Sunday, 26 October 2014

Perceptions on Mental Health

Hello there.
Okay, so this post is going to be very different to anything I have done before. Quite frankly, I'm very hesitant to even write this but after the events on Sunday night, I feel I must get things off my chest. I'm going to try my best to keep it short and not ramble.

As some of you may have seen a well known company featured a pillow that contained the words

"I can't keep calm and carry on because I have an anxiety disorder"

Now you will notice that I haven't actually mentioned the company in question or showed you said item, the reason being is that I don't feel that's what is important in discussing this. You see I am finding this to be a recurring theme with companies at the moment. There seems to be this odd obsession with clothing companies mocking mental health problems or, even weirder, trying to make them fashionable.
From tshirts with the word 'depression' and 'eat less' printed all over them to cards that say 'don't get mad, take lithium. 

I appreciate that some people will not be offended by these statements. Infact, good on you for not letting it get to you (I wish it hadn't upset me) but you cannot ignore the problems these products bring up. 

In the UK, a statistic from the Mental Health Foundation, shows that a quarter of the population will experience a mental health problem in the course of a year. Anxiety and depression being the most common. So why is there still this stigma and lack of understating about these problems.

Why does society seem to treat mental health problems differently from, say a, psychical illness?
Why does it come so easy to some people to laugh and call someone 'crazy' or 'mental'?

We wouldn't think it was right to have a t-shirt mocking someone with diabetes or cancer. So when did it become acceptable to openly mock and make light of someone's mental health.

As someone who has suffered and still does with mental health concerns stuff like this gives me absolute mix of emotions. It angers me, it saddens me and it also makes me feel ashamed. Too many people are scared to talk about how they are feeling and I feel like stuff like this just does not help. It's making light (and money) off of someone's suffering. That is just not right and needs to stop.

You may say I am overreacting and that it's just a silly product... but it's what it represents is the problem. A lack of understanding and awareness.

From someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder, I no way think my illness is 'cute', 'cool', 'quirky' or 'fun' but for some reason, the pillow that I am talking about, tried to make it look like that.

Being too upset and scared to leave your house is not fun.
Panicking over the thought of having a panic attack is not cute.
Worrying and over thinking everything all day long is not cool. 
Crying because something isn't 'perfect' is not quirky.

So can some people please stop treating it like it's just a funny little part of someone's personality. Trust me, it's something I don't wish on anyone.

  I'm not saying I am expert on this matter or because I feel this way, you should too. I would hope one thing we can all agree on is this belittling of Mental Health Illnesses is not right and needs to stop.

Sorry if I am rambling on this. It's not a post that is coming easy to me at all but I felt it was important for me to do.
 Next year, I will be running the Kilomathon for SAMH (Scottish Association For Mental Health). I want to try raise awareness and show others who are going through stuff like this that they shouldn't feel ashamed. 

OOTD: Pumpkin Carving and The Coven


So as you all are probably aware by now, my blog this month has been very Halloween based. I am just loving all things spooky and scary.
Today I did something that I have never ever done before


Yes, can you believe I have never done this before?!
I may have done it when I was very little but I can't recall it at all alas.
So I'm going to show you the results of my first time and a little 'Outfit of the day'

 Hat: H&M
Coat: River Island
Long Top: Papaya
Leggings: Primark
Belt: From a River Island playsuit
Necklace: Rag Trade
Boots: New Look

I was recently re watching 'The Coven' season of American Horror Story and clearly was taking my inspiration from that! To be fair, I am a girl that just loves wearing all black. I just feel much more comfortable in it. Plus being the moody cow that I am, I can't imagine I suit bright colours.

I am loving the sleeves of this top!

 I recently won a little Instagram competition and this gorgeous necklace was my prize! It's from a wonderful vintage store called Rag Trade. 
You should totally check them out:

I love dark lips all year round really!

Now onto how my pumpkin carving went!

As you can see by my face in the middle picture, I was not having too much fun scraping out all of the pumpkin guts!

