Sleepy Hollow Review

Hi everyone, this is a piece I wrote for my college interview a few months ago.

I must have been around the age of 5 when I first encountered the gothic horror, Sleepy Hollow. It was way past my bedtime and having been woken up by nightmares of Freddie Kruger – a regular occurrence in my childhood – I went through to the living room where my mum had dozed off on the couch. Knowing that I’d be sent straight off to bed if she woke up, I sat quietly on a chair in front of the TV and caught my first glimpse of what would soon become one of my all-time favourite films. My first encounter was brief. I only managed to catch around 5 minutes of the film before my mum woke up and put me back to bed. From what I remember, that 5 minutes involved a scene in which a young Ichabod Crane – the film’s protagonist – was dancing with his mother who gracefully spiralled into the air in a bewitching fashion. At this age, I was obsessed with witches and my favourite TV show was Buffy the Vampire Slayer – a programme which regularly involved spells and charms. For all intents and purposes; I was now obsessed with Sleepy Hollow. By the age of 8, I must have watched it about 100 times. As time went on, I obsessed over other things, but this film always meant something special to me. An older Finn would go on to rediscover this Tim Burton gem and recognise its worth.
Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, a reimagining of Washington Irving’s ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ was released in 1999 and is set in 1799 America. It stars Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, a bizarre and cowardly detective with a fondness for the new-born field of forensics. The film sees him shipped off from New York to the eerie village of Sleepy Hollow where he is set to investigate a series of beheadings which locals claim to be the work of the Hessian Headless Horseman – a title which happily rolls off the tongue. Ichabod, a man of reasoning and logic is quick to dismiss all of these theories and sets off to find answers. However, he will soon have to confront his disbelief of superstition. And if you’re a secret softie like me, there’s a sweet little love story thrown in between Ichabod and the endearingly mysterious Katrina Van Tassel played by Christina Ricci.
Some fans may notice that this film pays a lot of homage to the old ‘Hammer’ Horror films. The film even features the late Christopher Lee, who is practically the face of Hammer. In fact, his scene where he plays a head judge in New York cleverly makes use of a statue behind him to make him appear to have bat-like wings in one frame; a nod to his role as Dracula.
I love this film because in typical Tim Burton fashion, he mixes inventive fantasies with Gothic designs. It is aesthetically dark and menacing. The set is frighteningly beautiful with most of the film looking very black and white – minus the bright red blood of course. The mise-en-scène of the film is spectacular and some could argue is what really drives this horror flick. Johnny Depp gives a great performance and somewhat comfortably portrays the eccentric and sometimes frustrating hero. You can tell that he feels right at home in another one of Burton’s gothic productions.
From the dialogue and costumes to the dreary lighting and outstanding music score by Danny Elfman, Sleepy Hollow is very convincing in portraying an already familiar story of the Headless Horseman. Bringing in a mixture of comedy, gore, witchcraft, blood-soaked trees and a wonderfully berserk Christopher Walken as the headless horseman; Sleepy Hollow easily put me under its spell for so many years. Any fan of horror and especially Tim Burton should watch this film. Heads will roll. Quite literally.

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It Follows review

Yo yo yo ma homies. This is a review I wrote for the recent horror, It Follows. I have to say that this now competes as one of my all-time favourite horror films.

It’s always good to see a low-budget film make it big. You could say it’s a strike for the little guy against the monopoly of the major studios. There’s been a major buzz surrounding ‘It Follows’ ever since it became the ‘breakout’ film of last year’s Cannes Film Festival. Since then it has been generating some overwhelmingly positive reviews; somewhat unusually for a film of this genre. In fact it’s the only film I can remember to have garnered a near 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while The Telegraph newspaper called it the most exciting film of the festival, going on to say, “With its marvellously suggestive title and thought-provoking exploration of sex, this indie chiller is a contemporary horror fan’s dream come true.”
High praise, indeed. So what’s it all about?
Well, it starts as a simple boy meets girl story. Or girl meets boy. 19-year old Jay (played by newcomer Maika Monroe) is a seemingly ordinary girl who likes swimming, hanging out with friends and watching TV. Everything seems to be going reasonably well in her slightly awkward budding relationship with new boy, Hugh. Although, we soon see that he notices people that no one else can and he seems very eager to get away from them. Jay overlooks this fact and the inevitable horror film sex scene happens. More-or-less normal teen behaviour, you might think. Things then get strange as he drugs her and ties her to a chair in an abandoned warehouse. I can’t divulge why, or that would give away a crucial part of the plot. Better to see for yourself. Afterwards, Jay finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, or something, is following her. She too starts seeing people that nobody else can. Faced with being drawn into a waking nightmare, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horror that seems to be only a few steps behind. It quickly becomes apparent that in order for her life to return to normality, she has to address the curse, if that’s what it is, and ‘pass it on,’ a realization which throws up some interesting moral dilemmas.
It Follows carries on the recent trend of foregoing blood and splatter in favour of good old-fashioned chills, often calling to mind the classic, atmospheric ghost stories of old. There are also elements which echo David Lynch of Twin Peaks’ work. The film is especially effective in its early stages, the formulaic jumps and frights getting a little predictable towards the end. But the really interesting thing is the subtext, which goes far beyond the traditional SEX = BAD epithet. This is hinted at in the press release, which says, ‘It Follows is a contemporary horror exploring teen sex, suburbia and the stuff of nightmares – a cult classic in the making.’ A statement that after seeing this film I could actually agree with. Maika Monroe truly gives a chilling performance in ‘It Follows’ and makes an impressive ‘Scream Queen’. The lingering shots and entrancing electronic music gives the audience an authentically terrifying experience. I suggest this film to any true fan of horror.

