for a rather boring post, I'm going to add TONS OF gifs, basically, a gif from each movie, show or youtube vid. EVERYONE loves a good gif, right!? 
So seat belts on, y'all, we're about to embark on one of the most extensive lists of Halloween "watchable" recs EVER. Have fun. 💀 Titles link to IMDb. 


TV SHOWS

for those in need of something scary(-ish)
AMERICAN HORROR STORY
💀 IT IS AN ANTHOLOGY, so even though there are some small connections between the seasons, you can totally watch them out of order, and even leave out the ones you don't care about. 
💀 THE ACTING is A+, with actors like Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe and Evan Peters playing some of the leading roles. 
💀 There's SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE in the series, basically - it has some gore, dark episodes, sort of scary scenes, weirdness, fantastic & complex characters, but also, sometimes humor.
💀 For those who are unfamiliar with the series: S1 - Murder House (ghoooosts), S2 - Asylum, S3 - Coven, S4 - Freak Show, S5 - Hotel (vampires & ghosts), S6 - Roanoke, S7 - Cult
💀 Each season is fine, but the first and second seasons are my favorites, whilst Hotel is probably my least favorite. 

Other title(s) worth mentioning:
  • Wayward Pines (I only watched the first season, but that was COOL!)

for those in need of something mysterious
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
💀 DIVERSITY - Nearly all the main characters are diverse, e.g. there are black, bisexual, Asian and gay characters. 
💀 MYSTERY - There's basically a whole new centre mystery in every season with time jumps in each episode to keep the truth hidden from the viewers, and IT WORKS SO WELL. Of course, there's a main plot that's been going on from the first season, and these sub-plots fit into that perfectly.
💀 CASES - The characters go to law school, and they get some truly interesting cases and people to defend. Unfortunately, as the plot thickens, they have less and less such cases, but the first season in particular has tons of intriguing ones.
💀 SHIPS - Obviously, romance is NOT the main aspect of this show, but SOME OF THE SHIPS ARE REALLY GOOD. 

Other title(s) worth mentioning:

for those in need of something funny, but gory
SCREAM QUEENS
💀 Unfortunately, the only show I know for this category, but IT IS SO GOOD, especially the first season, the second dragged at some parts.
💀 IT IS FUNNY, really, truly funny at parts and it makes fun of today's pop culture in a non-cringy way. 
💀 THE FASHION is reason enough to watch the show, to be honest. The outfits are gorgeous, and the whole show is just freaking aesthetically pleasing to watch, so much so that I actually have a pinterest board dedicated to stuff I think would fit well into the show. Yes, this board represents all the things I can't afford.

for those in need of an animated show
GRAVITY FALLS
💀 A+ GRAPHICS - Honestly, one of the most gorgeous animations I've ever seen. Every little detail is well-done and ah, just check out the first episode and you'll see for yourself what I mean. 
💀 FANTASTIC RELATIONSHIPS - Be it the stunning twin-bond between Dipper and Mabel, their friendship with others, or their relationship with their uncle Stan, every single relationship is portrayed SO REALISTICALLY. They argue, they disagree, they do not talk to each other at times, but they obviously love each other so very much.
💀 THERE IS A PIG. 'Nuff said.
💀 MYSTERIOUS. For a show that was aimed at kids originally, Gravity Falls packs some seriously shocking punches. ALSO, each episode basically has a new and super-intriguing... thing (?) revealed about Gravity Falls (as in, the town), like magical creatures or robot-making geniuses. I KNOW, SOUNDS TOO WEIRD, BUT IT'S FANTASTIC. 

Other title(s) worth mentioning:

MOVIES.
slower build-up, but TENSION-filled
GET OUT

💀 THE ACTING took my breath away. Incredibly talented actors, incredible direction and just fantastic work all around. 
💀 PLOT TWISTS that were so so so SHOCKING, and shook me to my core. 
💀 TENSION, SO MUCH TENSION. Like the category title says - slower build up, but from the get go YOU KNOW that everything will go to shit, and the build-up is so so so well-done. 
Other title(s) worth mentioning:


more dark and/or mysterious than scary
IT
💀 HORROR, BUT WORKS FOR NON-HORROR FANS!? Okay, so I'm a huge fan of horror movies, and I looooved IT a lot, but I also know people who despise horror movies, yet, IT worked for them, too! SO, obviously, IT is generally liked by everyone, or so we should pretend for the sake of this post.
💀 THE! ACTING! IS! SO! GOOD! I'm not sure when was the last time I saw a movie with such young cast who a) were INCREDIBLY talented, and b) had great chemistry. I swear to god, I could totally imagine these guys hanging out IRL. 
💀 A GREAT ADAPTATION. I haven't read the book (sorry fans!), but the friend I watched the movie with is a HUGE Stephen King fan AND she is really critical, but even she was impressed by IT. 
💀 LONG, BUT DOESN'T FEEL LONG. IT is longer than two hours, yet, time seemed to fly by, because the plot was fast-paced and intriguing from the first scene to the last.

Other title(s) worth mentioning:
(this is an anthology about the darkness in everyday people who get pushed to the edge, and it is a freaking masterpiece)
(but read the book first, because book >>>>>>>>>>> movie)

actually scared the hell out of me
THE CONJURING
EVERYONE KNOWS THIS MOVIE, I THINK. But just in case:
💀 EPIC "GHOST-HUNTER" COUPLE who are actually based on a real-life couple, so that is fascination.
💀 On that note, both The Conjuring 1 & 2 are BASED ON REAL-LIFE EVENTS. I call bullshit on that, but, I guess, this depends on what you believe in lol.
💀 FANTASTIC ACTING. I mean, Vera Farmiga is a QUEEN, I love her, okay. 
💀 GREAT STORY-LINE. Actually has a plot, and a great one at that, y'all, doesn't just rely on the scares and shit. 
(okay, to be honest, I think this wasn't very impressive?? but good enough for a quick horror movie)

not necessarily scary, but quite bloody
I don't want to highlight either of these, because they are SO DIFFERENT from each other - Goodnight Mommy is truly dark and twisted and plays onto a lot of fears people have, whilst The Hateful Eight is like a dark comedy. Both are great - though, I did like the latter more - and worth watching. HOWEVER, do NOT go and read a lot about GM, because MANY reviews spoil the twist, which is so not cool. 

animated movies
MONSTER HOUSE
💀 I'll NEVER stop shouting about this movie, because it does not receive enough praise! 
💀 It is PERFECT for kids who like creepy things, but, for obvious reasons, can't watch horror yet. 
💀 AND for adults who like a great, interesting, UNIQUE movie that has good animation, characters AND IS FUNNY. 

not scary titles that would still work for Halloween DESCENDANTS (and Descendants 2)
💀 DISNEY'S FIRST AWESOME TITLE IN YEARS!!
💀 MUSICAL! I mean, that's a plus for me, but if you dislike music-numbers in movies than probably not cool for you. BUT!! The songs are actually catchy, and closer to being "radio-friendly" than any other Disney songs, to be honest. 
💀 KENNY ORTEGA OF HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL DIRECTED THE MOVIES.
💀 INTERESTING CHARACTERS. The main characters are literally the descendants of 4 great villains - Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella de Vil - living imprisoned on an island with all the other villains and their kids.  
💀 Honestly, the production value is, obviously, lower than that of other movies from this list, but The Descendants are SO WORTH WATCHING!!

YOUTUBE

Buzzfeed Blue has a series called Buzzfeed Unsolved that has two different types of videos - supernatural and true crime. I highly prefer true crime, but both are really-fascinating to watch, to be honest. Also Shane and Ryan joke around a lot, so the atmosphere never gets too dark. 
Supernatural
True Crime
                                                       
Shane Dawnson has a huge variety of creepy videos on this playlist. These include unsolved cases, supernatural stories, deaths and conspiracy theories. Also, he has another type of "scary" videos where he goes on adventures with his friends, Drew and Garret, to haunted places and the likes. See those here. Now, I'm not going to lie - the closer you get to the current day, the more lukewarm the content gets, it definitely seems like he used up the best of his ideas. BUT I'd still recommend checking out his vids, because there are some truly dark and creepy vids in there. Just scroll around the playlist and click on whatever you're interested in.

QUESTION TIME!
Have you ever watched any of the listed shows/movies/youtubers? What did you think?? What's your absolute favorite thing to watch on Halloween? Also, could you give me & everyone else some more recs in ANY of the categories listed above?? WE'D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR VOICE.