Skip to main content

My Top 10 Films

I've done posts of my fave vampire and horror films, so now here are my Top 10 favourite films altogether. :) Please note that posts contain spoilers! All clips are trailers unless otherwise stated.


1. Fright Night (1985)
 
The story of a teenage boy called Charley (played by William Ragsdale) who discovers that his next door neighbour Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) is a vampire! His girlfriend Amy and best friend "Evil" Ed don't believe him and they ask former horror actor turned Fright Night show host Peter Vincent ("The Great Vampire Killer") to help them prove to Charley that Jerry is human. Things don't go quite according to plan when Peter (played by Roddy McDowall) finds out that Charley is telling the truth. Also Jerry has taken a fancy to Amy who looks very much like a woman he used to know. Can Charley convince Peter to help him defeat Jerry before it's too late?



                                       
                                                                    Club scene
                                      
                                                        





I love this film! I've been watching it since I was about 12, lol. I like the 2011 remake too but not as much as this.


2. Fright Night Part 2 (1988)

The sequel to Fright Night. Charley is now at college and has a new girlfriend called Alex. He has convinced himself that Jerry Dandridge was just a human serial killer who was part of a cult and not a vampire. Now he no longer believes vampires exist...Until he visits his old friend Peter Vincent and discovers that Peter has some new neighbours in his apartment block, one of whom is Jerry's sister Regine (Julie Carmen)-and she's out for revenge on her brother's killers!


  



I like this even more than the first one. :) I included both films in my Top 10 Vampire Films post.



3. Little Women (1994)

Based on the autobiographical book by Louisa May Alcott, this tells the story of  the March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Their father goes to away to fight in the Civil War and it's left to the sisters and their mother Marmee (Susan Sarandon) to keep things going at their home in Concord, Massachusetts while he's gone. The film mainly centres on Jo, played by Winona Ryder (who is based on Louisa), the second sister, who is frustrated by the role of women in society, wishes she was a man so she could do the things men can and wants to be a writer. Meg (Trini Alvarado), the oldest sister, is more superficial, concerned with society parties and keeping up appearances. Beth (Claire Danes), the third sister is very quiet and keeps to herself, she prefers the simple life at home. And Amy (Kirsten Dunst) the youngest, is quite vain, especially about her nose and wants to grow up quickly and marry a rich man. Things get more interesting for the girls when their neighbour's grandson Theodore Laurence, nicknamed Laurie  (played by Christian Bale) comes to stay next door. He becomes close friends with them all, particularly with Jo and develops feelings for her. However Jo doesn't feel the same. The film follows the girls from when their father first leaves right up to Amy's adulthood. (Adult Amy is played by Samantha Mathis).


                                       



I've seen the 1949 version but I like this one better. I've seen it loads of times since I got it on video when I was about 12. My favourite character is probably Jo but I like Amy too. Meg's ok but I just don't find her as interesting. Beth is sweet but there doesn't seem to be as much to her character and she's not in the whole film because she dies young. I like Laurie as well, more when he's younger than the jaded adult but he only gets like that because Jo rejects him.


4. Creepshow (1982)

Based on comics from the 50s, this film by Stephen King and George A. Romero features 5 different stories. The wraparound story is about a boy called Billy (played by Stephen King's son Joe Hill/King) who loves to read comic books. His father disapproves of this pastime and gets so angry he slaps his son. Billy wants revenge on his dad. That night the Crypt Keeper appears to him and the stories begin.

The first one, "Father's Day" is about a family who gather together every Father's Day. They are somewhat unusual and the grandaughter's husband Hank (played by Ed Harris), is finding it hard fitting in. One of the strangest family members is Great Aunt Bedelia (Viveca Lindfors), who killed her father seven years ago, after enduring years of  mental abuse from him and then finding out that he had had her boyfriend murdered. Now every year on the anniversary of his death (which also happens to be Father's Day), she returns to his grave to "pay her respects". But this year she's in for a shock when her father returns!

 The second story, "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verill" is the story of farmer Jordy Verill (played by Stephen King) who lives a simple life. One night he finds a meteor on his farm, which burns his finger when he tries to pick it up. It can make plants grow and Jordy thinks he can get rich from his discovery. However things don't quite work out that way...

"Something To Tide You Over" tells the tale of wealthy man Richard (Leslie Nielson) who takes revenge on his wife and the man she was having an affair with (Ted Danson) by burying them up to their necks in sand on his private beach and leaving them to drown. He even makes Harry (his wife's lover) watch his wife drown on TV. Confident in his plan he returns to his house, never suspecting that they will take revenge on him!

"The Crate" is about Henry (Hal Holbrook), university professor and long suffering husband of Wilma "Call me Billie" (Adrienne Barbeau), a loud, obnoxious, vulgar woman. She doesn't fit in with his university crowd because she drinks too much and grates on everybody's nerves. Plus she treats Henry horribly, always nagging at and insulting him. He often has fantasies of killing her and when his friend Dex asks him to come and look at an old crate that contains a strange monster from the Arctic and has killed the university caretaker, he see a chance to make his fantasy come true! He leaves a note for Wilma/Billie requesting her help because Dex has got into trouble with one of his students. Since Dex is known for flirting with young girls, she believes it. Henry tells his wife that the girl is hiding under the stairs and won't come out and Wilma is just the person to help...

And finally They're Creeping Up On You tells the story of Upson Pratt (E.G. Marshall) a rich, germ phobic man who lives alone in a supposedly germ proof apartment. He treats people badly, from his staff to the caretaker/superintendent who works in the building he lives in. He has a deep fear of bugs and in the end his horrible ways catch up with him, in the worst way he can imagine!



                                        
                                             
                                                                "The Crate"!
                      
I included this in my Top 5 Horror Anthologies. My favourite is by far "The Crate "("Tell it to call you Billie, you bitch!") but I also like "Father's Day" and "Something To Tide You". The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verill" is ok but my least favourite is "They're Creeping Up On You". I just don't find it as interesting and Upson Pratt is really unpleasant!


5. Child's Play (1988)

Andy (Alex Vincent) really wants a Good Guy talking doll for his 6th birthday. His mum Karen (Catherine Hicks) doesn't have much money but she manages to get him one from a homeless man selling them on the street. Andy is delighted with his present. His new doll announces that his name is Chucky. But Chucky is no ordinary toy. He works without the batteries because he is actually possessed by serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif)! During a shootout in a toy shop with detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon), Charles was shot and as he was dying, he used a voodoo ritual to transfer his body into the Chucky doll. Now he wants to get revenge on his former accomplice Eddie (Neil Giuntoli), who betrayed him. He also kills Andy's babysitter and since no one believes Andy that his doll is alive, the little boy gets put in a mental hospital. When Chucky starts bleeding after being shot by Eddie, he pays a visit to the man he learnt voodoo from John aka Dr. Death (Raymond Oliver) and learns that if he stays much longer in the doll's body, he will be permanently trapped. The only solution is to transfer himself into the body of the first person he revealed himself to, who just so happens to be Andy! So he set out to perform the ritual on Andy. Meanwhile Mike, the policeman who killed him, teams up with Karen to stop him in doll form.


                                           

                                                            
This is funny as well as scary. I like Child's Play 2 as well but not 3 as much. I didn't really like the 4th one, Bride of Chucky and haven't seen the latest, Seed of Chucky.A  direct to video remake called Curse of Chucky has been made but not yet released.


6. American Psycho (2000)

Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale) is a 27 year old good looking, rich, successful businessman who works on Wall Street. He appears to have it all- a perfect job, beautiful fiance, thriving social life- but he's also a psychopath who is losing his mind more every day. While on the surface it looks like his life only consists of his work, parties, restaurants,  bars and keeping up with fashion, by night he tortures and kills people, including homeless men, women (prostitutes, women he picks up) and animals. He is also dealing with the attentions of his lovesick colleague Luis Carruthers, the fiance of Courtney, who Patrick happens to be having an affair with. What is most alarming is that no one seems to notice what he's really like, apart from (possibly) a detective (Willem Dafoe) who is investigating the disappearance of Paul Allen (Jared Leto). Is Patrick really committing all these murders or is it all in his head?

                     Please note that the clip below is extremely violent.




