Posted in Films

31 Horror Films To Get You In The Halloween Spirit

Happy October! Spooky season is officially upon us… the best season if you ask me.

I am a HUGE horror movie and general all round Halloween fan, so what better way to get the month started than with 31 movies to binge all the way up to the big day itself?

In no particular order:

1. Halloween (1978)

An all round CLASSIC! You can’t not watch this in the run up to Halloween… if you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen it before then here’s a mini summary. After brutally murdering his sister at just 6 years old, Michael Myers is locked away. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, the now 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes. He returns to his quiet hometown where he looks for his next victims.

2. Mirrors (2008)

Ok this film really stuck with me when I first saw it and I couldn’t look at my reflection for weeks! I often think that I don’t get scared by horrors but it’s only later on, when I’m alone with my thoughts, that I realise actually maybe I was a little spooked!

Check out the trailer:

3. The Purge (2013)

I’m going to put my hands up here and admit that I’ve never actually seen any of the films in this franchise… BUT we all know the premise, don’t we?! Is there anything that can get you ready for Halloween more than a film about a dystopian future, with an annual day where no crime is illegal?

My question has always been, what on earth would happen if this was real?

4. Scream (1996)

A classic slasher and whodunit movie… A series of murders at a high school have everyone suspecting each other. Who did you think it was when you first watched?

5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

You might have noticed already, but a lot of the films on this list are classics… but to be fair, they’re classics for a reason!

A group of friends is attacked one by one by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface and they must do everything they can to escape!

6. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

“Whatever you do… don’t fall asleep!”

7. Friday The 13th (1980)

In this classic, camp counselors are stalked and murdered while trying to reopen a summer camp that was the site of a child’s drowning.

8. Saw (2004)

I have to say this is probably the film that made me fall in love with horror. I know that might seem strange when there are so many other absolute classics, but this film really stands out to me… all the gore, the story itself and the plot twist of all plot twists!

9. The Ring (2002)

Another film that stands out for me and my discovery of horror… I recently watched this back and realised how simple it was but I honestly think that’s what made it so scary!

10. The Grudge (2004)

Clearly the early 2000s were good for horror films!

11. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

This is one of those films that I still actually haven’t got round to seeing even after all these years and even though I have the DVD, but SO many people tell me how disturbing it is that I had to still include it.

12. The Shining (1980)

It’s just not Halloween without a Stephen King film fest is it… spoiler alert, there are many more of his stories in this list!

13. House Of Wax (2005)

This was another early 2000s film that sold me on the horror genre. There is something SO creepy about the plot to this one!

14. The Woman In Black (2012)

How this film was only rated a 15 in the UK I’ll never know! By 2012, my horror love affair had evolved and I certainly wouldn’t say that I scare easily but Christ this one got to me… I knew one of the kids in it too, which is pretty cool!

15. Insidious (2010)

There was something really different about this film when it came out. I’m not one for overly supernatural films normally but this one is simply gripping.

16. Carrie (1976)

Another Stephen King classic, enough said!

17. The Exorcist (1973)

Ok I’ll be the first to agree that to the modern audience, this film really isn’t scary… BUT you have to appreciate how terrifying it would have been when it was released in the 70s, which is why it’s still such a classic today.

18. Final Destination (2000)

I’m not exactly the biggest fan of this series, I’ll tell you that now. However, if the first film had been a stand alone then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad… it’s definitely something of a modern day classic though!

19. The Conjuring (2013)

Again, I’m not the worlds biggest fan of this film and the subsequent countless spin offs… but as modern horrors go, it’s not terrible and it does have a few good scares! As I said, I’m not one for overly supernatural films, which I find a lot of films this side of 2010 are all about – it’s still a great run up to Halloween film!

20. IT (2017)

Yep, I’m including the most recent film and not the original, please don’t hate me… I just absolutely adored this film!

21. The Amityville Horror (1979)

If you’re debating the original or the remake, I beg of you watch the original. It’s so gritty and makes for a much scarier watch… the remake is a lot more over the top and less believable. Yes I know I seem like a hypocrite considering I just opted for the IT remake over the original but that’s just different!

22. Sinister (2012)

Ok this film, for reasons I still don’t really understand, scared me way more than it should have. As I said previously, by 2012, horror films genuinely did not scare me… but when I saw this one at the cinema, I literally wanted to walk out because I was so scared! Something really got to me… I’ve watched it since and it wasn’t as bad as I remember so perhaps I was just feeling extra sensitive the first time but yea… a must watch!

