Category Archives: HORROR

Reviews, essays & short stories of my favourite genre – horror. Worth the money or so bad, its funny? Top ten lists…because I love lists…

10 Cloverfield Lane Review

10 Cloverfield Lane Review

10 Cloverfield Lane. Photo property of Paramount Pictures. Fair use courtesy of Wikipedia.

As promised in my “Top 5 Horror Movies of 2016” post, this is my full 10 Cloverfield Lane review. I must admit that a J.J. Abrams produced “blood relative” of the 2008 film Cloverfield did not appeal to me at first. Cloverfield was an average flick in my opinion, and my relationship with JJ Abrams has always flipped between love (Lost S1-3, Westworld, Star Trek) and hate (Lost S4-5, Star Trek). However, I had read many good reviews about 10 Cloverfield Lane, and thus felt it might be worthy of my time. How very right these reviews were! While I wouldn’t necessarily categorize this film as horror, I will say that this film is one of the best of 2016, in any genre.

While not exactly a sequel, 10 Cloverfield Lane presents a different perspective of the 2008 found footage film, but works as it’s own entity as well. The premise is simple enough. Michelle Elizabeth Winstead plays Michelle, a young woman who leaves her fiancée and drives off into the night, only to get into a terrible car accident. She wakes up in a cell, and is told by her captor, Howard, played by John Goodman that they are safely hidden in a bunker, the world above them in the midst of a doomsday attack. What starts off as the beginnings of another survivalist/torture porn horror films turns into something much more interesting and creative, evolving into a tense thriller with hints of sci-fi. The film slowly builds tension, never allowing you to get too comfortable, and keeps you questioning the outcome, despite the title.

John Goodman is fantastic in a subtle, creepy performance. Shifting eyes and awkward social behavior bring about nervous laughter, but he keeps us on edge, holding back so that we never know what will set him off. Michelle is strong and relatable, who keeps you rooting for her until the very end. Winstead plays her with a balanced amount of strength and caution, as we uncover her new surroundings with her. Her character makes rational decisions and learns and grows in a logical way that wraps up the movie nicely.

The film is ultimately satisfying, avoiding stereotypical genre clichés and really engaging the audience from the moment we wake up with Michelle in her cell. A solid, well crafted story that kept me on the edge of my seat, it presents a new way of handling sequels and invasion stories, quietly asking: “where were you when this happened?”.

Did you like my 10 Cloverfield Lane review?  What would you do if there was a zombie apocalypse?

Directed by: Dan Trachtenberg
Released: 2016
Starring: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts

2016.  Many people found 2016 to be a rough year, but I’m thankful that I seem to have emerged reasonably unscathed.  I feel really accomplished because I successfully blogged consistently for a second straight year.  I started this blog way back in 2009 (!) but I only buckled down and got serious with this site in 2015.  I have worked so hard and am proud of how far I’ve come.  My writing, recipe developing and photography skills have all improved and I continue to trouble shoot my own self-hosted website.  Social media is a whole other beast that I’ve had to conquer and continually battle, but I actually find that aspect of blogging really interesting, I just wish there were more hours in a day! When I looked at my analytics for the year, I was happy to see that they have all increased since 2015. I’m so grateful for new and old readers who dropped by my site this year, it’s a daunting web out there with so many blogs and social media avenues, I’m amazed and happy to see when one of my posts does well. These  2016 top food, travel and horror movie posts were the ones all of you kind and inquisitive folk enjoyed the most. 

My top post of 2016 continues to be my review of Gordon Ramsay’s Sticky Toffee and Chocolate Pudding, a post from my first year of blogging. I decided to reshoot this recipe because I cringe when I look back at my first attempt at food photos! I’m hoping my new and improved dairy free version of his sticky toffee pudding does just as well this year.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

I was happy to see these new recipes in the top three food posts for the year:

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

This year my friend and I expanded our canning repertoire and picked our own cherries. Many hours later we had an array of canned cherry products. I was really please with how these cherry coffee preserves turned out, and I was inspired to pair them with goat cheese on top of a crispy crostini. The result was a delightful bittersweet, creamy, crunchy bite, and made for a festive appetizer over the holidays.

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

I had been wanting to develop this recipe for awhile, as I loved the flavour combination of tart apple and sweet cornmeal. I still had some apples leftover from apple picking in the fall, so I was happy to finally make these muffins. Packed full of fresh, juicy apples, they made for a tasty high fiber breakfast or a yummy, healthy dessert.

