Wednesday, 22 December 2010

My Top 5 Christmas Films

Christmas is fast approaching. The lights and decorations are up, every shop seems to be filled with gifts and the famous Coca-cola advert is constantly on TV. So I decided it was time to do a Christmas-related post. These are my five favourite family films to watch at Christmas time.

1. Home Alone
How can anyone not love this film? The story of a young boy called Kevin who is accidently abandoned when his family goes on holiday. When he realises his home is going to be targeted by burglars, he sets a number of traps to catch them. Home Alone is, without a doubt, the Christmas film.

2. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
I have to say that I enjoyed this film more when I believed in Father Christmas (which was about 10 years ago!). Six-year-old Susan does not believe in Father Christmas but when her mother employs Kris Kringle to work as Santa Claus in a department store, Susan starts to reconsider the possibility that the myth is real. This is a very enjoyable family film.

3. A Christmas Carol (1999)
This is the perfect film to watch and reflect upon. Charles Dickens’ messages about the way we behave, the consequences of our actions and, most importantly, helping those who are less fortunate, are definitely things to think about over Christmas. I love this film, as it is both entertaining and thought-provoking.  

4. Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie
I watched this film every Christmas for about 5 years. Rudolf is not like other reindeers, he has a red nose. Rudolf is bullied by his peers for being different. But this film shows him becoming Santa’s most famous Reindeer! It’s obviously one for younger children, but I still love it because it’s just so humorous and holds so many memoires for me.


5. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Although this is not actually about Christmas itself (it’s about Thanksgiving), it still has that Christmassy feel to it. It’s about the importance of family being together and the lengths that people will go to, to make that happen. The film has one of my favourite film moments of all time. The scene where the two are trying to sleep in the hotel room and Neal finally cracks. This leads to Del’s “You wanna hurt me?” speech – which always brings tears to my eyes.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Two days, one family, half a van

Little Miss Sunshine 
Released:
July 26, 2006

Directed by:
Jonathan Dayton
Valerie Faris
Produced by:
Albert Berger
David T. Friendly
Peter Saraf
Marc Turtletaub
Ron Yerxa
Written by: 
Michael Arndt
Starring:  
Grey Kinnear
Toni Collette
Abigail Breslin
Steve Carell
Paul Dano
Alan Arkin
Summary: Seven-year-old Olive Hooper dreams of winning the ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ beauty pageant. To achieve this, Richard and Sheryl Hooper, along with her suicidal brother, Richard’s cocaine-addicted father and their son Dwayne (who has taken a vow of silence) decide to travel from Albuquerque to California in their rundown Volkswagen. However, they encounter a few problems on the way, including the news that the family is going bankrupt. During the dysfunctional family’s journey, they learn actually how important they are to each other. 

My Favourite Scene: During their journey, the Hoopers spend the night in a motel. The following morning they discover that Olive’s grandfather is dead. While in the mortuary, the Hoopers are told they cannot leave the body. Consequently, they decide to do something extremely unorthodox. They sneak the body through a window and put it in the boot of their car.
What I find so humourous about this scene is how the grandfather has not even been dead 24 hours and instead of grieving, they are carrying his body out of a window and placing it in the car! The underlying message in this scene is that regardless of the circumstances, the family would get Olive to the pageant on time. It demonstrates the ludicrous lengths that people would go to, to make their children happy. 
My Favourite Quotes:
Richard: Everyone, just... pretend to be normal. 
Dwayne: You know what? F*** beauty contests. Life is one f****** beauty contest after another.
My Thoughts: I love that this film is based around a classic American beauty pageant. At the end of the film, when they finally reach California, no-one (except for Sheryl) wants Olive to perform. I think this reflects how the family felt detached from society and its expectations. However, Olive performed anyway and her dance was not quite suitable. Eventually the whole Hooper family ended up on stage making fools of themselves - but it was a great scene, because it showed that they just did not care what anyone thought. Everything in the beauty pageant was so fake and the Hoopers realised that. Although they did not fit in with this world of glitter and makeup, they were happy. 
Another element which I thought made this film very strong was the contrast in the family between the beginning and the end. At the start of the film, each member of the family lived a very separate life. They were not connected, but by the end they were all dancing around on the stage - to the audience’s horror! The journey of ups and downs had brought them closer together. 
I enjoyed all the performances, but particularly Dano’s (Dwyane) and Carell’s(Frank). I was surprised to watch Carell playing such a role. His character was suicidal and humiliated, but the family’s eventful trip put a smile back on his face - and I think Carell pulled it off well.  There were plenty of cringe-worthy scenes. Calling Frank’s meeting in the petrol station uncomfortable would be something of an understatement...
I think by end I had felt every emotion under the sun. For each character, there were moments when I hated them, and moments when I loved them. This film is very original, which is something difficult to come by. The idea of a family taking a trip is so simple, but the clash in the characters’ personalities makes the film interesting and extremely funny. It is impossible for one to not have a smile on their face by the end of Little Miss Sunshine. It really is the ultimate feel-good film.  
A