23. Pet Sematary (1989)

Something I haven’t mentioned is that a lot of the classic horrors, I first watched during Halloween sleep overs with school friends. Every year on Halloween, we’d dress up in our best scary costumes, order takeaways and stay up all night watching horror films! Pet Sematary was from one of those nights and brings back many fond memories… despite the disturbing story line.

24. Wolf Creek (2005)

I was obsessed with this film when it first came out, I think because it’s quite gritty and simple, rather than all about the theatrics and special effects!

25. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

The title of this film gives me chills for some reason, I must have a guilty conscience! This is another one from the sleepover days and even now, that raincoat is definitely the creepiest horror film outfit in my opinion.

26. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

A classic performance by Anthony Hopkins and just all round horror movie gem!

27. Don’t Breathe (2016)

There aren’t many modern day horror films that really mess with my head but oh my, this film… It’s so tense, you might literally not breath whilst watching.

28. The Evil Dead (1981)

A group of teenagers staying in a remote cabin… in the woods… what could possibly go wrong?!

29. Crimson Peak (2015)

I don’t think this is considered a horror, but it certainly isn’t a family fun fest either! There isn’t all the classic horror scares but it definitely eerie and it stuck with me for a while after.

30. The Others (2001)

I know a lot of people don’t consider this one scary and would even say they saw the twist coming… but I’ll tell you now, when I first saw it… my mind was blown!

31. Gerald’s Game (2017)

Of course I’m finishing this list off with another Stephen King adaptation! This film is a definite edge of your seat, “how on earth is this going to end” type of ride… it’s SO worth a watch this Halloween!

Of course, there are so many more films that could have been included! What’s your favourite horror film, or another film to get you in the mood for Halloween?

Posted in Life, Reviews, Shopping

Autumn and Halloween 2020 Lush Haul

A bit like scented candles, Lush bath bombs are an all year round affair for me, but I can’t deny that they really are best enjoyed in autumn and winter. The Halloween collections never disappoint, and then it’s only a matter of time before the Christmas collection comes out!

I haven’t treated myself to any Lush products in a while so when the 2020 Halloween collection came out, I felt it was only right that I treated myself! Here’s what a picked out:

Bat Art bath bomb

Lush says: “Be spellbound by this bat bath bomb. Full of bath-art worthy surprises, deep glittery waters await with a fresh, herbal scent that lingers.”

I gave this one a try this week and was not disappointed. The water turned deep purple and shimmery… as did I when I got out of the bath! (Shimmery that is, not purple)

It’s quite a fresh smell but still has an autumnal tone. It’s an easy 10/10 from me.

Very Very Frightening shower gel

Ok I have a confession… I rarely buy anything from Lush that’s not a bath bomb, or the odd bubble bar. I have had a couple of shower gels before but generally, I stick with the bath bombs… no real reason, I’ve just not ventured in to using much else. However, I’d like to give more of their products a try, and I have to say the bright yellow colour of this one made me very curious!

I can confirm… it’s just as bright when you open it, it almost feels like you’re using paint! I’ve only used it once but definitely like it, the scent is very citrusy which is something I like for a morning shower as I feel like it’s a refreshing way to start the day.

Lush says: “Embrace your sweet side with this bold, uplifting shower gel. Containing fresh lemon and fig juice, it is palm oil and SLS free, plus it’s vegan!”

Monster’s Ball bath bomb

An old favourite of mine and I didn’t need to use it last night to tell you it’s a 10/10… but I did anyway!

Monster’s Ball is one of those bath bombs that puts on a show in the water. Bright pink and blue shoot out to leave the bath a gorgeous shade of purple… and it smells like heaven!

Lush says: “With this monstrously pink Halloween bath bomb, you’re ready for a ball. Full of uplifting neroli, toning olibanum, and cleansing lime oil.”

They’re not wrong!

Bewitched bubble bar

I haven’t used this yet this year but I have done in the past and I’m excited to use it again, mainly because… the water turns black! It doesn’t get more Halloween than that.

Lush says: “This friendly feline will boost your luck with blackberry scented bubbles and plastic-free glitter. Perrrfect for packaging-free bathing.”

I’m so ready for it!

Ghost in the Dark soap

I don’t have a home for this little guy yet so I haven’t tried him out… but look how cute! How could I say no to soap in the shape of a ghost!

Lush says: “A handmade soap with refreshing lemongrass and uplifting bergamot oils, and it glows in the dark!”

It GLOWS in the DARK! Enough said!

Pumpkin Pumpkin bath bomb

I’ve also had this one before and I’d say it’s my least favourite out of the Halloween bath bombs, but it’s still worth it before that cute little face!

Lush says: “Watch this Halloween favourite glide round the surface, releasing bright, mood enhancing citrus oils as it goes.”

I think the reason this one is my least favourite is because it’s very citrus-y and I go to those scents to wake me up, which isn’t what I’m having a bath for! But hey, that’s just me, I’d still give this one a solid 8/10!

Pumpkin Patch knot wrap

I’ll admit that I’m a bit clueless on what to do with a knot wrap but I saw this one, I had to have it and will use the suggestions from Lush for sure. I’ll most likely use it as a headband but I was curious to see if perhaps it can be made in to a face mask!

Oh it’s made from recycled plastic too!

Lord of Misrule bath bomb

I’ve possibly saved the best for last here, as this one is a definite firm favourite! Patchouli GALORE… oh and you think it’s green but guess what? The water turns red!

Lush says: “A Halloween bath bomb with a spicy blend of patchouli and black pepper. A deep green exterior froths away to rich wine coloured waters.”

12/10 from me!

Have you bought or tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments!

Posted in Fashion, Reviews

Will StitchFix Help Me Get My Sense Of Style Back?

Welcome back to Watt The Blog – this week, I wanted to share my thoughts after receiving my first StitchFix… read on to see what I got!

There are links on this post but none are affiliate. All opinions are my own and I’ve received no form of payment for this post, I just do it for fun! I do however, have a referral code which is standard when you sign up. If you like to make use of this then click here!

I first heard about StitchFix via the Shagged, Married, Annoyed podcast – which is hilarious by the way, and well worth a listen to! I didn’t think too much about it at the time, but then weeks later I started getting ADs pop up on my Instagram and Facebook too.

I liked the sound of it all and definitely liked the clothing they were showing in the ADs, but have been reluctant to spend any money in these recent months. However, as lockdown went on… ad ON… all I’ve worn is my work uniform or leggings to walk the dog in. Coupled with the fact that I can’t seem to stop steadily gaining weight, I’ve been feeling like I’ve lost my sense of style and just don’t know what to wear anymore. I’ve therefore got a wardrobe full of clothes that aren’t being worn for various reasons, so after a lot of mental back and forth, I took the plunge and signed up to StitchFix… and made a promise to myself to clear out my wardrobe.

The process of signing up is good fun in itself. They factor in your style preferences, clothing sizes, as well as the prices you’d usually spend on an item of clothing. There’s also a “style shuffle”, which is basically like Tinder for clothes, and you can also add notes on what you’d like to receive.

The StitchFix app shows when your next Fix is due, as well as the style shuffle and notes section so that the Stylists have a better idea of what you’re in to!

For my first Fix, I mentioned that I had a wedding coming up but other than that, I always like to keep it pretty casual.

I paid the £10 styling fee and then began counting down the days until my first Fix arrived!

You can choose how often you receive your Fixes or if you prefer, you don’t even need to set them up for regular deliveries – either way, you can still amend it later on. The £10 styling fee is deducted from anything that you keep, although you don’t have to keep everything that they send, which is a bonus, but there is a 20% discount if you do.

So, what did I get in my first Fix?!

I saw these Mango jeans in my box and straight away was adament they would be too small. I’m not the biggest fan of jeans these days, especially skinny fit ones, but these… are a dream! They’re so soft and have just the right amount of stretch… they fit like a glove!

I also got this Mauvette top, which is SO flattering. Mauvette seems to be exclusive to StitchFix when I did a bit of research, but don’t quote me on that…

When giving the information on what clothes you’d like to receive, you can also let the stylists know what parts you like to show off, or cover up, and what your silhouette is like. In the box, there’s a card of styling suggestions for your pieces.

I could really tell that Jordan, my stylist for this Fix, had paid attention to what I said I’d like or dislike. She mentioned that she chose the jeans to nudge me out of my comfort zone, she was right and it turned out to be a great choice!

A number of the pieces are made from sustainable materials, another bonus!

Also to go with the jeans was this top from Warehouse:

Another flattering and comfortable piece! You might also notice the necklace:

This is also a Mauvette piece. It’s not something I’d usually pick out but that’s mainly because I’m rubbish at wearing jewellery!

The final item that was picked out for me was another Mango piece, specifically for the wedding I had mentioned:

Now, I don’t know about you, but I find this absolutely stunning! It’s something else I probably wouldn’t have picked myself, as I’m short so tend to steer clear from maxi dresses… but I have to say this was the best thing in my package!

So, what did I keep?

No, I didn’t actually keep all of it in the end, although I was tempted! I decided to send back the white top as, although I liked it, I have tops similar already and it was a tad loose around my chest!

The top was cheaper than the discount I would have got to keep everything, so I also decided to send the necklace back too. As I said, I’m rubbish with jewellery and ALWAYS lose it, or break it, so I don’t tend to buy any unless I really love it.

I kept the jeans, and have already worn them since (and felt great in them!), the green blouse, and the dress – ready for the wedding!

All in all, I was VERY impressed – I have to say that I will definitely be shopping at Mango in future too! It’s a shop that I’ve not really paid much attention to in the past but if the jeans and dress are anything to go by, then I’ve been missing out!

I’ve opted for a monthly Fix for now and the next one is due on the 22nd August so keep your eyes peeled on my blog and Instagram to see what I get in the next box!

If you’d like to give StichFix a try, you can use my referral link and we both get £15 credit!

Posted in Blogging, Money, Reviews

The LadyBossBlogger Course Gave Me a New Love For Blogging

Hello everyone and welcome back! In this post I’m going to share with you my final thoughts on the LadyBossBlogger course* that I have been taking, and the amazing results I’ve had so far.

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#ADsponsored • GIVEAWAY BELOW • Well hello and happy Wednesday, have I been buzzing to share today’s post or WHAT 😍 I recently started a course with @ladybossblogger all about blogging and making money from your blog. It starts right from scratch and covers literally anything you could possibly need. I’ve learnt so much already so please check out the link in my bio to read my initial review 💕 – If you’re looking for a blogging course too, then you’re in luck because I’ve also teamed up with @ladybossblogger for a #GIVEAWAY 🥰 you can win the How To Make A Money Making Blog course, OR How To Make Money As An Influencer, it’s your choice and it’s FREE 💕 – All you have to do is: ✨Follow me @watt.the.blog ✨Follow @ladybossblogger ✨Follow @elainerau ✨Like this photo and tag a friend in the comments! ✨Earn extra entries by tagging more friends Stay tuned for the winner to be announced and good luck 💕 – In the meantime, you can use the code KATIEWATT for 40% off your How To Make A Money Making Blog course 😍 you can find the link to the course in my bio too (#afflink) – IMPORTANT INFO: The contest will run from 15th July until 28th July. The prize will be a @LadyBossBlogger course of your choice (either the blogging or influencer course). The giveaway winner must post a photo of themselves on their feed talking about winning the course in order to claim the prize – PROFILES MUST BE PUBLIC NOT PRIVATE. Please email ladybossblogger@gmail.com your published link and state which course you’d like to win (can’t be a bundled course and limit one course per person). Must be 18+ years old to enter. Giveaway is available to contestants worldwide. Disclaimer: This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Instagram.

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If you entered the giveaway, then don’t forget to head over to my Instagram to find out if you won!

I mentioned previously that I have been really stuck in a rut lately with my blog and wasn’t sure how to really move forward, or how to succeed. Then I started the LadyBossBlogger* course, How To Start A Money Making Blog and can honestly say I have found a whole new love for my blog.

Elaine Rau‘s course starts from the very beginning, so I was able to completely refresh my mindset and discover my “why”, as well as reconsider my niche (take the quiz if you’re not sure what you want yours to be!).

Before LadyBossBlogger, I was just aimlessly writing and not really considering who my audience is, or what they might want to hear. These are all topics that are covered in the first 25% of the course*, so I think that reflects just how much there is to learn.

“If you’re writing blog posts without a defined goal of what you’re trying to accomplish, you’re tossing work in to the wind hoping something will stick.”

This is exactly what I was doing before this course! I’m now looking forward to implementing what I have learnt when I write my future posts, rather than racking my brains on what I feel like writing about week to week.

What I particularly appreciated throughout the course*, was Elaine’s honesty in sharing all of her knowledge in every aspect of blogging. I think it would be easy for someone to keep all of this to themselves, but Elaine has shared everything she knows in order to help others succeed.

Elaine encourages you from lesson one in a way that feels personal, helping you to figure out what kind of blogger you are. Then on top of that, she helps you to figure out your strengths and how to utilise them, as well as the resources to help you with what you need to improve on. For example, those of us that are more in to the writing side of things but not the design – Canva is your friend. I can definitely vouch for this!

I won’t give too much away, but so that you know what else to expect, the course also covers:

I wasn’t focused on any of these things before now but seeing as I’ve already noticed an increase in my blog traffic, I’m incredibly excited to move forward and continuing putting all of the great lessons from this course* in to practice.

Some more key points I have learnt during the course* are:

  • It’s important to read other people’s blogs but also use them as research too – Elaine suggests some of the top bloggers in the most profitable niches, so I’ve also found some great new bloggers to follow!
  • You should be solving a problem or answering a question for your readers
  • Blogging is more than just writing a great post
  • You can supplement your blog with a YouTube video and/or podcast – something I definitely want to explore in the near future
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to brands!
  • Celebrate the milestones – all of the little ones, not just the big ones
  • There is no such thing as an oversaturated niche
  • Try your best and give it your all, the worst thing you can do is nothing!
  • It’s ok if you want to explore more than one niche (phew!) …but do narrow it down

All in all, I’ve learnt more from this course* than I could have ever imagined.

If you use my code KATIEWATT, then you can grab yourself 40% off of the blogging course* for yourself, or perhaps How To Make Money as an Instagram Influencer if that’s more for you!

Thank you SO much to LadyBossBlogger and Elaine Rau for sponsoring this post. Some links in this post are affiliate and are marked with a *. If you purchase the course using my affiliate link, it will be at no extra cost to you but it does mean I earn a commission. I’m so grateful for your support and want to make sure you know that I wouldn’t promote anything I didn’t genuinely love.

Additional LadyBossBlogger Resources

Posted in Blogging, Money, Reviews

LadyBossBlogger: The Blogging Course That Is Engaging From The Start

If you follow me on my Instagram or Twitter, you might have seen me mention that I’ve felt a bit stuck in a rut with my blog over the past couple of weeks. I’ve started to feel a little bit like it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, which is frustrating to say the least, especially when I don’t really know how to rectify that! I thought about courses but was really put off my costs and how vague they seemed, would it really help or would it just be a waste of money?

LadyBossBlogger to the rescue!

Start A Money Making Blog* is broken down into easy to follow sections and is engaging right from the start, to the point that I actually feel excited to work on my blog again. The course* is broken down into the following categories:

  • Discover your “Why”
  • Find Your Niche
  • Claim Your Blog Domain Name
  • Create Your Target Audience
  • Design Your Brand
  • Set Up Email Marketing Strategy
  • Blog Marketing Strategy: Social Media Foundations
  • Learn WordPress Basics
  • SEO Best Practices
  • Curate Strategic Content
  • How To Make Money Blogging
  • Understand The Legal Aspects
  • How To Promote Your Blog + Brand

So, as you can tell, there’s A LOT of learning to do and the course* covers literally everything right from the beginning of starting a blog! That doesn’t mean it won’t be helpful if you’ve already started though. I’m nearly a year into my blog but have still learnt so much already… considering I’ve only completed 5% at this stage, that’s pretty impressive.

The main points that I have taken away so far are:

  • Your content needs to be of value to others, not just yourself
  • The importance of scheduling posts and setting up an email list
  • Focusing on your mindset – you need to find your purpose, your WHY. The first part of the course really focuses on this and how to get to know yourself better, which I thought was particularly great.
  • You don’t need to be an expert right away – it’s ok to still be learning!
  • The thing that hit me the most… be ok with where you are in your journey

All in all, I’m very excited to get well and truly stuck in to the course* and start implementing everything that I learn along the way. There is a real personal touch and I can tell already that Elaine is right there for every step of the way.

As well as A Money Making Blog course, LadyBossBlogger also has a great course on How to Make Money As An Influencer. If you head over to my Instagram right now, I’m REALLY excited to inform you that I’m running a great competition to win either one of these courses for FREE.