                           
                                                           Clip from the film
                                             

This is based on the book by Bret Easton Ellis. I think it's the comedy moments and bizarreness of this film  that make it watchable, otherwise it wold just be one long, horrible torture fest! Patrick and his friends are truly horrible, with sexist, racist, homophobic attitudes and a hatred for homeless people. What is funny is the strange way Patrick acts and the weird world they all live in. Hardly anyone seems to recognise anyone else (they call each other by different names all the time), they're drug addicts, they're all having affairs with each other and nobody really listens to anything other people say. Patrick is obsessed with certain groups and singers (Genesis, Huey Lewis & the News, Whitney Houston) and he and his colleagues constantly one up each other with their business cards. They don't appear to actually do any work, just sit around all day, lol. My favourite scene is the one where Patrick murders Paul Allen (Jared Leto) with an axe, because of the funny way in which he does it! "Hey Paul! Try getting  any reservations at Dorsia now, you f*cking stupid bastard!" (See clip above). Paul believes that Patrick is another colleague named Marcus Halberstram, I think it's supposed to be a commentary on yuppie society. It also strikes me as being stuck in a kind of hell or purgatory. I prefer the film to the book because the book is nastier. I just re-read the book, I've only read it once before. One of the funniest bits in the book is Patrick's description of a talk show, where Bigfoot was a guest! "Today on the Patty Winters Show, Bigfoot was a guest and I found him surprisingly charming and articulate."!! Since he also says that a Cheerio was a guest, "sitting in a very small chair", if they included those parts in the film, it would have pointed more towards the fact that Patrick was imagining it all because his delusions had completely taken over.

Also the movie reminds me of Vampire's Kiss, which is also about a businessman losing his mind and the scenes like the breakdowns over the phone while talking to their secretaries are similar. They even go to the same club (Tunnel). Although this doesn't have the vampire element!


7. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Napoleon (played by Jon Heder) is a teenage boy who lives with his grandma and older brother Kip (Aaron Ruell). He's rather apathetic  about life in general. He likes drawing animals such as ligers and fantasy creatures and is bullied at school. Things change when his grandma hurts herself in a quad bike accident and his Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) comes to stay and look after him and Kip (although Kip is 32). Napoleon takes an instant dislike to Uncle Rico and the feeling is mutual. Uncle Rico and Kip get on just fine though and they come up with an idea to build a time machine, so Rico can "Go back to '82". The scheme doesn't quite get off the ground and Uncle Rico's reinvents himself,as a salesman, selling Tupperware and then herbal breast enhancements. Kip's not too bothered about the time machine failure because his online girlfriend Lafawnduh (Shontelle Avery) is coming for a visit. When she arrives the two are smitten with each other and Lafawnduh gives Kip a "blinging" makeover! Meanwhile, there's a new student at Napoleon's school called Pedro (Efran Ramirez), who has transferred from Mexico. He and Napoleon become friends, bond over bike skills and then Napoleon decides to help him run for class president. There's also a school dance coming up. Pedro asks Summer Wheatly (Hilary Duff's sister Haylie), the most popular girl at school but is rebuffed, so ends up going with him and Napoleon's friend Deb (Tina Majorino). Napoleon goes with Trisha, who is forced into it by her mother. It seems  that he really likes Deb though and maybe she likes him back...


                                              
                                                        Napoleon dance scene


I think this is either a film that you will really like or you think, "What the hell?"! lol. There's not really a lot of action going on compared to some films, mostly the school elections and the dance but it works. My favourite bits are the presidential elections where the candidates have to perform skits and Napoleon dances to Jamiroquai's Canned Heat on behalf on Pedro (since they didn't know about the skit), Pedrols cousins in their car and Lafawnduh's visit. I also like Kip and Lafawnduh's wedding which is at the very end of the film, after the credits. They don't always show it when it's on TV, which is a shame!