Monday, 18 October 2010

Marley is no ordinary dog

Marley and Me
Released: 
December 25, 2008

Directed by: 
David Frankel

Produced by:
Gil Netter
Karen Rosenfelt

Written by: 
Scott Frank
Don Roos
(based on the autobiography
 by John Grogan)

Starring: 
Owen Wilson
Jennifer Aniston
Eric Dane
Kathleen Turner
Alan Arkin

Summary:  After Jennifer and John Grogan get married, they decide to move to Florida.  Worried about a baby being next on Jennifer’s ‘plan’, John attempts to stall this by buying her a puppy for her birthday. They choose to buy Marley – who is named while he and John are driving home listening to the reggae artist Bob Marley. However, Marley is no ordinary dog. When the Grogans are purchasing him, the owner says: “Boys are 275. Except for that little guy there. Him you could have for 200 even.” 

At this point it is obvious Marley is somehow different to most dogs. Marley is crazy, full of energy and lacks any self-discipline. His antics provide John with plenty of humorous stories for his column. Both Jennifer and John are writers, and while Jennifer decides to give up her work to look after her children, John searches for his perfect job. The Grogans soon have three children: Patrick, Connor and Colleen. This film follows the story of their family, John’s work and life with “the world’s worst dog.”
  My Favourite Scene:  One of the scenes I thought was the most interesting was when Jennifer fell pregnant. At nearly 10 weeks, she and John visited the hospital to have a scan. While the doctor is looking at the baby she leaves the room and returns with another doctor who, after checking, answers Jennifer’s question “Is there anything in there?” with “Not what you would expect to see at 10 weeks.”

I like this scene because I think in too many films that aim to reflect real life, couples easily have children. Jennifer suffers a miscarriage, which is a situation that many people will have experienced. The scenes that follow show the repercussions of the miscarriage. As they are driving home from the hospital, John says that they can try again in a few months, which is him trying to give her some form of comfort. However he later finds her stroking Marley in floods of tears. At this point he realised how much Jennifer was suffering. It was refreshing to see a real-life situation in this sort of film, which is why I chose it as my favourite scene.

My Favourite Quotes: 
John Grogan: A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.

Jennifer Grogan: Hi guys, alright, say hello to Colleen!
Connor: Daddy says her name is whoops.

My Thoughts: The aim of this film is to make the audience both laugh and cry which, in my case, it did very successfully. An animal dying never fails to make me sob and there were numerous scenes where Marley’s insane behaviour had me in fits of laughter. I enjoyed both Wilson’s and Aniston’s performances, although I think Aniston has unfortunately reached the age where she cannot quite pull off being a 20-something newlywed!

The problem with this film is that everything was far too predicable. Once Jennifer suffered a miscarriage, it was only a matter of time before she became pregnant again. It was obvious once they agreed to have no more children, that another baby would soon come along and it was clear that John would end up becoming a columnist (despite him believing that he should be a reporter). There were no surprises, which I think is what makes a film interesting. To my disappointment, “Marley and Me” never made me think “wow. I did not expect that.”

Something I found particularly strange was John’s relationship with his children. He had a full time job which, of course, would take up a lot of his time - but it seemed throughout the film John never bonded with his children. There were plenty of scenes with Jennifer holding her children, but next to none of John. 

An element of his film which is quite worrying is how Marley ran wild around the house with three small children. It seemed very irresponsible, although Jennifer did mention once about Connor not sleeping and Patrick falling over due to Marley. I think that the safety issue of raising children with a dog like Marley was a subject that was not properly dealt with.