In the meantime, I also have a 40% code you can use! Head over to LadyBossBlogger and use KATIEWATT. Additional LadyBossBlogger Resources are:

Stay tuned for my FULL review and giveaway winner!

Firstly, thank you SO much to LadyBossBlogger and Elaine Rau for sponsoring this post. Some links in this post are affiliate and are marked with a *. If you purchase the course using my affiliate link, it will be at no extra cost to you but it does mean I earn a commission. I’m so grateful for your support and want to make sure you know that I wouldn’t promote anything I didn’t genuinely love.

Posted in Films, Reviews

Film Review – Joker

Quick disclaimer: all views are my own, there’s no affiliate links and I haven’t received any kind of payment for this post. I also don’t really have any idea what I’m talking about in regards to films.

In general, I’m not a huge superhero/villain film fan. Contraversial, I know, I’m not even really sure why but I just don’t really like them as a whole. There are some exceptions of course, namely THAT Batman trilogy we all know and love. Each film just got better and better, and I don’t know a single person who can dispute the talent of the late Heath Ledger. His portrayal of the Joker was phenomenal and honestly I never believed anyone could play the role better, I didn’t even bother to watch Suicide Squad. However, when I saw the trailer for this years Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix, I could tell this wasn’t a performance to be missed.

The film has had quite mixed reviews and honestly it did leave me feeling a little mixed up too. Phoenix is utterly incredible, I could never say better than Ledger of course, but certainly up there. They’re both spectacular in different ways: Ledger felt very much like a comic book villain, although I should make it clear that I’ve never picked up a DC comic in my life and I’m purely basing this on portrayals in films. Phoenix’s Joker on the other hand, is like a real life psychopath. The acting was so beliveable in fact, that it was almost uncomfortable, like that really is him and there’s no acting – I think I’d actually be a little scared if I was to ever meet the actor (by any odd chance). When I say uncomfortable though, it’s certainly not in a bad way, but is is almost quite scary.

We start the film with Arthur Fleck, struggling to simply exist in a very cruel world and very much abandoned by society. It’s very easy to feel sorry for him as we learn more and more about the character and his upbringing. Failing as a clown and a stand up comedian, caring for his deluded mother who also abused him as a child, beaten up and just generally trod on by life. He’s understandably very hurt and angry at the world. That is, until he kills for the first time and starts to see his life a comedy, not a tragedy.

“Smile and put on a happy face.”

The film becomes more brutal at this point and it’s harder to relate to Arthur, as he soon becomes simply a cold-blooded murderer, rather than a helpless victim of society. I will try not to discuss any particular scenes and give things away, but as Arthur’s transformation to The Joker evolves, things become more chilling. It all starts with a colleague giving Arthur a gun for “protection” (as you do…). You can’t help but wonder, if people weren’t so flippant about guns, if Arthur hadn’t been given one in the first place, how might this story be different? The simple answer is there’s be no story at all… And so, the juxtaposition to some very real life issues begin. Although the film is honestly beautiful and excellent in more ways than one, you can understand the mixed reviews and emotions.

“They don’t give a shit about people like you, Arthur. And they don’t give a shit about people like either.”

I’ll go back to the point I made of Arthur being abandoned by society here. The character is in desperate need of help with his mental health, however the funding stops so his counselling and medication simply stop too without a second thought. Sound familiar to any kind of stories we hear, almost daily? Maybe it’s just me that thinks it’s a bit of a touchy subject.

“Everybody is awful these days. It’s enough to make anyone crazy.”

As the film draws to an end, Gotham has descended in to chaos. The Joker has become something of a vigilante and the city has become overrun with people in clown masks. Riots ensue and again it’s rather unsettlingly familiar. I’m not going to delve in to any modern politics or anything, seeing as honestly I don’t know enough and at the end of the day, this is actually just a film. Perhaps I’ve just been reading too many fancy critic’s reviews and now I’m overthinking it.

“I had a bad day.”

Arthur has been chewed up, until he’s no longer himself anymore, then spat back out again. He’s now simply… The Joker, homicidal maniac and ultimate villian.

This film is not like any other origin story you may have seen, and apart from the very small links to the DC universe, this could be another one of those “based on true event” types. The Wayne family do feature heavily and have their own important role, but you could be forgiven for thinking that has nothing to do with the Batman story that’s to come, and is just the name of a family. It depends on how you watch it in my opinion.

