The 3 Best Non-English TV Shows – Guest Entry by Miri

What’s up folks?

This is Miri. The last couple of years I have always been on the lookout for new, exciting TV dramas, and, as we all know, the best (or, at the very least, the most) entertainment is still produced in the US and Britain. However, there are a few golden pieces of TV I’ve come across that may completely escape the English-speaking viewers. Of course, being able to watch something in its original form, without dubbing or subtitles, is always the most rewarding, but trust me when I tell you that for the three shows I will introduce to you, dubbing and/or subtitles will not ruin the fun.

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No.3: Gomorra – La Serie

Gomorra is an Italian TV series produced by Sky about the mafia in Naples, Italy. The show is based on the nonfiction book by Roberto Saviano, who infiltrated the Camorra (the mafia’s local name) and published names of important people and detailed information on the organization’s illegal operations. Saviano’s book was so close to the truth that he has had to live with a constant protection detail due to threats. Herein lies the series’ biggest advantage as well as its biggest flaw. The stories told are so realistic and so sinister they not only make for prime entertainment, but they also serve as a constant reminder that what we see here is not fiction but bitter reality; this knowledge creates an intense viewing experience. Because of its realism, however, we have no one to identify with. Everyone is evil, no character is likable. Every person portrayed in-depth is either a hateful, cruel beast of a human, or an innocent soon to be killed. That is reality in the mafia, and that makes the show hard to watch, so those who like gritty crime shows with hero figures may be disappointed or confused. We are constantly reminded that we are not watching standard, easily digestible TV because of the violence that always undercuts each scene, every piece of dialogue, always threatening to break out. Everybody is fair game, no one is safe, not even little children.

So why is this show worthy of your time? For one, it is something that needed to be made to expose the violence that exists day to day to a broader audience. The people live with fear, the young kids grow up believing that they will never get out of their parts of the city. Honest jobs are rare, so if you need money, you have to turn to crime. The show brilliantly portrays the way in which the kids in Secondigliano take the crime and cruelty for granted, even emulate what they see in their childish games.

Also, and we as viewers should never take this for granted, Gomorra is incredibly well-made. The cinematography is stunning, especially in the third season, where every frame would be worthy of being hung on a wall as a piece of art. The original score is haunting and creates a unique atmosphere. In these gorgeous images, we see devastation and beauty exist side by side.

Lastly, the characters may be unlikable, but they are strong and interesting and captured in amazing performances by talented actors. The show has been renewed for a fourth season set to air next year, and I cannot possibly imagine what may happen next, but the first three seasons all centered on the relationship between Ciro di Marzio and Gennaro Savastano. There is an entire army of characters, including some strong women, but Ciro and Gennaro and their connection with one another has driven the show forward. It is brutal, and disgusting, and beautiful all at once.

No. 2: Deutschland 83

Everybody in Germany who loves great TV entertainment has had to turn their backs on German TV productions. Most shows produced in Germany, by Germans, for a German audience, are not very good, and every German will agree with me, I’m sure. I think the problem is that the German networks are, on the one hand, very hesitant to allow change (which is why, when Breaking Bad was aired on free TV, it was hidden in a very small channel Saturdays at 10 pm). Experiments are never welcomed with open arms. On the other hand, the prime networks probably think we, the viewers, are stupid. They do not seem to have a lot of faith in our comprehensive abilities. These issues make it all the more astounding that such a show as Deutschland 83 exists at all. It is a well-written, intelligent, thrilling show about the tensions between East and West Germany in the 1980s. Martin Rauch, a young man who firmly believes in the government of East Germany, is forced to go undercover for the Stasi in West Germany, posing as a soldier named Moritz Stamm. The real Moritz has been killed to make room for Martin. Suddenly, Martin is ripped out of his safe, relatively comfortable existence with his sick mother and his (unfaithful) girlfriend and thrust into the colorful world of West Germany, where all the restrictions and trade embargos on American merchandise of the East do not exist. But Martin also continuously risks his life for his country, spying on the West, stealing important data, only barely escaping from being discovered. The stakes are high, as would be the punishment for treason.

Deutschland 83 thus manages to combine history lessons on East and West tensions and the Cold War with a genuinely thrilling espionage story. The actors are amazing, and the soundtrack includes some of the best songs from the 80s. What makes this show so entrancing, however, is the development the main character undergoes over the course of the episodes. Martin starts as a rather naïve young man who firmly believes in his government’s values, that East Germany is right and everybody else is wrong. When he is forced to go undercover in the West, he refuses at first, but with a few patriotic lines, his Stasi handlers, who include his aunt, manage to convince him that what he is doing is “the right thing.” This serves as one example of how fanatic patriotism is akin to brainwashing. And the longer Martin works for the Stasi, the more ruthless he gets, until even human lives seem to pale in significance compared to his mission. Subtly fused into the compelling thriller is the story of how one finds his or her identity, sometimes by consciously turning away from what you know. The show is also very well-made, as lighting and editing basically scream American TV standards. And, indeed, it is a co-production between German network RTL and the AMC. If only we could have more collaborations such as this one. A second season is supposed to be coming this year, and I can only hope that t will be able to compete with the first one.