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Sweet Potato Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato Squash Soup

I love incorporating my Japanese culture into my recipes, and this soup was a perfect example. I wanted to change up the usual butternut squash soup, so I added hints of sesame and topped the soup off with some nori. I also used miso instead of cream which made it lactose-intolerant-friendly for my boyfriend. A creamy, hearty soup that was really popular over the holidays.

As for travel, my big blog project this year was posting my two-week trip to Turkey. These posts took a really long time to put together as I diligently compiled all my thoughts and notes from diaries and photo logs. Many posts from this series did well throughout the year, though it made me sad to reminisce about this amazing trip with all the political turmoil this country has been through recently. I feel lucky we were able to travel to Turkey when we did, as we probably wouldn’t be advised to go there during these unstable times.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Turkey in Two Weeks

How We Toured Turkey in Two Weeks

Speaking of Turkey, my top horror movie post was also Turkish, a hellishly creepy movie called “Baskin”.  I loved the surreal imagery in this film and the political analogies that are implied in regards to police brutality in Turkey. If you like H.P Lovecraft mixed with Dario Argento then this movie is for you!

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts "Baskin" Property of Film Colony, Mo Film, XYZ Films

“Baskin” Property of Film Colony, Mo Film, XYZ Films

I reviewed this film as part of my “Dinner and A Movie” category and paired this movie with a Turkish breakfast. My boyfriend and I still have a Turkish breakfast every weekend; a little part of Turkey that we brought home with us.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Homemade Turkish breakfast

Homemade Turkish breakfast

So there they are!  My 2016 top food, travel and horror movie posts.  Thank you for visiting and hope to see you in 2017!

What were your top posts of 2016?  Did you accomplish your blogging goals?

Top 5 Horror Movies of 2016

2016 wasn’t the strongest year for horror in my opinion, and there weren’t a lot of movies I was dying to see.  Lots of feature debut directors in my list, it was nice to see some fresh blood!  Despite a lack lustre year, here are my Top 5 Horror Movies of 2016.  Here’s hoping 2017 steps up and delivers some new chills!

The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring 2. Photo property of New Line Cinema. Fair use courtesy of Wikipedia.

THE CONJURING 2: THE ENFIELD POLTERGEIST
I loved the first Conjuring, and even though I’m just as weary of sequels as the next horror fan, I had a good feeling about this one.  The Conjuring was such a fresh, stylized take on the supernatural subgenre, that I felt James Wan could deliver.  Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson reprise their roles as husband and wife paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren.  This time they travel to Brimsdown, England to assist a family who are being haunted by a poltergeist.  The result is another fun romp with the supernatural.
Directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious, Dead Silence, The Conjuring)

The Witch

The Witch. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia. Fair use.

THE WITCH
Robert Eggers’ highly anticipated debut film that did not disappoint, The Witch takes the age old premise of devil sacrifice to a whole other level.  When a New England Puritan family is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing events, they suspect evil supernatural forces are at play from the surrounding forest.
Directed by Robert Eggers

10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield Lane. Photo property of Paramount Pictures. Fair use courtesy of Wikipedia.

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
Dan Trachtenberg’s directorial debut is a clever thriller about a woman who wakes up from a car accident and finds herself in a bunker with two men who claim the world is no longer safe.  This is a spin off of J.J. Abrams’ 2008 film Cloverfield and the premise is much more interesting.  I just squeezed in this film before the end of the year, so I will post my review in the New Year.  Also it’s great to see John Goodman back on screen!
Directed by Dan Trachtenberg (debut)

The Forest

The Forest. Property of Focus Features. Fair use courtesy of Wikipedia.

THE FOREST
Natalie Dormer (Games of Thrones, The Hunger Games) stars as a twin searching for her better half in the infamous Japanese “suicide forest”.  Survivalist films are always interesting and the premise for this film is particularly creepy.  Dormer brings us into this unsettled world where her character is trapped and being tormented by the unhappy souls who took their lives in these woods.
Directed by Jason Zada (debut)

Don't Breathe

Don’t Breathe. Photo property of Ghost House Pictures. Fair use courtesy of Wikipedia.

DON’T BREATHE
I was quite impressed with Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead remake and was curious to see what else he could do. This slasher film, about a bunch of teens who mess with a blind man with devastating results is just as fun and bloody.
Directed by Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead)