Top 8 Spooky Films!

Hello!

You can tell I haven’t done on these posts in a while, mainly because I had forgotten how to actually start it. Oops!

I’m also talking about a different subject too, I normally don’t talk about “spooky” things, especially in the month of October. I mentioned in my recent review for Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper” last week that even though I love the occasional vampire, witch and werewolf subgenres, I am still very tame when it comes to anything in the “horror” category. To be perfectly honest with you, none of these films are too over the top, at least from my standpoint–you might have another point of view and that’s fine and dandy. We all have our limits for this time of the year and if you’re interested in boarding your horizons a bit, I think you should consider the list below.

Now, shall we?


Before we start, I wanted to give you a level to go with each movie in the hopes to help you see how “creepy” it is, so imagine that number one is the safest whereas 10 is not only the highest but frightening on the whole thing, but as you get to five, you’ve hit a good medium between those feelings, okay?

The Gift (2000)

One of the first movies I was suggested to watch was The Gift. When you have both of your parents telling you to check it out, that is usually a good candidate, especially in the psychological section. For the most part, that’s what I’d say about all of these films but this one was different because it still has some of my usual themes within it.

The Gift is about a woman who is known to be a little out there. She is more of a healer than a witch, but now she is starting to have visions of another woman who is mysteriously missing, and she is haunted by this girl and feels certain that she is dead. It stars Cate Blanchett, Katie Holmes, and Keanu Reeves in very strong roles. Despite for some intense scenes, I’d still give it a 6 1/2 on the “creepy” scale.

What Lies Beneath (2000)

Now with this film, I was told to watch it for basically two years; at one point my mom was watching it in the living room, and I was slightly intrigued by the start of it. A few days later I decided to actually watch it and even though I thought it was really good, that doesn’t mean I’ll be watching it for a while. I would definitely put it at an eight, because of a scene that shows a Ouija board. I hate those things and that scene almost made me run for the hills!

The Prodigy (2019)

This one is very interesting because it focuses on a reincarnation outlook with some creepy stuff involved as we follow a couple on the quest on having a baby and on the day their child is born, a serial killer is also taking his last breaths at the same hospital! When the killer realizes this, he gets to recreate his life in the eyes of this little boy.

In my defense, the first time I ever saw the trailer, I didn’t think it looked too bad, I thought in a way, it would be like The Gift in a more modern way, and I was so totally wrong! This freaked me out more than I thought it would, but I will also say that I thought it was really interesting too. I liked it for those moments, but that means it belongs higher on my scale, so I’d say it’s an eight or nine. However, I do have an alternative for you. If you are interested in reincarnation or a “Freaky Friday” kind of scare, I think “Freaky” with Vince Vaughan and Kathryn Newton would be a more comic and safer idea instead.

Fantasy Island (2019)

A little bit after I completed The Prodigy, I actually noticed a change in myself and I definitely wanted more psychological thrillers, nothing like Final Destination or Saw (although I do want to check out “Spiral” soon!) and I always seemed to watch their trailers first, but as we’ve found out with the last one, I don’t know if going about it this way is a good thing in general.

When I suggested this to my dad, he made it apparent to me that there could be an older version of this film, I know there is/was a TV show on FOX with Rosalyn Sanchez last year, but I was never able to check it out in time. Anyways, this movie was actually lighthearted in the beginning, but you knew shit was going to hit the fan sometime. It had a nice balance of “oh, this is fine” to “here we go” and ultimately “oh damn!” but I enjoyed myself all the same. I’d give it a solid six, mainly because of the events happening at the end.

Escape Room (2019)

I’ve heard about these damn escape rooms all the time. I first heard about them while watching an episode of Jeopardy! and I thought why in the world would anyone want to lock themselves with a bunch of random people in the hopes to finding a series of keys to get out of there. I mean, I barely wanted to work in groups with people I know because I can do things easier on my own!

And then I decided to watch this sucker and was sucked into it immediately, but since this was a movie, the rules can change, and your outcome can have some deadly consequences. I truly loved this movie, like I am patiently waiting for the day the second shows up on my guide for Starz (because that’s where the other premiered on!). If you would like another film like this, try to search for Play Or Die. This one has more British actors in it so the accents are heightened and the plot for the main character is more mysterious.

Crawl (2019)

I feel really bad for adding this to this list after the lower half of the States are recovering after the damage of Hurricane Ian in Florida, Puerto Rico and others as we speak, but this was a creepy but realistic take that most of us would not think about but probably should afterwards.