All in all, the film is beautifully made, incredibly bold, just as it is dark and intense. It’s certainly not to be missed, based on Phoenix’s performance alone, and I’m sure there are many Oscars to be had.

Posted in Reviews, Travel

First AirBnb Experience: A Weekend In Bath

Nothing beats a road trip with friends. We were at our local McDonald’s around 10am for the mandatory road trip breakfast stop. From there, we had roughly 3 or 4 hours to get to Bath, so a fairly long drive but nothing major. I was thankful that it wasn’t too long, as I’m not a great passenger unfortunately, but also a nervous driver – not much of a winning situation, I can assure you! Luckily, we only hit one patch of traffic, on the M25 of course, and one other pit stop, so it wasn’t that late when we arrived at our destination.

Nimlet is in Chippenham, so not technically in Bath, but not far. The AirBnb, Nimlet Cottage, is along a busy main road, which was a little unnerving at first but not a big issue for us. We had already decided we loved the cottage, just from the outside.

Inside was even better. After parking up, we entered through a side door and straight in to the kitchen. The smell of fresh bread greeted us, which pleased my carb-loving soul immensely! Not only had we been left some lovely fresh bread, but also a jar of some strawberry jam, eggs, milk and a bottle of processco! The little touches were endless as we explored our home for the weekend. The decor was extremely homely, with fresh flowers in every room. I felt like I would never want to leave, I could picture staying there forever… or at least decorating the new house in the same styles. We may not have the keys yet, but the wannabe interior designer in me is already at work.

After getting a food shop done and having a realxed dinner, we got ready for a night on the town. This is when the rain came. We tried not to let it deter us, but when we arrived at the first bar, Opium, we were definitely a little soggy and there were no seats. We held out for a while though and our luck changed, we had a table and were able to soak up the atmosphere. The walls were deep red, with eclectic decor and painted ceilings. Incense was burning and groups of people of all ages, buzzed at the tables, with old rock tunes playing in the background. It was all very cosy, which was great, but after a long drive we needed a bit of waking up. So after a couple of drinks at Opium, we made our way in to the fresh air to find somewhere new. The rain had passed momentarily so we wandered for a short while to The Canary Gin Bar. We all tried a different gin drink and they were all lovely – mine even had rose petals in as a cute finishing touch. The intention was to have one drink there and continue on, while the night was young. I’ll be honest though, I was not feeling so young by this point, three drinks in and I was ready for bed!

The rain came again, much harder this time. We had no idea where to go, and when we did try to get in somewhere, we were turned away as one of the group was wearing trainers. Note: The Slug and Lettuce have a dress code after 6pm, no matter the weather! We ended up ducking in doorways, which certainly had not been the plan – it was time to call it a night. Getting a taxi from the city centre in the pouring rain was not exactly straight forward and for a short while, I felt like we’d never make it back to our cosy cottage…

After an eternity though, and a mildly terrifying taxi ride, we made it back. Midnight snacks and then bed. It hadn’t been the big night out we intended, but it had been lovely nonetheless.

The next day, we took it easy. I can never sleep in a different bed, away from home, so was grateful to have a late start, followed by a hearty English breakfast. It was aroud 1pm by the time we eventually went out, the only time to start your day on a Sunday if you ask me.

We played crazy golf, which took up most of the afternoon. I had a strong start but didn’t even come close to winning. I highly recommend the course at Victoria Falls for a chilled bit of fun. By the time we finished, breakfast had well and truly settled and we were now ready for something more. A local pub close to the cottage came highly recommended and so we headed there with high hopes. The food and customer service did not disappoint at The Bull At Hinton. We shared some appetisers – pork crackling and halloumi sticks – drank more gin, and ate to our hearts content. Sunday roast, fish and chips, even the chicken salad there was hearty.

We had a lovely relaxing evening back at Nimlet Cottage, watching Mrs Doubtfire and eating pudding. The evenings are getting chillier now and so we attempted to make use of the log burner, to no avail. Apparently, I would not make a competent guest of Bear Grylls, so blankets had to make do instead.

The next morning, we started earlier in order to get packed and out of the cottage on time for the 11am checkout. We were very sad to leave the cottage behind and would most definitely love to return if ever in the area again. We weren’t ready to actually go home yet though so headed in to the city to Thermae Bath Spa, a must do while in Bath.