8. Heavenly Creatures (1994)

The true story of schoolgirls Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme who murdered Pauline's mother in 1950s New Zealand, directed by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. The girls first meet when Juliet (played by a young Kate Winslet, in her first film role) moves from England to Christchurch with her parents and younger brother. Juliet was very ill as child and has often been moved around to warmer climates by her parents, "for the good of her health". At her new school, she meets Pauline (Melanie Lynskey, also in her debut role). The girls quickly become friends. They both have vivid imaginations and together they create their own religion called the "Fourth World", where the actor Orson Welles and opera singer Mario Lanza are saints and also make up a fantasy kingdom called Borovnia. Pauline spends a lot of time with Juliet's family but feels somewhat ashamed of her own family, who are poorer than the Hulmes. When Juliet gets sent to hospital after becoming ill with tuberculosis, the friends write to each other as the characters of the royal family they've created. While Juliet is away, Pauline becomes involved with a boarder at her house named John and Juliet is jealous but the affection is more on John's side and the relationship doesn't last. Once Juliet recovers, she is released from hospital  and she and Pauline are really happy to see each other again  Their friendship grows more intense, causing their parents to become concerned.  Pauline's mum Honora (Sarah Peirse) takes her to the doctor, who suggests a possible "diagnosis" of homosexuality (the attitude towards gay people was very different then). This leads to both girls' parents deciding it would be for if the best if they split their daughters up. Juliet already has a strained relationship with her parents, due to the fact that they have effectively abandoned her several times, claiming they are doing what's best for her. She also dislikes her mother, since she recently moved her lover into their house and Pauline has grown to hate her mum also. After learning of the adults' plan to separate them and then send Juliet to South Africa to live with her aunt, the girls come up with a plan of their own which involves killing Pauline's mother, who they believe is the person most in their way. Juliet and Pauline are allowed to spend 2 weeks together before Juliet leaves and they decide that they will go out for tea with Pauline's mum and then suggest going for a walk, during which they will bash her over the head with a bit of brick in a stocking. After the murder, Pauline's diaries were found in which she had written details of their plans. Both girls were sent to prison. It was a condition of their release that they never see each other again.



                                         



This film is done in a tasteful way and shows two girls who became very close friends and fell in love, but stated to lose their grip on reality. I think if they'd been left alone, maybe things would have died down. The way the story is portrayed, it seems like the fact that the adults were interfering and separating them, made things worse. Perhaps if they'd been a bit calmer and laid back about it all, things wouldn't have developed the way they did. But things were different then and the parents thought they were doing what was best. Not that any of this justifies what they did, Pauline's mother didn't deserve to die at all. She seemed really nice in the film and just very concerned about her daughter. I liked her dad too. Juliet's parents weren't as likable because they were constantly leaving her and just thinking of themselves. While researching for this post, I found our that the real life Juliet is now a mystery writer with the name of Anne Perry, who lives in England and Pauline is supposedly called Hilary Nathan and is a devout Catholic, who lives in Scotland and works with disabled children.


9. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Based on the book by Patrica Highsmith and set in the 1950s, this is the tale of  Tom Ripley (played by Matt Damon), who meets rich businessman Herbet Greenleaf at a party where he plays the piano and is offered $1000 by him to go to Italy and bring his playboy son Dickie (Jude Law) home to New York. Tom agrees, even though he was not at Princeton University with Dickie, like Mr. Greenleaf believes him to have been. Once in Mongibello, Tom manages to come across Dickie "randomly" on the beach with his girlfriend Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth Paltrow). He claims to have been at Princeton and is invited to spend time with them. Dickie soon suspects something is up and so Tom confesses to being sent to retrieve him. Dickie finds the whole thing funny and suggests that Tom stay with him and string his dad along. Tom becomes enamoured both of Dickie and Marge's way of life and with Dickie himself. He develops an obsession with Dickie who soon grows tired of him, like he seems to do with everyone and also becomes freaked out by Tom's attachment to him. On what is meant to be a last trip before Dickie goes away skiing and Tom returns to America, the two men go on holiday to San Remo. On a boat trip, they get into an argument and Tom ends up killing Dickie with an oar. He then proceeds to cover up the murder and also takes on Dickie's identity in Rome, which allows him to live the lifestyle he has dreamed of. However, things became increasingly complicated due to the police investigations and the struggle of keeping up two identities, Dickie in Rome and himself in Venice. Also, Marge doesn't quite believe Tom's story that Dickie has left her and begins to suspect the truth.


                                     



Even though Tom does bad things, you still like him and feel sorry for him- at least I do! Much like Heavenly Creatures, where you can sympathise with Pauline and Juliet. Again, it doesn't mean that I agree with what Tom did. He seems confused about his sexuality, he loved Dickie but then also becomes involved with heiress Meredith Logue (Cate Blanchett), who thinks he is Dickie. I think his relationship with her is more for the sake of society. Towards the end of the film, it seems like he might have a chance of happiness with Marge's friend Peter Smith-Kingsley (Jack Davenport) who knows him as Tom, but he ends up killing him too, to keep up the lie.

Dickie is not a very likable character, he's one of those spoilt rich kids who always got everything he wanted and treats people badly because he only really cares about himself and thinks people are disposable. He's like a "fair weather friend". And yet he's one of those people that has something about him which makes others want to be his friend and lover. I do think he is genuinely sorry that his lover Silvana kills herself, after he won't support her when she finds out she's pregnant with his baby. And I also think he does love Marge, although it's questionable whether he would have ever fully committed to her.