I was pretty happy with the end product though! 
Mine is the little one with the creepy smile. Sam clearly did a better job than me and he ended up doing some of the carving on mine. I'm generally a little bit useless when it comes to fiddly things!

I'm not sure if I could do any better than that but I think they look awesome. I wish I had decorated the whole flat now.

Let me know what you think and tell me how you spending Halloween!

Till the next time


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Online No One Can Hear You Scream: Week Three

Hello again!
Sorry for the lateness of this post!

So this is the third post in my 'Horror Film Marathon' for October and for this one I did it a little different. Instead of watching films throughout the week, I had a little movie night with the family. 
It ended up in drinking very strong cocktails and laughing at the ridiculousness of these films but 
hey ho!

When I got to my parents' house, I found they had proper decorated the living room so it was all spooky. This is why my family are the best really. They share my love for going all out with a theme!
So before my little reviews, here are some pictures of how our night look:

You can't beat good old ASDA and Poundland for awesome Halloween decorations. I'm actually gutted that I'm not having my own party this year. I long to make my flat look mega creepy!
So onto the films we watched:

The Exorcist 
  •  Year Released: 1973
  • Director: William Friedkin
  • Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, Linda Blair

I think most people know the deal with this film:

A movie actress finds herself growing increasingly worried about her young daughter's peculiar behavior. Eventually she seeks the help of a priest who comes to the conclusion that she is possessed and the only way to save her is through an exorcism.   

This film is a classic. Everyone knows it and if you are a horror film it is a must see. 
It came out in the 70's and brought along with it a lot of controversy. These days it's hardly the most shocking movie around but back then I can see why it ruffled a few feathers. A lot of it comes down to the age of Linda Blair, who was only around 14 at the time. From the language to the erm, crucifix scene, even now it's still pretty disturbing. 
But is it as great as everyone bangs on about?
Honestly, I don't think so. Now to be fair I was a little 'tipsy' from said strong cocktails whilst watching it but I found my interest in most of the film going. It a slow starter that's for sure!
I think the main problem with the film is just the hype that surrounds it. The stories of people running out of the cinema, being sick etc. Anything that built up will always end up a disappointment. 
 I guess it says something about this generation that a film like this is just not shocking anymore. Almost like Clockwork Orange in a way.

Still, it is a classic and I can't believe it took me this long to actually watch it. Do I think it's the best horror film out there? No, but it's one that we all should watch at least once.

Event Horizon 

  • Year Released: 1997
  • Director: Paul W. S Anderson
  • Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Joely Richardson, Jason Issacs, Sean Pertwee
 So here is the deal with Event Horizon:

In the year 2047, a rescue ship by the name of 'Lewis and Clark' answers a transmission from the 'Event Horizon' which has been missing for seven years. After boarding the long lost ship they soon realise it's been to somewhere it shouldn't have and has brought something evil back with it. 

As you all learned with my Alien review, I am a big fan of the sc-fi/horror genre. It's just something about how claustrophobic they are that sends shivers down my spine. Event Horizon is not an amazing film by any means. It, to be honest, brings nothing new to the genre at all but it's pretty darn enjoyable. You may search up on it on Rotten Tomatoes after reading this and think 
"It's only got 24% rating, how could it be good" 
But look at the audience rating, it's 62%. So don't write it completely off. 

It's dated sure but it has a rather good cast and a creepy story. It's a little on the gory side but not enough to put me totally off. The film is very in your face and you don't really care about the characters at all but I found myself intrigued by it. Unlike The Exorcist, I didn't lose interest in it You may want to look away but you just can't. Plus Sam Neill (Jurassic Park man) is a right creepy bastard in it. 

If you want to watch something where you can just switch your brain off and enjoy a little space scariness, then this is the film for you!

  •  Year Released: 2013
  • Director: Andres Muschietti
  • Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier
  So here is a little about the story of 'Mama':
After killing his wife, Jeffrey D'Asange kidnaps his two young daughter and takes them to a cabin in the wood. He plans to kill them too but they are saved by an unseen force that dwells in the cabin. Five years later, the girls are found and left in the care of Jeffrey's twin brother and his girlfriend Annabel. They soon come to realise that they have brought 'Mama' with them.
Even now as I write 'Mama', I'm still getting that line from Bohemian Rhapsody in my head (you know the one)
I was excited for this film, I had heard so many good things about it. Plus it has Guillermo del Toro as the executive producer, so it has to be good right?! 

Well.... it wasn't a winner for me sadly. Don't get me wrong the story is fantastic and really interesting but it didn't feel like a horror film to me. I found myself not jumping at all or trying to watch through my hands. My mum and Corrin were both jumping throughout this film but for me, it just wasn't working.
I think the main problem for me is the fact that the 'villian' is CGI. If it was an actual actor in makeup, I may had found it scarier. but it was so obviously computerized! Plus you saw far too much of it, especially at the end. It almost become laughable for me.

Personally, I was just so disappointed with it. The trailer looked so creepy but I just felt that lacking in the actual film (may of had something to do with my slightly intoxicated state but shh)

I also watched Aliens that night but I didn't see much point in talking about it on this. You all know by now that I love the Alien series!

I was rather late doing this post but I make sure week 4 will be done soon!
I'm still looking out for recommendations of films to watch, so please comment below with your suggestions.

I'm enjoying doing these film posts so I think it's something I may continue with in the future (that's if people actually enjoy reading them)

Till the next time!



Saturday, 18 October 2014

Everyday Halloween Style


So as you know for the month of October, I am loving all things spooky, creepy and basically Halloweeny (yes I am making that a word)

Now sadly, if you are like me and not 'dressing up' this year, there are ways to show your love of Halloween without being a 'sexy nurse' or some sort of zombie.

Here are a couple of ideas for a more everday Halloween look! 

 Dress: Topshop Monster Bandage Dress = £29.00
Jacket: New Look Leather Peplum Biker Jacket = £64.99
Boots: Schuh Black Endless Boots = £55.00 
Earrings: Katie Lees Linear Earrings In Yellow = £18.00
Nails: Topshop Nails In Exhibit = £6.00 
Lipstick: Topshop Lip Polish In Gallery = £8.00

I am loving Topshop's Halloween collection right now and this dress is a prime example of this. It's so creepy but cute. I'm someone who tends to avoid bodycon so I've paired it with this gorgeous peplum style leather jacket. Will give you a really nice shape!
Also how gorgeous are those Katie Lees earrings from Wear Eponymous. Plus they tie in with the creepy yellow eyes in the dress.
Since the dress is very in your face Halloween, I thought it was best to keep everything else simple. Big boots, red lips, done!

Top: River Island White Mesh Crop Top = £28.00
Skirt: Topshop PU Black Pleated Skirt = £55.00 
Bag: ASOS Halloween Lips Clutch = £20.00 
Socks: ASOS Halloween Fang Socks = £3.00 
Shoes: New Look Black Velvet T Bar Heels = £22.99 
Necklace: Noxious RIP Choker = 4.00 

Asos are also killing it when it comes to Halloween stuff. That bag and socks are just a perfect little match. I'm loving midi skirts right now and this Topshop PU one is just stunning. With the white mesh crop top and velvet heels, it's simple but an effective look.
Of course I couldn't resist putting a Noxious choker in there!

Trousers: H&M Imitation Leather Trousers = £24.99
 Jumper: ASOS Halloween Teen Witch Jumper = £30.00
Earrings: Bonnie Bling 'Buffy' Cross Earring = £15.00 
Shoes: Underground Double Sole Creeper = £120.00 
Bag: New Look Pink Faux Fur Cat Clutch = £19.99 

Okay... this look is just a little bit inspired by one of my favourite TV shows ever, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It's a sort of Buffy/Willow mix up. Leather and fluffy jumper. You can't go wrong.
A Halloween inspired look doesn't need to be all black, pastel pink like this can easily work.
Also that bag is just the most adorable thing I ever did see. It's calling out to me too much.

and a couple of things I've seen that I'm lusting after:

 Necklace: Bonnie Bling 'Bite Me' Necklace = £18.00
Top: Missguided 'Witching Hour' Mesh TShirt = £12.99 
Dress: ASOS Frankenstein Monster Dress = £35.00 
Jumper: ASOS Halloween Frankenstein Jumper = £30.00 
Scrunchie: Topshop Pumpkin Scrunchie = £4.50 
Leggings: Boohoo Skull Print Leggings = £8.00 
Jacket: Black Milk Killing Joke Bomber = Out Of Stock At The Moment 
Bag: New Look Furry Cat Purse = £5.99  

So there you go some ideas for a everday halloween look!
I've already got myself some amazing Primark skeleton leggings and can't wait to do a 'Outfit Of The Day' post with them.

Let me know what pieces from this you like best and stay tuned for my next 'Online No One Can Hear You Scream' post!

Till the next time



Thursday, 9 October 2014

Online No One Can Hear You Scream: Week Two

Hello there!
So it's time for week two of my 'Online No One Can Hear You Scream' series.
In case you missed last week's post (which you can check out here) for the month of October I will be watching as many horror films as I can, then doing a little recap/review of them here.

As much as I love horror film, I'm also a massive wimp at times. So this is quite a challenge for me. I'm already getting creepy dreams!

So for this week I'm going to talk about not one but three films I watched this week:

Diary Of The Dead
  •   Year Released: 2008
  • Director: George A. Romero
  • Starring: Michelle Morgan, Josh Close, Shawn Roberts, Amy Lalonde, Joe Dinicol

Basically the story is pretty simple.

Whilst filming a horror movie, a group of students find out that the dead are rising up. The group work together to get home to find loved ones whilst filming the chaos that surrounds them, using cameras and phones. 

Your typical zombie film plot eh?
George A. Romero is quite simply the daddy of the zombie horror genre. Starting of his career with the amazing Night Of The Living Dead, he has brought us many a good gory horror film. Sadly he also brought us this, Diary Of The Dead.

I'm not going to beat around the bush here, it's a pretty weak film. The zombie genre is particually bad at giving us mind numbing films but in a way they are enjoyable. 
My problem with Diary Of The Dead is it really hammers down on some bigger meaning to it all.
It shows you the problems with the media and our obsession with filming every single thing that happens. Sadly whilst it does this it fails to bring the viewer any scares. Plus the acting and dialogue is pretty weak and cheesy. For me, it spent too much time trying to make a point and be different, that it forgot what the film truly is... A HORROR FILM!
Yes it goes for the whole 'found footage' style which tends to be effective but it's almost too perfect with it's camera work. It's not shaky, the effects are a little lame and it's all too 'clean' looking. 

I'm a zombie fan so this film was slight disappointment for me. George A. Romero has directed much better films of this genre and I suggest you check them out instead.

  •  Year Released: 1979
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Ian Holm, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright 
So after the disappointment of Diary Of The Dead, I needed something good.
Come forward ALIEN. One of my favourite films of all time!
(Also the inspiration behind the name of my horror series)
A commercial spaceship, by the name of Nostromo, is on it's way back to earth when suddenly it intercepts a SOS signal. The crew, under obligation, are forced to investigate. 
They soon realise that it was no SOS but a warning and they have now brought back something deadly on board with them.

Just a wee summery for you there as I don't want to ruin much for anyone who has yes to see Alien. I also must question why you have not seen Alien...
As I said above, it is one of my favourite films and I could watch it over and over again. Plus I still jump and watch some scenes through one eye. 
I can't actually remember when I first watched Alien but seeing as it's a favourite of my mums, I couldn't avoid it. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw the sequel first. 

It was released in 1979 to both critical and box office acclaim. Written by Dan O'Bannon and directed by Ridley Scott, it was originally pitched as 'Jaws In Space'. Which I do kind of see but imagine it as a much more violent jaws in a highly claustrophobic environment. Then you have Alien.