This film follows a father, daughter duo getting stuck in the midst of an intense hurricane and their home is infested with massive and hungry crocodiles. If you thought sharks were bad, this will show you to fear these beasts even more! As the characters are trying to escape, they try not to tempt monsters hiding in the water. As someone who hasn’t watched Jaws, I’d give this movie a big 10 because evetime you believe it’s done, all hell breaks loose for the characters.

Old (2020)

This year, I had decided on two movies I desperately wanted to see and luckily, they appeared on HBOMax. I was a happy camper, and the first was M. Night Shyamalan’s Old. I saw the trailer and knew from experience that when dealing with Shyamalan’s work, it would be slightly horrifying! However, it didn’t stop me from watching it.

Old is about a group of people who come to this resort, and they are each invited to visit a beach with beautiful views and relaxing atmosphere, which is true, but there is a bad side to it too. They get their first clue when they find a woman dead on the shore and it looks like she’d been there for a very, long time but hasn’t. In a matter of five hours, each of the residents become older and lose a number of things in the process, their eyesight, memory, beauty, and one of the children becomes an adult, gives birth right there in front of her parents.

This movie was right up my alley, but it also seemed too weird, and I didn’t particular enjoy the ending of it either. I would give it a good seven out of ten because there were a lot of freaky moments–obviously! Now if you’d ask me on general enjoyment, I’d tell you it was a four.

Last Night In Soho (2021)

After I had watched Old, I was a bit skeptic on how Last Night In Soho would turn out for me. The main reason why I had wanted to see it was because stars Thomasin McKenzie (who was also in Old!) and Anya Taylor-Johnson (who was in M. Night Shamalyan’s Split!) and Matt Smith. I had found it just before House of the Dragon would start and I wanted to get a sense of Matt’s work before it had premiered a couple of months later.

My thoughts on Last Night In Soho are completely different to Old; I actually loved it so much that I told my parents it was one of the best films I’d seen in a while. I would actually put it on the same list I put Murder On the Orient Express. It was that amazing!


Honestly, this is a pretty hefty list with a lot of different options. I’ve done other movies lists in the past, I’ve even done a few Halloween-y posts a couple of years ago, so it’s nice to update what I’ve enjoyed since then and let you test your waters in the near future.

Which film(s) are you thinking about checking out soon? Do you have any others that fit well with this list that I might enjoy too? Let me know in the comments below!

snowflake

Book Review: “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Hello there!

In a way to get me ready for fall and of course, Halloween, I wanted to find something that would reflect my mood and I thought my favorite thrillers. Now, I am not a very big fan of horror despite my love for vampires, witches and werewolves, but I do enjoy a good psychological thriller here and there.

I thought it was Victoria Helen Stone’s Jane Doe that got me interested in this genre, but then I started to remember when I was in high school, and I took two separate classes for each semester and the first was Novels where my interest in the genre was tested as we read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Helter Skelter by Curt Gentry and Vincent Bugliosi. However, it wasn’t until I went into Short Stories that I was introduced to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s classic The Yellow WallPaper and this really made me realize that this was only the beginning.


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A woman and her husband rent a summer house, but what should be a restful getaway turns into a suffocating psychological battle. This chilling account of postpartum depression and a husband’s controlling behavior in the guise of treatment will leave you breathless. 

taken from Goodreads.


When I finally decided that I would re-read this story, I did it for a specfic reasons: I didn’t exactly remember how it ended, all I could figure out was that it creeped me out. Fast forward, I wasn’t wrong with my initial rememberance but things that wouldn’t make sense to me at that time of the first read; I knew of very little history about how women were treated in that timeframe, so by the time I had went back to it, I had the knowledge to back everything up in my brain.

Our main character Jane is forced to stay indoors and recover from a fit of “nervousness” as she calls it, and if the word “baby” didn’t turn up in a sentence later, we wouldn’t know it’s actually name as we call it postpartum depression. For her and other women of that time, it had another name completely “hysteria” and it wasn’t the best diagnosis for a woman as there is evidence (and lots of it!) towards how husbands, sons, brothers, and doctors put various women and girls in asylums for their overwhelming feelings in the 19th Century.

“It is the strangest yellow, that wallpaper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw – not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things.”

Jane is unique though as her husband is a physician and he seems to love her enough, to support her in this condition at home. So, she is forced to recover in the master bedroom of their rental mansion, where it has decaying yellow wallpaper everywhere. Jane absolutely hates it. I understand her frustrations about it though, as I had purchased a pillow and sheet set that showed the color yellow to be as bright as the sun, but then we unwrapped it and found that the pillowcase fits the description to a T, but the sheet itself does not. It is so light that if nobody knew I had a brown mattress underneath, they certainly would as soon as they walked into my room… Anywho, like one does when they cannot explore freely, Jane starts to notice various things like the odd patterns and the disturbing figure that seems to appear at night.