10. The Good Girl (2002)

Justine (Jennifer Aniston) works in a Retail Rodeo, a discount store and is married to Phil (John C. Reilly). Phil works as a painter with his friend Bubba (Tim Blake Nelson), who often comes over to chill out with Phil and smoke cannabis. Justine and Phil have been trying for a baby for a while. Justine is bored with her life and thinks there's nothing more for her out there. One day, a new employee starts work at Retail Rodeo, a 22 year old man named Holden (Jake Gyllenhaal), who wants to become a writer. He and Justine become friends and then start an affair. Justine's life begins to change and at first she is pleased, but then things go wrong when Bubba finds out about the affair. Justine tries to break it off with Holden, only to find that he has serious psychological problems. She considers killing him by feeding him blackberries from a road seller, the same blackberries her friend Gwen (Deborah Rush) might have contracted an illness from which killed her! But she can't go through with it. After she finds out she's pregnant, Holden insists it's his baby and makes a plan to rob Retail Rodeo and then run off with Justine. She now has a choice to make- should she turn Holden in and continue in her old life forever or should she run away with him and start a new one?



                                         



This is a strange, funny film with serious bits too. One of my fave funny bits is when Justine goes to visit Bubba because he knows about the affair. His dog doesn't seem to like visitors. "Bits! In your corner, Bits!" lol. Justine  agrees to sleep with Bubba return for his silence. You can understand why Justine cheated but also feel sorry for Phil, who really loves her. Holden is sweet but very intense and also slightly unhinged! Whichever choice Justine made it would have been difficult and the one she chooses in the end (to turn him in to the boss of Retail Rodeo) has tragic consequences.  Holden is involved in a shootout with the police, at the motel where he was waiting for Justine and kills himself. After he's dead, Justine reads the story about her life which he wrote for her. Despite the hospital telling Phil that his sperm isn't up to standard, he chooses to believe that the baby is his and they get the child they always wanted. But Justine will have to live with the knowledge that she indirectly caused Holden's death for the rest of her life.

So those are my Top 10 films! Hope you like the list. :) I will probably do a follow up post later of more films I like.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

J Soul Brothers (Japanese boyband)

I don't know that many Japanese boybands. It's funny but I mostly know Korean groups and Japanese solo singers! I know KAT-TUN, Arashi (although they're more of a rock group, I think) and Hey! Say! JUMP but not many more. A friend recently introduced to me the band (or vocal and dance unit) J Soul Brothers, so I thought today I'd do a post about them. And of course it fits into the J-pop and K-pop theme I'm doing this month! This is a good opportunity to find more J-pop boybands too. :)


The J Soul Brothers were originally formed in 1998 but have gone through two line-up changes. The current incarnation- full title Sandaime (Third Generation) J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE* or J Soul Brothers III- was formed in 2010 by HIRO who is the leader of Japanese boyband EXILE (which has an impressive 19 members!) and founding member of the First Generation J Soul Brothers.  It was decided that EXILE and former Nidaimie (Second Generation) J Soul Brothers members NAOTO and …

So Sharp: Dance Squad

So Sharp: Dance Squad is an American reality TV series about the University of Louisville Ladybird Dance Team run by Todd Sharp. It's set in Louisville, Kentucky. As you'll know if you follow this blog, I'm a fan of dance reality shows such as Dance Moms and Bring It! So I was interested when So Sharp started in the UK a few weeks ago.

Todd is head coach along with Sheryl Knight, a former Ladybird herself. Todd has also coached the Floyd Central Dazzlers. The team have won 15 national championships so far.

As with the other dance reality shows, there's a lot of drama! Marissa Hall is close to Todd and describes him as like a father to her. She is considered one if the best dancers and her close relationship with Todd rubs some people up the wrong way, particularly Michelle Carpenter. Rose Crombie is one of Marissa's main rivals but according to the Decidr article about the team (see below) they're close. Gabrielle Iannone struggles sometimes with the choreograp…

Dance Videos

It's time for another dance post! I thought I'd feature both modern dance and belly dance today. :)


First of all here are a couple of dance videos by choreographer Rumer Noel. This is one to Everyday by Ariana Grande that was uploaded in January. According to comments on YouTube the man dancing with Rumer at the beginning is called Lucas la Parada.