Okay okay, it's a little dated now and you may say it's a story you've seen plenty of times before but this is something special. From the superb cast to the amazing design work of H.R Giger, it's a wonderful film. Never mind how completely and utterly creepy the Xenomorph is (that's the 'Alien' by the way)
The thing I love about Alien, coming from a fan of sc-fi and horror, is the way that it blends both those genres together so perfectly. It also has one of my favourite styles in a horror film, 'the slow burner'
Personally, the best horror films will always start of slow, let's you get to know the characters a little bit, things get a little creepy, things get mega creepy then bam you are up against the 'bad guy'.
As I said in my Grudge review, one of the cons I had was that you see the villain too quickly into it. Alien builds up to that moment wonderfully.  If you have seen Alien, you will know that the scene when they are having dinner is fantastic.

This scene will always and forever make me jump

As I said the casting for Alien is pretty darn good. Sigourney Weaver makes an amazing hero as Ripley. Unlike 'Karen' in the Grudge, you actually care about Ripley and as the Alien series progress, you can't help but just want to be her. She is a total bad ass (yes I just said that)

Writing this is difficult as I don't want to give too much away but all I can say is just watch it and then give the sequels ago. Just ignore the 4th one. Pretend like it doesn't exist okay?

The Conjuring
  •  Year Released: 2013
  • Director: James Wan
  • Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor
Now unlike Alien, a film I've seen loads, I only just watched this for the first time. 

In 1971, The Perron family move into an old farmhouse in Rhode Island. Soon after they find things are not quite normal in this house and become terrorized by the spirits who haunt it. 

Ed and Lorraine Warren are paranormal investigators who are contacted by the family to shed some light on what is going on and to help them drive the spirits out.

 So The Conjuring is promoted as being based on real events. Ed and Lorraine Warren were really paranormal investigators and they did visit the home of the Perron family. Does that mean everything we see in this film actually happened? Probably not, but it's a lot of fun!

To be honest, it's not exactly the most ground breaking horror film to be made but I don't think that matters too much. It's creepy and rather jumpy, all that I enjoy in a switch your brain off horror film. 
Like a lot of 'haunted house' films, it has your typical cliches. People saying "who's there", creepy children, creaky noises etc but it's still enjoyable and effective. 

As I have said plenty of times before, I'm not a massive fan of gore. I feel like it's actually lazy and used way too much in newer horror films. It's almost like they don't think a film can be truly scary without seeing someone getting torn to shreds. I enjoyed The Conjuring because it didn't rely on cheap tricks like that. It's all about the eeriness. 
Dark cellars, doors creaking, dead silence, creepy shadows.  
For me that will always be a lot scarier because whilst you are sitting there, as soon as you hear a noise in your house, you will jump! It's all about those tricks on your mind.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this film is perfect at all. It plays it all very safe. Nothing new, nothing we haven't really seen before. Then again look at 'Diary Of The Dead', it tried to bring something new to the zombie genre and personally it failed in that. Sometimes you got to think, if it's not broken, why fix it?

Villain wise, the creepy doll above is horrifying but only plays a small part in the film. I believe it has it's only film which is out now. For the 'ghosties' in the house, they were scariest when you couldn't really see them. Soon as you got a chance to see them close up, they were a little laughable really.

So I also did a little bit of 'live tweeting' throughout this film. So here are a couple of my feelings about it all:

 Overall, I really enjoyed this film. It was creepy, spooky and left me jumping at any old noise I heard from my flat. I would recommended you give it a go. Don't go in there expecting something amazing, just enjoy what it is.

So there you go. Week Two is done!

Remember I would love to hear your opinions on any of the films I've mentioned and remember to tell me any films you would like me to watch!

Sleep tight!



Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Online No One Can Hear You Scream: Week One

So if you follow me on Twitter etc you will know that I am planning a little blog challenge for October.

Halloween is one of my favourite times of the year so it's only right that I celebrate it some way. So for all this month I will be watching as many horror films as I can and at the end of each week, I will do a little recap/review of them.

From classic to newer one, I am looking forward to all the sleepless nights.