Despite its small size, it definitely packs a punch worthy of a regular novel. I mean, as much as I love Frankenstein, my drive towards this book was stronger, and that’s saying something!

For anyone out there who is not too interested in horror, I highly suggest giving this story a shot before the end of the month. Although, if you feel comfortable waiting until after the Halloween festivities then by all means wait it out, but trust me when I say, you may end up enjoying it more than you think and want more like it afterwards, so as a nice warning, be sure to prepare yourselves!

Have you read Charlotte’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper” before? If your answer is yes, how did you come across it? I’d also like to know what you thought about it the first time you read it. Please tell me everything in the comments below!

snowflake

Book Review: “If We Were Villains” by M.L. Rio

Hello!

June was a surprisingly good month for my books. I thought I would be about to get through three to four books, but I guess I was reading a lot faster than I originally thought and I managed to finally hit 25 books as we neared the end of it.

When “If We Were Villains” first came out, I was unsure if I’d really be interested in it. I was intrigued by the suspenseful mood but having a big chunk of it built around Shakespeare made me worry since I’ve always had trouble understanding the meaning of what everyone was saying, like most would, but then again, I’m always searching for something like Victoria Helen Stone’s “Jane Doe” and I will admit this book isn’t anywhere near in that direction, but I liked it just as much though.


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Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

taken from Goodreads.

As the reader, you get to hear both the events that happened in 1999 to a group of students. Four boys and three girls, as they study theatre in college. Everything starts up like it does every day, but then they get their individual requirements for the Halloween show and something changes within the group itself. One character ends up dead and everyone is trying to go on about life, while in the back of their minds, they try to solve who actually killed their friend.

It was just us—the seven of us and the trees and the sky and the lake and the moon and, of course, Shakespeare.

Honestly, it’s a very cliche of “who done it” style of book but I will say it also had a very unique layout. The fact that the author included many Shakespeare references throughout was interesting to me! I got to see how the characters live and breathed William Shakespeare’s plays on a daily basis. You could see each of them act out various characters – sadly I was more focused on how these people would bring them to life as if I could see the show in front of me, and this was a wonderful display of elements. I still had some issues with the dialogue of that time’s way of speaking. I made it through in one piece, but I doubt I will read anything like that for a while. Thanks to this book, I have put both “Macbeth” and “King Lear” on my TBR list!

My true issue was once you made it passed the events that happen after Halloween, everything became very boring, it didn’t pick back up under the final Act, which for a while I wondered if it was worth finishing because it was that bad for me! As I suffered through this section, I tried to figure out who could play each of the characters…

I started hunting when I first started reading but I was thinking of various other actors, and I went with Jamie Campbell Bower as Alexander, Camila Mendes as Filippa, Emilia Clarke as Wren and Sam Claflin as our main Oliver, although I did end up changing my mind toward the end of the story, but I don’t know who the person I saw at that point. Honestly, this was a difficult thing to do because I rarely see a person’s actual face when creating the character’s features, so I could have all of the descriptions an author can give me, and I could still have problems forming them.

Have you read “If We Were Villains” by M.L. Rio yet? If you have, what were your thoughts on it? I’d also like to know who you saw for the important characters down in the comments too.

snowflake

2020 RECAP | Top 5 Books!

Hello!

I have been so excited to write this post since August when I completed my 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge! I still can’t believe I read 20+ books, and I absolutely loved it! I think my inner seven year old self was in disbelief the whole time. She would have definitely been hiding in a corner, shielding herself like it’s something poisonous or something.

After I finished with the first 20 books, I thought I had a clear-cut top five lineup but as more time went on, I was still analyzing everything that went on with two separate books and just couldn’t get them out of my head, so I took this as a sign that they should have the top spot together. This also meant I needed another book for the last bit of the countdown and thankfully, I kind of knew which one I wanted to put into the group and so, now I have SIX books in this post instead of the normal five but I’m okay with that and I have a feeling you are perfectly fine about this too!

1. Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone & The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham

This book was almost knocked off the top spot because I was really tempted to give it to another book, but Jane still has a strong hold over me, and it’s been 11 months since I finished it and I am still recommending it to random people on Twitter! Everytime I see anyone asking for books, it is the first thing to pop in my head and I certainly don’t regret it.

I think the main reason why this is my favorite book of the year is because it’s not something that I would normally read in the first place. I have never been interested in suspense thrillers, but in 2018, I watched the film What Lies Beneath for the first time and I just fell in love with it and I just wanted more of that genre and somehow it managed to spill over into what kind of books I read and from the moment I saw it on Prime Reading, I started dancing in my seat because it has been on my TBR list for little over a year and I just got this vibe that I would enjoy it, and I thoroughly happy with myself for taking the chance on it and it’s just an amazing book!

The only thing that really sucked was later in the year, I had a chance to read the sequel to it called, “Problem Child” and even though everything that I loved about Jane was still there, I just didn’t connect with it as much as the first so this really messed with me for a while, but it happens though! If Victoria is writing a third book in the series, I definitely want to read it and see if it is the same or has a completely different vibe going on, so we’ll just have to see what happens in the new year or maybe early 2022.

The German Midwife was the last book I read to finish out my reading challenge and it was the best thing I could have done, but also made me want anything–and I’m not kidding!–about World War II and the Holocaust. I have a bad weakness to women’s stories; I’m not picky whether it is fiction or nonfiction as we’ve seen with all of the books I read this year! I still think about this story, I was very upset about these women who were pregnant while being in the concertation camps, and knowing how little food they were given on a daily basis, and then if you are a history nut like I am, you could say it was like mediaeval times and childbirth was just as deadly in the late 1930’s into the 40’s.

While Jane was about seeking revenge and basically seeing how her mind worked in every scene, Anke was full of compassion and love, and she knew what was happening to these Jewish babies after she helped their mother give birth to them but still helped every pregnant woman in her care anyways. These are two different women and I just fell in love with both of them.

3. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

One thing that I didn’t expect to happen in general was I actually finished a book series this year!

I thought it would happen to another series I’ve read but I lost interest in it just before I started the challenge and I still find it sort of odd that it was this series because I celebrated 10 years of being a high school graduate in 2020 and while I was reading these books, I felt like I was being transported back to my high school days and dealing with my crushes. I wasn’t as lucky as Lara Jean but I definitely wouldn’t have it any other way.

I loved this book for many reasons, the one that comes to mind is Lara Jean’s friendship with Stormy. She learned and grew a lot by hanging out with Stormy. I have my nana and we have a great relationship, but I wouldn’t compare her to Stormy because she’s not as rowdy and loves her cocktails like Stormy, but she loves to chat about her past and we can get into trouble sometimes. I feel after Lara Jean’s sister Margot went overseas, having someone like Stormy became her lifeline and she was allowed to flourish into this beautiful young woman. I think back at it now, this book was more about her as an individual–away from her family and the boys, she grew a lot and I certainly did too, because I started to realize that I have changed a lot since I’d been in school and I didn’t even know about it until several weeks ago!

3. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippinscott

This was the most anticipated stories on my list at the beginning of the year, and for good reason too, because it was so lovely! On that list, I had three books that I knew would talk about disability in some form and I figured it would be smarter on my part to get through those first before heading into the others. I knew they would make me cry so I just wanted to save myself part of the misery that comes with reading these types of books!

What I still find kind of eerie in a way is that I read and watched the film version two months before COVID came around, so I remember learning the importance of each of the main characters standing six feet apart from each other at all times, but it didn’t necessarily hit me how much I would hear this statement until the guidelines were plastered everywhere! I will say, I understand why Stella was so on it with her medicine and wanting to create an app to help other people with Cystic Fibrosis. And I also understood the bitterness Will carried as well, so their stories kind of carried over into what 2020 became and as strange as that sounds, this was a really good book!

4. City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare

By the time I had found this book listed on Kindle Unlimited, I had almost given up hope for it.

I mentioned in the review that I was a big fan of the film that came out in 2013, but at that time I never wanted to really read the book because I figured I would do what I did trying to read the Harry Potter books, and compare every little scene but once I saw it online, I just couldn’t take it anymore and read the whole thing in like two weeks I think .I have seen how thick these books are on YouTube, so I was a little imitated by the sheer size of it but I was so proud that I read it after I have been waiting like four years to actually get my toes on it. I was very happy that I didn’t compare the two a lot but in my defense though, it’s been a long time since I’ve watched the film so I knew it wouldn’t be too bad.

One of my favorite things about it was how detailed the author made every scene, and I guess I never paid attention to the amount of material an author goes to making every scene stand out, and I’m glad I was able to read not just one fantasy novel this year but two others that I still think brought out everything for the readers, and it was deeply appreciated too!