“Marley and Me” seemed to drag on. Every time I thought the film was coming to an end, it carried on! I thought that the scene where the Gorgans buried Marley was probably necessary for the film to come to a close, but it was still too clich├ęd. The film was supposed to portray real-life, but it was completely unrealistic - particularly John’s ability to convince his bosses to give him any sort of job he wanted! Overall, I found “Marley and Me” to be another predicable comedy, but it is still an enjoyable family film.
C+

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Love and death in Venice



Don’t Look Now 
Released: 
16 October 1973
Directed by: 
Nicholas Roeg
Produced by:
Peter Katz
Written by: 
Allan Scott
Chris Bryant
(story by Daphne du Maurier) 
Starring: 
Julie Christie
Donald Sutherland

Summary: After John and Laura Baxter’s daughter, Christine, dies tragically - they decide to take a break in Venice. While there, they meet Wendy and her sister Heather - who claims to be psychic. Heather tells Laura that her daughter is still with them. This intrigues Laura (who does not want to let go of Christine) but worries John - who is struggling to deal with Laura’s growing obsession of communicating with her daughter through Heather’s ‘powers’. John begins to see his dead daughter in Venice, wearing her red coat, but he never sees her face. He also sees things which don’t make sense and with a serial killer on the loose, John is unsure of who to trust. 
  
My Favourite Scene: At the beginning of the film, John is looking at a transparency with a magnifying glass, while Laura is reading. As this is happening, Christine is playing happily by the pond. The transparency shows the interior of a church with a seated figure wearing a red coat, like Christine’s. As he looks at it, he accidentally knocks a glass over the transparency. At that moment, Christine falls into the pond. A red shape (similar to blood) moves across the transparency from the red figure. John panics and, as if he knew what had happened, runs to the pond - only to find that Christine has drowned.
This is an excellent scene because both the figure in the photo and the real Christine are drowning. It also raises many questions, such as did John ‘kill’ Christine by knocking the glass over (causing the ‘blood’ to spread across the picture, representing Christine’s death)? Another thought is that John knew Christine was in danger the moment the glass hit the picture, even though she was playing outdoors, while he was indoors. It is hard to understand the scene at the time, but once the truth about John’s ability to foresee the future through his premonitions is revealed at the end of the film, everything makes sense.  
My Favourite Quotes: 
Laura Baxter: (talking to John about Heather) This one who's blind. She's the one that can see. 

Inspector Longhi: The skill of police artists is to make the living appear dead. 

My Thoughts: Don’t look now is an abstract and brilliant film. I think something important that the film conveys are the repercussions from the loss of a child. After Christine dies, the strain on the relationship between John and Laura is shown, as well as the lengths that they (especially Laura) will go to, to bring back their child. Laura wants to believe that anything is possible, whereas John is trying to be more practical and face the fact that his daughter is dead - however the film still sees him becoming obsessed by the red figure who looks like his daughter.  
Another important issue in the film is trust - at the beginning of the film, I felt that John and Laura’s relationship lacked any. However, as the film progressed, I saw that John was denying that his daughter was still alive to save Laura from any more pain - which I believe shows the love they have for each other.  Trust is also shown through Laura, when she visits the elderly women, knowing nothing about them but simply having the drive to see her daughter again. Towards the end of the film, I think John has less and less trust in people. He starts not to believe anything anyone tells him. 
The film’s plot was very interesting. Every time I thought I was sure of what was going to happen, something threw me off! There were so many twists and complications, it was difficult to piece it all together until the end, when John has his sudden realisation. 
This film would be categorised as a psychological thriller - however, throughout most of the film I was more intrigued than scared. The only moment I felt utterly terrified was when the red figure finally revealed itself in the famous end sequence. The scenes throughout the film were like pieces of a jigsaw that were not fully explained until the final scene. The combination of this, and the buildup of tension made for an extremely powerful ending.  
A*

Monday, 4 October 2010

Think again before you make fun of Carrie

Carrie (1976) 
Released: 
3 November, 1976 

Directed by: 
Brian De Palma

Produced by:
Brian De Palma

Written by: 
Lawrence D. Cohen
(based on a novel by
Stephen King)

Starring: 
Sissy Spacek
Piper Laurie
Betty Buckley
Amy Irving
William Katt
Nancy Allen
John Travolta 

Summary: Carrie White is an abused and bullied schoolgirl who discovers she has physic powers. When she realises she has the ability to move objects with her mind, she begins to use this against anyone making her angry. Her insane, god-fearing mother believes that everything Carrie does is a sin. Her punishment is being locked in a cupboard (with an extremely freaky Jesus ornament) and being made to pray for forgiveness. She is mistreated by her mother, teachers and friends (worst of all Chris) and this film witnesses her final revenge. 
  