Why Horror Films?
 Well, it's almost Halloween of course but mainly because I'm a big fan of the genre. I blame my mother. I grew up watching films like Evil Dead, Alien, Poltergeist etc and naturally I just fell in love with those films. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big chicken but that's the fun of horror films. The best ones are the ones that scare you! The ones that make you leave the light on at night.

I do have love/hate relationship with them. Like alot of films, you have your good and bad ones but the horror genre seems to attract alot of rubbish. Sometimes they are the best ones though.

During my little reviews, I will go into more detail about what, for me, makes a good horror film!
Don't get me wrong, I'm no film expert or critic. I'm just someone who enjoys films. So don't expect any insightful points or 'what does it all mean' statement. I'm just here to and give you guys a recap of what I enjoyed or hated!

Now, I'm hoping to watch a few films during the week but since this is the first week and I will be away for the weekend, I just have the one for now.

So let's crack on shall we:

The Grudge

  • Year: 2004
  • Director: Takashi Shimizu 
  •  Staring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, KaDee Strickland, Clea DuVall, Bill Pullan

Okay okay... I know the original Japanese version is better but this was one of the films that really got me into the Horror genre. Plus who doesn't love watching 'Buffy' get terrorized by creepy ghosts?!
 Here is short synopsis of the film:

A family are torn apart by the husband finding out his wife is in love with another man. He murders his wife, son, cat and lastly himself. These violent deaths created a curse which brought the family back as onryō (not really explained in the remake)
An onryō is traditional Japanese belief of a vengeful spirit.

Years later, a husband and wife move in along with the husband's mother. Due to the mother suffering from deminta, a care worker is appointed to look after her. Shortly after moving in, the family suffer from the curse inflicted on the house and the Yoko (the careworker) goes missing. This brings Sarah Michelle Gellar's character into the story. She is also a careworker and is appointed to the mother after Yoko is not seen or heard from. 

She finds herself haunted by this curse, as anyone who enters the house is affected and doomed by it.

The Grudge was rated a '15' in the UK, so you know it's not going to be mega gory or violent. Which some may thing is bad but personally I'm not a massive fan of gore. This film relies more on 'jumpy' scenes rather than grossing you out.
Don't get me wrong, it has very violent undertones to it and there is one scene that involves a missing jaw which is a bit disgusting.

The interesting thing about this film is that it is directed by Takashi Shimizu, who did the original one. So if you have seen both, there is a lot of similarities. It doesn't exactly bring anything new to the story.
Visually it is a striking film and weirdly makes me want to go to Japan. I just need to avoid any scary hours that contain creepy ghosts..

Buffy would have kicked that ghost's ass. 
My pain problem with this film is the lack of character development. I don't find myself caring about any of them so it makes it hard for me to be shocked by any of the deaths (there is a lot by the way)
It contains such a great cast of actors but they are all very two dimensional.
Being a massive fan of 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', I love Sarah Michelle Gellar but sadly her character of Karen spends a lot of the time looking wide eyed and terrified of everything. Don't get me wrong, I would be the same but it doesn't make for an interesting 'hero'.

See if you heard a creepy noise coming from the attic in your house, would you go investigate?
No should always be your answer. Also don't say "Who's there?"
If horror films have taught me anything, it's that. It always means death is coming for you!

By far one of the scariest scenes in the film.

As I said, The Grudge doesn't exactly bring anything new or ground breaking to the horror genre but it's a pretty good film. If you want to something that will make you jump then it's a good film to go for. Plus, like me, it made me more interested in Japanese horror films. 

So here is a list of my pros and cons of The Grudge:

  • Rather jumpy at points
  • The 'villains' are pretty darn creepy
  • Good cast
  • Doesn't rely on gory scenes to be scary
  • Brings nothing new. Very similar to the original film
  • Hard to care about the characters 
  • You maybe see the 'ghosts' too early into the film. I prefer a build up.
  • Predictable ending.

There you go!
The first film in my 'Online No One Can Hear you Scream' series. As I said I'm no film critic or expert, this is all for fun!

Next week, I will be talking about a few more films. So if there is anything you think I should watch, let me know in the comments!

In the words of Ghostface

"What's your favourite scary movie?"