5. After You by JoJo Moyes

I find it kind of odd that I have both the first and last books of the challenge included in this list. There are some similarities between Lou and Anke, such as how they treat everyone around them. They both want the best out of their situations and second guess everything and neither one has the power to do things differently that could maybe better their outcomes.

When I read the first book, I was only doing it so I wouldn’t be wondering what happens in the book, so I just made it easier on myself and it was the best decision I made because I was introduced to this lovely person: Louisa. She had no experience at caring for someone with a serve physical disability and had to figure out how to cope with his wish to die. When I got this book, I was thinking we were going to see her in Paris and having the time of her year, but we didn’t. We were introduced to Lou as she was losing all of her confidence and hope for the future. However, an opportunity popped up out of the blue and directed her back to who she was after meeting and falling in love with Will.

Honestly every book I read this year was amazing in their own way. I know I probably sound like figuring out the best books was easy but it really wasn’t. It’s hard to pick out each one because they were all different and I had a personal journey with all of them. For the most part, all but maybe one or two books actually received five or four stars on Goodreads because I thought they really deserved that type of rating.

I ended out the year reading 25 books, which was more than I ever expected to and it makes so damn proud because not only did I complete my original goal but I finished a whole series too! I think this is utterly amazing and I know I have a lot of family members and school teachers who have told me that they’re proud of my accomplishments, but I have felt like my heart could burst with excitement over this feat. I still remember my childhood days of hating to read both out loud and in general. I never found it to be fun until I was practically forced into it my freshman year of high school!

By the end of January when I come back to blogging after having a couple weeks off, I will be telling more about my next books and of course, announcing what I decided on how many I choose to read in 2021. Hope you to see again for that post.

Were you able to read any books this year? Did you give yourself a goal? If so, how many did you want to complete? After reading this post, do you want to set a reading goal for the new year too?

snowflake

Book Review: “Problem Child” by Victoria Helen Stone

Hi 🙂

I wasn’t expecting to read this book so soon after I finished the first book a few months ago. I actually had it on my list for what I want for my birthday and I will say, I was prepared to wait four to five months until that day to check out the newest story of Jane. All of a sudden, my mom decided we needed Kindle Unlimited and then one night I went scrolling through the catalog and there it was; I almost shit my pants, I was so happy but shockingly, I didn’t grab it right away. and I’ll explain my reasoning for that in a minute.


46066517._SY475_She’s cold, calculating, and can deceive with a smile. Jane Doe is back in the Amazon Charts bestselling series – and this time she’s met her match.

After a brutal childhood, Jane Doe has been permanently wired to look after herself and only herself. Now, looking next to normal, Jane has a lover and a job. But she hasn’t lost her edge. It sharpens when she hears from her estranged family.

Jane’s deeply troubled sixteen-year-old niece, Kayla, has vanished, and no one seems to care. Neither does Jane. Until she sees a picture of Kayla and recognizes herself in the young girl’s eyes. It’s the empty stare of a sociopath.

Jane knows what vengeful and desperate things Kayla is capable of. Only Jane can help her – by being drawn into Kayla’s dark world. And no one’s more aware than Jane just how dangerous that can be.

taken from Goodreads.


As I had just finished reading the first book, the author was busy promoting this one, and I saw it every day on social media for about two months and so I became very interested in what this new book could be about, but I only knew that it had to deal with a family member and the possibility that this person could be like Jane, a fellow sociopath.

I was intrigued by the idea that someone else in her family could be a sociopath in the beginning. I thought this could be really interesting to see how it developed in this person as we know how it came about with Jane. And I think this is where I began to lose interest because I quickly realized they had similar background stories, and maybe too much if I’m being honest. However, I would love to see this relationship grow and see what kind of trouble these two can get into if the author decides to continue the series.

The one thing I did enjoy was Jane’s relationship with Luke and I’m very glad it was hanging on strong in the plot. Despite the fact that Jane cannot feel love for other people, especially ones she’s close to like Luke, you do start to see a sliver of affection towards him as the story ends. She might keep spinning her wheels with him, but I do think something will happen later on where she might lose him for good and might actually regret never giving him the attention and care they both deserved in the end.

So, when I was done, I gave it a sensible rating on Goodreads, I didn’t give it five out of five stars like I had hoped I would but I did give it three stars. Now to me, since they only have five stars, I feel three is a fair choice. It wasn’t awesome nor great, it was good, so it deserved that amount of stars.

Have you read the second book of Victoria Helen Stone’s Jane Doe series yet? If you have, what were some of your thoughts you liked or disliked about it? What did you end up rating it on Goodreads?

snowflake