Beetlejuice

This review was originally written as part of my USA Road Trip for French Toast Sunday.

A couple, Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) decide to spend their two weeks vacation at home working on their house, when quite unexpectedly they die in a car crash. They find themselves haunting their home and are tethered to it, unable to leave, and are appalled when new owners move in from New York, intent on renovating the house into a modern art spectacle. The Maitlands seem to have just one option – hire Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), a self-confessed bio-exorcist, to help them rid their home of these unwanted inhabitants, but unfortunately he turns out to be a little more than they bargained for. O'Hara Continue reading

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My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 43

I’ve been thinking about a couple of things this past week, one of which is density – sorry, I mean destiny. I’m a sceptic about pretty much every aspect of life, so I hold no faith in notions of pre-determined actions and events projecting the routes our lives will follow, yet sometimes so many obstacles will conspire against one particular thing I’m trying to accomplish that I can’t help but have my doubts, especially when that thing at least tangentially relates to otherworldly situations. Yep, I’m still going on about the John Carpenter Lambcast, the one I fought tooth and claw to arrange last weekend, only for just one other person to show up.
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Well we re-arranged it for this past weekend, immediately after the normally scheduled show and, as could have been predicted in the Gilliam-esque quest that has been this show, people had to drop out. Firstly was the guy who was there last week, who couldn’t make the new recording time, so I felt really crap about having to let him go when I couldn’t move the time around. Then someone else dropped out a few hours before the show. Cue me scrambling around Twitter and my email contacts, scouting out for anyone who had seen just a handful of his films, enough to have a discussion. Two people replied. Phew. The first show recorded well, albeit with one slightly under the weather guest, and when it came to recording the Carpenter show, one of those last minute replacements didn’t appear, and still hadn’t shown up 30 minutes later. It turned out to be technical difficulties, and from a guest who doesn’t have an Internet phone, so contacting me wasn’t a possibility, and fortunately a replacement was found mid-show, and overall the show recorded well, has been edited and posted (hence why this show is a little later this week, sorry about that), but I can’t help thinking maybe there were so many “signs” that it shouldn’t have taken place. Then again, if that really were the case then the brief period I suffered through yesterday when Internet went down for a few hours (another reason this post is late) would surely have occurred either the night before, when I was trying to post the show, or on Sunday evening itself, when we were recording. No, I think it’s safe to say I’m just being paranoid and melodramatic.
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It’s this easily-quashed realist’s approach to the supernatural that makes it so difficult for me to become absorbed into paranormal horror films. I’ve seen a few this past week and as soon as it becomes blatant that something otherworldly is behind the scary situations I instantly check out any possibility of this film scaring me, because I know it isn’t real. Over the next few days you’ll see what I mean a little better, with reviews for the likes of Poltergeist and Halloween heading your way, but for now, here’s what I watched this week:
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Top 10… Snakes

Last week was spiders, this week we celebrate that other great scary creature – snakes! I know I got some negative feedback from scaring people with the spider pictures – sorry Dylan, you big pansy – and that’s unlikely to change this week, especially because my girlfriend is frankly terrified of snakes, so sorry about that honey, but it is October, after all.promo189333424I’ve got no problem with snakes, but then again I’ve never actually encountered one that isn’t trapped in a perspex box, apart from the one an obnoxious twat was parading round a shopping centre near me recently, deliberately trying to scare people and using the snake as a clear replacement for the lack of any other reason people would have to notice or talk to him. But it would seem they show up an awful lot in films. This is probably because, similarly to spiders, they have completely the wrong number of legs for any normal animal, yet still manage to function effectively. How much fear do you think you’d strike into the heart of small children without any limbs? Not a great deal, probably, but that’s because you’d probably have an awful lot of trouble moving around unaided, whereas snakes get along just fine. It’s impressive, really.???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????So, the obvious answer everyone’s shouting is Snakes On A Plane, to which I say yes, it’s a great film, but no, it’s not on the list, because of the same reason I ignored Eight Legged Freaks and Arachnophobia last week – it’s just lousy with snakes. There’s too many for any to stand out, so they all suffer because of it. And as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t quite bring myself to include Monty Python, nor did I allow  Lt. ‘Cobra’ Cobretti on, mainly because I haven’t seen Cobra. And I was tempted to include Mark Wahlberg’s appendage in Boogie Nights, but decided against it at the last minute. There is one questionable not-really-a-snake inclusion, but there’s no way he could be omitted. Anyway, enough preamble, here’s the list: Continue reading