My Favourite Scene: I believe that the most effective scene in Carrie is at the end, where Sue (in a dream) visits the remains of Carrie’s house to lay some flowers. As she is laying the flowers on the ground, Carrie’s hand, covered in blood, reaches out and grabs Sue’s wrist. After this, Sue wakes up screaming and crying in her mother’s arms. 

I think this is very powerful because it illustrates the effect of what Carrie did. The audience expects the scene to be Sue’s peaceful goodbye to Carrie -  however the hand reaching out definitely changes that! I do not think I have ever been more scared in my life. I literally jumped out of my skin! The scene portrays that even though she is now dead, the bitterness of what Carrie did still lives on. 

My Favourite Quotes: 
Margaret White: Witch. Got Satan's power.
Carrie White: It has nothing to do with Satan, Mama. It's me. Me. If I concentrate hard enough, I can move things.

Margaret White: These are godless times, Mrs. Snell.
Mrs. Snell: I'll drink to that.
 
My Thoughts: This is an interesting and weird film. When it was released, it was innovative and many films using the same ideas as Carrie, followed in its footsteps. The ‘pig blood prom scene’ was especially inventive. The combination of split screen, lighting, music and Sissy Spacek’s performance made this scene incredibly effective. 
Brian De Palma originally wanted Sissy Spacek to play Chris (Carrie’s bully) but when she arrived for the final audition unwashed, wearing a dress her mother made her in the seventh grade and with vaseline rubbed into her hair  - De Palma realised he had found his Carrie. Spacek’s performance in the film was brilliant. She really captured the confused and awkward role of Carrie. She had a unique look and, even when covered in pig’s blood, she was beautiful.   

Carrie’s mother, Mrs. White, is insane. She is enormously religious and anything Carrie does ‘wrong’, results in her being placed in the cupboard. I think five minutes alone with that Jesus ornament is enough to make anyone seriously disturbed. For a while, I believed that Mrs. White did actually love her daughter, but was just hungry for control. However what she did when Carrie returned home from her prom made me change my mind! 
An element about this film I especially liked was the theme music. Instead of being dramatic like most classic horror films, it was simple and tranquil. I think this highlights the sadness about the film. Even after everything that Carrie had done, I still pitied her. She was just a misunderstood young girl. Moreover, I felt like (towards the end of the film) Carrie had hope. She was beginning to believe in herself. Tommy was being kind to her, as was Sue. Everyone was starting to accept Carrie, and that night, she was genuinely happy. 

I think an underlying message in this film is the effect of bullying. Carrie was a sweet girl who had good intentions, but she could only take so much. The girls were horrible to her, and while most learnt their lesson, Chris did not (but she got her comeuppance in the end). I was glad that Sue survived, because it seemed that besides Miss Collins, she was the only one who cared for Carrie in the end. She sacrificed her prom date with Tommy to let Carrie be happy. 

This film has certainly left its mark on horror film history and I think anyone who has seen it will think twice before they insult someone else, just in case they happen to be like Carrie.  
 A

Sunday, 26 September 2010

A Lonely Man's Last Day

A Single Man

Release: 
11 December, 2009

Directed by 
Tom Ford
Produced by:
Tom Ford
Robert Salerno 
Chris Weitz 
Written by: 
Tom Ford
David Scearce 
Christopher Isherwood  
Starring: 
Colin Firth
Julianne Moore 
Matthew Goode
Nicholas Hoult  

Summary: A Single Man is the story of George Falconer, a gay English College Professor, living in 1960s Los Angeles.  George is dealing with depression after his partner of 16 years, Jim, died in a car crash. George has decided that life is no longer worth living and is planning to commit suicide – however spending time with his best friend Charly (Julianne Moore) and student Kenny (Nicholas Hoult) he starts to reconsider. 
My Favourite Scene: Although it sounds strange, I really enjoyed the scene where George is planning to commit suicide. He is sat on his bed, with the gun pointed into his mouth, but he cannot get comfortable. He moves the pillows into every different position. He lies down, sits up and tries halfway but he just cannot feel at ease. 
He then decides that dying in the bathroom would be more practical, but then again he changes his mind. George goes back to his room, pulls out a sleeping bag and crawls into it. With the gun raised, the phone rings. He finally gives up and goes to Charly’s house. 

The suicide notes are written, and funeral clothes are ready, but it seems no matter how much preparation George does, he cannot bring himself to pull the trigger and end his life. George went through the day knowing that when he arrived home he was going to kill himself, but when the time came, he just could not do it. I like this scene because there is the contrast of the humour of George’s thinking behind how he wanted to be himself and the serious reality of what he is actually doing. 

My Favourite Quotes: 
George: “Looking in the mirror staring back at me isn't so much a face as the expression of a predicament.”

George: “(to Kenny, after being asked why he did not want a shower) Oh, I'm fine. I'm English, we like to be cold and wet.”
 
My Thoughts: I think Colin Firth is the sort of actor who suits one role. Unfortunately he has been typecast as the ‘Mr. Darcy heartthrob’ and because of this, I cannot imagine him playing any other part. Firth actually received an Oscar nomination for his performance in ‘A Single Man’ - however I felt that in some parts, his acting was poor and unconvincing.

The other element of this film which I found disappointing was the development of the relationships. Excect for Charly, the roles of Kenny and Carlos felt like cameos. During the film flashbacks were shown of George’s memory with Jim. It was strange because it seemed either there should have been just one flashback or several more. The depth of the relationship between George and Jim was not properly explored. Besides the scene where they are reading together on the sofa, most of the flashbacks did not show how important they were to each other. 
I thought that the use of colour in the film was interesting. Tom Ford said that he wanted to use colour to reflect how George was feeling. I think he did this well. In some parts, everything was grey and bleak but in others things were colourful and bright. Through the film the audience saw the progression from the beginning, where everything is dull, to towards the end where colour was used more, to convey George’s changing emotions. 
Considering the media hype of this film and Colin Firth’s Oscar nomination, I have to say I was slightly disappointed. I enjoyed  Julianne Moore’s performance and I think the script was impressive - but I felt the film as a whole, lacked substance. I think it would have been more powerful to have had no flashbacks and just had the audience feel George’s loss from how he was feeling rather than what he remembered. 
  B

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Therapy, drugs and commitment issues in New York City

Annie Hall


Released: 
20 April, 1977

Directed by: 
Woody Allen
Produced by:
Charles H. Joffe 
Jack Rollins
Written by: 
Woody Allen 
Marshall Brickman
Starring: 
Woody Allen
Diane Keaton
Tony Roberts
Carol Kane
Paul Simon
Shelley Duvall 
Christopher Walken
Jeff Goldblum
Sigourney Weaver 
Summary: This film tells the story of comedian Alvy Singer’s (Woody Allen) rocky relationship with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). The film shows the course  of their relationship, from its highs to its lows. It is intertwined with flashbacks about Alvy’s difficult childhood and his (and Annie’s) past relationships. Alvy is an organised mess and in the words of Annie he is “incapable of enjoying life.” This serious representation of Alvy’s life as a Jewish New Yorker remains humorous from beginning till end. 

My Favourite Scene: One of the reasons I loved this film was because it did not have a typical Hollywood happy ending where everything turns out perfectly, because that is not real. That is not life. 

After Alvy flies to California and Annie refuses to return home with him, he finishes writing his first play, in which he uses the last the conversation that he and Annie had in California, where she tells him: “You're like New York.  You're an island.” However, in the play, Alvy’s character takes control and walks away from the relationship, but Sunny (based on Annie) tells him she is going with him and that she loves him

I thought this was a strong scene because it reflected how Alvy wanted things to turn out. He says “You know how you're always trying to get things to come out perfect in art because it's real difficult in life.” Which I think sums it up brilliantly.

My Favourite Quotes: 
Alvy Singer: (In California, talking about award shows) “What's with all these awards? They're always giving out awards. Best Fascist Dictator: Adolf Hitler.”

Alvy Singer: Don't you see the rest of the country looks upon New York like we're left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers? I think of us that way
sometimes and I live here.”

Alvy Singer: “If I get too mellow, I ripen and then rot.” 
My Thoughts: I think it’s very rare to find a talented actor, writer and director like Woody Allen. I loved the introduction to this film. It was very refreshing and different compared to so many other rom-coms. Alvy’s character often ‘breaks the fourth wall’ and speaks to the audience. He also enters his and other character’s minds and memories, as well as using animation (for the scene of Alvy and his relationship with the witch). 
Something I love about Alvy is his paranoia. He thinks everyone is judging him and this constantly worries him. Something about himself that affects him is that fact that he’s Jewish. Living in New York, relatively fresh from the Second World War, Alvy faces persecution from Annie’s ‘Grammy’. Grammy (according to Annie) would call him a “real Jew”, to which Alvy replies sarcastically “Oh. Thank you.”

Alvy’s also uses humour as a defence. Whenever in an awkward situation, he cracks a joke to break the tension. I think the most important issue the film deals with is commitment. Alvy knows he loves her, but it is not until the end of the film
that he realises how much he needs her. 

The only negative thought I have about this film is Paul Simon, who plays Tony Lacey. Unfortunately (as I expected when I found out he was playing a character) his performance was disappointing. He is an excellent and talented musician, but in terms of his acting performance, it lacked emotion. He seemed very awkward and did not deliver his lines well. 

Other than Simon’s performance, I enjoyed every moment of this film. I particularly liked poor Annie’s first performance at the bar, where the sound system was failing, glasses were crashing, people were talking and even someone’s phone went off! I loved the contrast between her singing performances in the film, because it demonstrated how Alvy had changed how she felt about herself.

He had definitely made her believe in herself. I think this comedy really captures real life in the way that others do not. It was not predictable at all and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. I think Annie Hall rates top of my best romantic comedies.
    A+

Saturday, 11 September 2010

When your chairs start to stack themselves you know something is not right...

Poltergeist

 Released: 
June 4, 1982

Directed by: 
Tobe Hooper

Produced by:
Frank Marshall
Steven Spielberg

Written by:   
Story:
Steven Spielberg

Screenplay:
Steven Spielberg
Michael Grais
Mark Victor
                 
Starring:  
Craig T. Nelson
JoBeth Williams
Beatrice Straight
Dominique Dunne
Oliver Robins
Heather O’Rourke 
Zelda Rubinstein  

Summary: Steve and Diane Freeling, along with their children Dana, Robbie, and Carol Anne, move to a quiet town in California, where their house is haunted by ghosts. At first they seem friendly, but soon they turn vicious and take the youngest daughter, Carol Anne, from her family.

My Favourite Scene: One of the parapsychologists goes into the kitchen to get a snack and finds a piece of meat which begins to move across the table. It then falls on the floor and maggots appear out of it. 

He then runs to the bathroom to be sick and looks in the mirror. Blood begins to run down his face and pieces of flesh start to fall off. Soon, his face is just bone and blood. Then suddenly, he is back to normal. Although this is probably one that many will not remember from the film, I think it is important because it highlights what is real and what is in their minds.

My Favourite Quotes
Tangina: “It lies to her. It tells her things only a child can understand. It's been using her to restrain the others. To her, it simply is another child. To us, it is The Beast.”

 
Diane: (after Carol Anne’s bird dies) “Oh... Oh shit, Tweety, couldn't you have waited until a school day?” 
My Thoughts: Living in the 21st Century, the standard of CGI I am used to in films is so different to this 1982 production. The tree which took Robbie looked like something out of Harry Potter (and not in a good way) and the dead corpses looked completely plastic (even though they were actually real skeletons!). 

 
However, that is not really the scary element to this film. The concept itself that there were spirits in their house which wanted to hurt them is scary. Someone’s home is supposed to protect them, but it did the opposite -  which I think made this film terrifying. 

There is definitely something weird about a little girl talking to someone (or something) that no one else can see. It is not surprising that a little girl is used for this role, as she is so innocent and vulnerable. For me, the really important message from this film was the love that Caro Anne’s parent’s had for her. Diane really fought for her daughter and was prepared to do anything that would save her. 

Something about this film that was really freaky was the clown in Robbie and Carol Anne’s bedroom! I knew when Robbie looked up from his bedcovers and it was not there, that something bad was about to happen. I kept thinking “If you are so scared of the clown, why have you not moved it?” 

I like this film because there is something different about it. It is not knife-wielding maniacs, running around chopping people’s heads off. This is a classic ghost haunting story, and although there were no ‘hide behind a cushion’ moments, it was truly chilling. 
    A