Back again and with a guide to failure.

So, it appears that I’m here yet again. It saddens me to admit that my recent attempt of a ‘comeback’ failed miserably. It was a lousy piece of writing that lacked the Finn-ish substance that we have all come to know and love (nod, smile and act like you know what I’m talking about). Failure is never a nice thing to feel. Whether that be in education, work, relationships, friendships or the worst – and totally the best – giving into that 12″ Margherita pizza when your diet has been going so well; and when your closest heaven-like takeaway does a great ‘BOGOF’ offer, who can possibly say no? Unfortunately for most failures; the faster the drive, the harder the crash. It is important to remember that those horrible feelings in which failure brings – although intense – are only temporary. We must accept our mistakes and work from them.

From my own experience and the accounts of others, I believe that there are 6 different stages of failure:

Confusion

Sadness

Regret

Anger

Acceptance

and finally; motivation for something greater!

I, like so many others, do not believe that they are good enough. We already have failure in our heads and as a result we carry this through everything we do. I don’t see it happening at the time but it’s a more than reasonable answer for why I’m so bloody good at not putting in my 110%. I may mock my old drama teacher for her constant ramblings about ‘SFP’ – SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY, but for the most part, she was right. I mean, don’t get me wrong… if I believe that I’m going to turn into a Russian gymnastic potato, I doubt it will actually happen. But in terms of failure, it’s pretty effective to go into it with a positive outlook as hard as that may be.

And remember…

DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO ANYONE ELSE. THIS IS YOUR JOURNEY. WHO EVEN DEFINES FAILURE? DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE DEFINED BY YOUR COURSE, JOB, FRIENDS, PAST OR WHATEVER OTHER CRAPPY THING SOCIETY PROJECTS INTO OUR EXPECTATIONS OF LIFE. HAPPINESS IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS. PROJECT YOUR GREATEST VIBES OUT INTO THE WORLD AND THEY MIGHT JUST BOUNCE BACK!

For this was another pointless post by maraudingminds 🙂

The Comeback

I gave up on this blog a few months ago as it’s in my nature to only succeed at beginnings. However… Times are ‘a changing (HALLELUJAH) and it’s time for a comeback. I’ve been stuck the past few days on what to write and even whilst typing this now I’m still not sure on what is to follow. Having read back on previous posts for some sort of ‘Finspiration’™; I noticed that I never really went into a new post with anything set in stone. For me, writing is a way to express myself in a platform that speech prohibits. I’m not exactly an intelligent person – as a good friend of mine previously stated: “I know a little about a lot.”. – This does limit me from some in-depth conversations from time-to-time. However, we are in charge of our own front.

When I was a young boy I often questioned who I was; who I was meant to be and who I should never become. At the ripe old age of 18, I ask myself the same 3 questions.

Who is Finn?… Well I still don’t know the bloody answer. Not many of us do I suppose. I have a lot of paradoxical traits which lead me to confusion. An example of this would be introversion and extroversion. Most people are either an introvert or an extrovert, that just seems to be the way it is. However, I can identify with both. A hybrid of sorts. I can be in the thick of a crowd but still mentally observe from the sideline. I’ve touched on my confidence in previous posts and it is still a harrowing issue in my life. Do I really perceive myself in such a different way than others? In my mind this can’t be true. The worst part of low self-confidence is having a good day. It makes you question everything you thought you knew about your physical self. How can I go from feeling so disgusting and unloved to looking at myself and feeling like I’m not this hideous monster? One day I can look at myself topless and feel like a muffin fresh out of the oven; on another I can feel like I’m in completely different skin. Recently I have been determined to join the gym but I refuse to go alone on my first couple of visits. It sounds pathetic but I have created this mental block for myself and only a gym buddy can fix it. I know that I can do it though.

Who am I supposed to be? Well I’ve learned the answer to this and it’s very simple. I can only be myself – warts ‘n all (thankfully I have no warts). There’s no point trying to be something you’re not because your roots will only grow stronger and eventually while you’re trying to be this beautiful rose, your real inner flower will be like “Hey, wtf man… you’re not a rose. I am not letting this happen. Come back here young man or I’ll ground you!” (my inner flower is an angry old lady by the way).

