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The Children

Excellent new horror movie
Saw a preview of this. Was worried that it would be a bit cheesy but it had me and my girlfriend on the edge of our seats. Really gripping and uses psychological rather than gore to scare. Very good for a British horror and has a kind of style and gloss that you usually associate with American films. Lead girl (the one from Hollyoaks) is fantastic and very cute and there are good turns from some excellent upcoming British actors. Jeremy Sheffield (the handsome one from Holby City) is excellent I'm surprised he has not been a leading man before. Story pitch is about a couple of middle class families with issues who meet up for Chistmas together. One of the kids seems to have a virus and over the holiday gradually the behaviour of the children starts to change as they become wild and feral and turn on their over anxious parents. For people with kids it's pretty uncomfortable and creepy, but if you've ever got fed up of those overly protective middle class parents who let their kids do whatever they want and can't control them, then this is good fun. I notice it's from the same director as WAZ, which was also a good film so it seems like he knows what he is doing and is one to watch in future.

School of Life

Excellent short film - totally disagree with other comment
Simple, meaningful and delivers an emotional punch. I regularly trail through dull short films and it's always nice to come across something that has a simple and enlightened message, without pretensions or self indulgent directing.

A boy at school has to attend a lesson when his friend plays truant and is given the most important lesson of his life, only to find that when there are not enough copies to go around he has to share with the school bully.

Unlike most short films featuring children or actors these kids hold their own and it's believable. The soundtrack nicely complements the emotion of the piece and the punchline of the film works well.

Death at a Funeral

Very good British farce
It's been a while since there's been a genuinely good British farce, but this one pressed all the right buttons. Memorable performances from Andy Nyman playing neurotic fool Howard and straight man Matthew MacFadyen make this a real crowd pleaser. Comedy is edgy enough for teens to enjoy although overall it will probably appeal to slightly older audiences. It would be great if this could do a Four Weddings. Only downer is the miscasting of the drug dealing brother who seems far too middle class and unrealistic for role. And the 'drug' joke seems to go on a bit. Uncle Alfie is an absolute hoot and script is generally full of some really good gags.

It's a Boy Girl Thing

Fun, high school movie with a surprisingly emotionally ending.
I have to admit first that I am a fan of this genre, although when I went in I was expecting something pretty run-of-the-mill. However, this is no teen B-movie but is actually a really funny premise and has a story with a surprising amount of emotional depth. I'm surprised no-one has made a movie about this before, but they haven't. It seems quite an obvious premise. A boy and girl who despise each other, end up swapping bodies and are thus forced to deal with each other's lives. It's like Freaky Friday but with a bit more edge and all the adolescent teen stuff which is what keeps it fresh. Whilst this stuff is funny it is the love story that really gets you and I was amazed to find myself getting emotionally drawn into the characters. Not often I say that about an American teen movie. Only negative is Sharon Osbourne who kind of pulls you out of the movie a bit, but other than a satisfying movie experience and a really pleasant surprise.


This movie was really hyped up by some of my Japanese friends. Basically it has exactly the same positives and negatives of the original The Ring film also directed by Nakata. It has one of the creepiest scenes I've ever seen in a horror movie, when the blurred image of the ghost actress appears on the rushes of the footage shot by the film's hero. However, the plotting is pretty bad and the finale feels like a real missed opportunity. As with The Ring the plot explanation for who and why the ghost actress is, is completely garbage. Interesting to see it has been picked up for remake rights. They really need to tie up the exposition plotting to make this work - i.e who the ghost actress is, what she wants, why she is haunting the studio, why the director has memories of watching the film as a child, why him???!! etc. When the ghost actress reveals herself it never lives up to the creepy image scene earlier in the film. They would do well to watch The Eye by the Pang Brothers to see how this is done, instead of the usual white faced hovering ghost.

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