Rather then pay full price for a spa day, we opted for an hour and a half option as it was much cheaper. We didn’t know what to expect at all, so when were escorted to The Cross Bath, away from the main spa, we were extremely and pleasantly surprised. I definitely recommend if you’re a little short on time or want something a bit different. It was daunting at first, as tourists peered through the windows of the bath so we feared we may be watched, but the windows close and so we enjoyed a totally private session in the open-air thermal bath. I shold note, I think it was luck that we ended up with a private session – prices online advertise paying extra for exclusive use, so I assume it was a case of no one else had booked the same time slot as us, result!

After all the relaxing, we were starving! Pizza Express was calling us, don’t tell me those dough balls aren’t the best. Once we had full bellies, we then headed to our last activity before we really did have to head home. The one thing that can’t be skipped when visiting Bath, The Roman Baths of course. There’s a reason the tourists flock here, everything has been so well preserved that you can just picture so clearly the Romans roaming around, as if it was yesterday. I also discovered that they do weddings and am now working on convincing my boyfriend that we simply must get married in Bath… we’ll see how well that goes. The Baths really are beautiful though and I would say you really have to see it to experience it, especially if you’re a lover of history.

When we left, we were caught in the rain yet again. The drive home was going to be long, but at least we had our memories to keep us going…

Posted in Films, Reviews

Film Review – IT: Chapter Two

I will start by saying that I am in no way, shape or form, a film critic, and I also generally like most films. Horror is definitely my favourite genre though and I’m certainly more critical or horror films, because let’s face it – modern horrors are not always that great. That being said, I could not have been more excited for ‘IT’ in 2017 and I was not disappointed.

I loved ‘IT’ so much, that I saw it three times at the cinema. To me, the whole thing was perfection.

The last time that I went to see it at the cinema, the experience was tainted by a couple sat next to me. They were on their phones the entire time and talking loudly the whole way through about how crap they thought the film was. They were both incredibly arrogant and were just “those types” of people, who had nothing good to say and were die hard fans of the original ‘IT’ and Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise. I will say, I have not seen this version. I just never got round to it, and that’s all there is to say about that.

The couple complained that the 2017 version wasn’t at all scary and that any of the “scare” scenes were just stupid. I was getting more and more annoyed throughout the film as I felt they missed the point. You know when you really love something and someone else complains about it, it’s like a personal insult right?!

The final straw was when the film ended and the words came up: “Chapter One”. So, you know there’s going to be a sequel. The couple groaned loudly as if a sequel was unnecessary. Now, bare in mind that I haven’t read much more than the first few chapters of the book so far, but even still I knew that a sequel made sense! I brushed off their stupidity and eagerly awaited Chapter Two.

Oh and I was NOT disappointed.

If you love a Stephen King adaptation, you will not be disappointed either. Every member of the cast is brilliant, the adult versions of the characters were spot on to the kids. As for the actors playing the kids… where do they get their talent?! Don’t be fooled in to thinking that the film is JUST about the adults. There is a lot of flashbacks, as the “Losers” try to remember what really happened in Derry 27 years ago, so it does all make for a very long film. However, it is all seamlessly tied together.

The star cast member to me, of course, is Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise. I am not afraid of clowns and while I also wouldn’t say the film “scared” me, his perfomance is haunting. There is in one particular scene in Chapter Two, at the fairground, that literally made me wince and I really felt the fear of a child being preyed on by ‘IT’.

That’s the thing, I can understand that the scares are a bit goofy, especially in the first film, but isn’t it the point that ‘IT’ is trying to scare children? So it’s not going to be scary to an adult! However, now that we are back in Derry 27 years later, this film is much darker and bloodier, and definitely a bit weirder as we learn more about the origins of ‘IT’.

The film certainly takes a bit of an odd twist towards the end, and I’m sure this is where they could have cut some time. I hadn’t actually checked the run-time beforehand so the length was a little surprising, and I would say this is probably the downside of the film – I found myself wondering when and how it would all finish. Make sure you grab a snack before you go and see it!

The film does eventually end though and after all the trauma that the characters have been through, it finishes with a heartwarming farewell. No spoilers though, you need to go and see it for yourself!

I’m going to rate the film a 4/5 for now, but I may change my mind after a second watch! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and finish the book – I’m ready to get even more disturbed!