Who should I never become? Anyone but myself because that’s just not healthy.

I’ve felt myself get very lazy as of late. Recently, someone has came into my life who has been helping me get through this. They encouraged me to start writing again and they have persisted that I eat healthily and join the gym. The nicest thing is that they only do this because they see what makes me unhappy. They see the potential I have and for a guy like me that’s something to cherish.

I hope to continue with this blog as it benefits me in many different ways. I have an interview next month for a writing course so hopefully this helps me prepare.

For this was another pointless post by maraudingminds.

Liebster Award… I don’t get it…

Liebster award!

liebster2

Hey y’all. Sorry that I haven’t posted in a few days but I’ve had a lot on my mind and a lot of stuff to do.

Anyway, I’ve been nominated for a ‘Liebster award’. Sorry everyone but I didn’t even know what that was… awkys. As far as I’m aware, there are different Liebster awards and I was nominated by http://waywardwritings.wordpress.com/ for the new blog award – thanks btw :). I have to answer the 11 questions that person sent me. So, here it goes…

  1. What is your favourite season, and why? My favourite season is probably Autumn. I like it when there’s a mild heat that doesn’t bother me and the wind is blowing like a low setting on a vent – what is this? a fucking novel or something. Halloween is also my favourite season special.

2. How do you like your eggs done? I like my eggs fertilised. No? OK…Scrambled eggs can be good. Egg soldiers can also be good. I’m not a big fan of the yolk though.

4. What are you good at? I’m particularly crafty in the art of humiliating myself. I’m not sure to be honest. I’m not that good at anything. I think I’m ok-ish at writing – or at least I’d like to think so. I’m also very good at being lazy and staying in bed watching films.

5. Favourite Christmas special on TV? What does this even mean? Like movie or an Eastenders Christmas special type of thing haha? I’ll just say Home Alone or something.

6. Name a random hobby. This blog I suppose.

7. Do you collect anything? I have a bad habit for hoarding receipts and tickets.

8. Name one thing or type of thing that you always have to buy, but know you don’t need.
Junk food, cigarettes, alcohol… Wait, who am I kidding? Of course I need all of these things. I do need to quit the junk food though!

9. Favourite scent?  CHIC for men by Caroline Herrera or Paco Rabanne One Million.

10. Pumpkin spice lattes: yay or nay?  I’ve never had one but it’s so “Hey Tiffany, do you want me to order your pumpkin spice latte? They’re really hawwwt” which makes me love it somehow. J’adore white girl USA.

11. Mac or PC? Mac even though I’ve never had one. They turn me on.

That’s that. I’m not nominating anyone else because I don’t know anyone and I don’t want to go through a hassle of finding people. #AprilLudgateForLife

A mask, a task and an overall fail.

Hello. I know that I said I’d write a post today/yesterday (it’s just after midnight) about my first day of work but I know it will be long and I’ve left it too late. I have college in the morning so I need to be up early. However, if I don’t post anything then I would be letting myself down.

So last night I set myself a few tasks to be done today/yesterday/you know what I mean. First of all, I needed to go to the bank to change my address and get a new card as my current one has expired and I don’t know if I’ll get paid on it. Secondly, I had to finish my assessment that was due a week ago. And last of all I had to write up a couple more posts to go on here.
Well, well, well… Typical me managed to more or less fail all of my tasks. I thought the bank shut at half 5 but I sadly arrived at 5:01 just as it was shutting. Once I went to finish the last part of my assessment, I am added to a group chat made up of my classmates in which everyone is discussing the new assessment. Now bare in mind that I didn’t know this new assessment even existed – let alone that it’s due for tomorrow. So now I have something new to stress about, and the fact that every single person in the chat is saying how impossible it is doesn’t help either.
What would a normal person do in this situation?
Probably sit themselves down, study the shit out of the assessment and then try and get it started.
What would I do in this situation?
Well, in typical Finn fashion I let myself get distracted, start messing about, forget about my original assessment – which I managed to finish later on – and end up playing a game of chappy/ding dong ditch/chap door run/whatever you call annoyingly knocking at a door then running away. Yes, my childish self manages to persuade my flatmates to join in too. All of our attempts fail and no one even answers as we watch through the peephole, mimicking – or reliving – our younger selves. As that failed I weirdly suggest that we write funny death threats to leave at our neighbours doors. Again, no one answers. So, we end up moulding a mask made of tin foil to my face and changing my attire to ‘ski resort robot serial killer chic’ to try and scare passers by. This was also a fat fail. We retire to our boudoirs, time passes by and now here I am. I still have tomorrow to do my assessment though which isn’t too bad. I also forgot to mention my many memory attacks that I incurred today. Memory attacks, you ask?…
I can’t remember, sorry.
For this was another pointless post by maraudingminds G’night 🙈🔮🌃

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