No. 1: Bron/Broen

The Bridge is a Scandinavian crime drama I discovered on accident while I was browsing articles for my bachelor’s thesis. The pilot episode begins with a female murder victim on the Øresund Bridge, a bridge that is 5 miles long and provides a direct connection between Denmark and Sweden. The body discovered has been placed exactly at the junction of the bridge where the official border between Danish and Swedish territory runs, even though the border crossing is not marked on the bridge. Also, the body of the victim is cut in half, one half each lying on Danish and Swedish territory. As the upper half is immediately identified as belonging to a known Swedish citizen, the Swedish police claims the case as theirs. On closer inspection, however, it turns out that the lower half of the body belongs to another victim, making it two cases of murder. The lower half is discovered to be that of a Danish woman, and thus a cooperation between Swedish and Danish police forces becomes necessary. The bridge obviously stands in for more than just a geographical connection between two places; it also symbolizes the cooperation between two nations, as well as the language gap that is artfully bridged in the show. The original title, Bron/Broen, means “bridge” in Swedish and Danish, respectively. As I do not speak Swedish, or Danish, I watched the show in German, so the language barriers that the characters may encounter at times was completely lost on me, but I do know that when the Danish characters speak, there are Swedish subtitles, so the language definitely factors into the viewing experience for native Scandinavian audiences.

Even without the language barrier, however, the show makes for a unique experience. In part this is due to the clearly Scandinavian crime thriller vibe. Muted colors, sparse lighting, and imaginative murders create an oppressive, sinister atmosphere that provides a welcome distraction for those viewers who are tired of polished, over-produced shows where everybody looks pretty and the bad guy is always apprehended. This is one thing The Bridge has in common with Gomorra: there can be no happy ending. The bad guy is never caught, or if he is, he has been caught too late.

What really makes this show worthwhile is its main character: Såga Norén, homicide detective in Malmö, is the strong female lead women have been waiting for. Interestingly, she is the antithesis of what societal norms predetermine a woman should be. An excellent detective, extremely intelligent, with an almost perfect memory, Såga is incapable of understanding social cues and engaging with other people on an emotional level, which makes her come across as cold and rude in the beginning. Once the audience gets closer to her, it becomes clear that she must have some form of Asperger’s Syndrome, and although she has never been diagnosed, Såga herself is aware, as she says at one point, that she is “not normal.” She never tries to hide this fact about herself, however, which gives her a range of freedom in social interactions others can only dream of: not inhibited by the unwritten rules of “proper” conduct, Såga has sex whenever she wants, with whomever she wants to have it, without ever coming across as anything but self-assured and determined. On the downside, her condition, and the love she has for her job, make her incapable of maintaining relationships, and she has a hard time finding, and keeping, friendship. Såga’s job is her life. Not interested in hobbies, police work is all her life consists of. We learn more about her tragic backstory as the seasons progress, and it fits right into the sinister mood of the show. Basically, if you love Scandinavian crime thrillers and strong female lead characters, this show is an absolute must. I am currently waiting for the fourth, and final, season to arrive on Netflix, because I would really like to see how Såga’s story concludes. If you have the opportunity, just watch it. It is time well spent.

Do you know any non-English TV shows that would be worth watching? I would love to hear some suggestions. Also, follow me on Instagram if you want: miri_mh8

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Books: What I Want to Read 2018

Hey my loves,

in today’s post I thought I would share with you my reading list for 2018. I will be updating this along the way this year, but for starters I have a couple of books that made it onto my list for this year.

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I am currently reading “The Night Circus” and I absolutely love it, it feels so different to anything I’ve read so far. Mainly because I usually stick to the thrillers and haven’t read any fantasy lately (except for rereading Harry Potter, duh!).

What is on your reading list for 2018? Tell me in the comments.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

TOP 3 – HBO TV SHOWS written by Miriam

HBO has given us amazing entertainment, groundbreaking, shocking, hilarious entertainment. However, this is only a Top 3 list, so I do not have a lot of space to spare, and also I am not basing this list on the number of viewers or prizes (if I did, The Wire wouldn’t even be on this list). I am solely basing this ranking off my personal taste. So I do apologize to those who are missing Game of Thrones, or Curb Your Enthusiasm, or True Detective on this list, because I can only speak for myself and what I have seen. And the three shows I am about to introduce to you are three of the best TV drama series you will ever have the joy of watching.

TOP 3

3. Boardwalk Empire

The Volstead Act, which introduced the Prohibition era to the United States that lasted from 1920 to 1933, was a bad idea, because it did not work the way it had been planned. Boardwalk Empire shows how a group of gangsters became millionaires by smuggling alcohol into the US every which way, killing whoever stood in-between them and the alcohol they wanted to illegally import into the US. The series centers around Nucky Thompson, played by always awesome Steve Buscemi and based on a real-life person. Nucky is the treasurer of Atlantic City, but basically controls the entire city, and when the Volstead Act is officialized, he and a group of politicians and gangsters decide to cash in. The first 3 seasons of this historic TV show are epic and thrilling, with an amazing ensemble cast, including not only good old Steve, but also Michael K. Williams, Michael Shannon, and Daredevil Charlie Cox. The scale of this superbly written drama really reaches epic proportions, considering the producers were unable to shoot scenes on the actual boardwalk in AC, so they built a new one in another city, furnishing it with amazing details from original 1920’s postcards and photos. The wardrobe and cars used in the show are so true to the prohibition era the production costs must have been astronomically high, and it pays off: anyone watching will definitely feel like they were transported right into the year 1920. Add to that the amazing variety of characters and gripping dialogue (as usual for HBO), this show is just fun to watch. It can be quite gory at times, though (there is a scene in season 2 where someone is literally scalped), so it might not be suitable for people with weak stomachs, but that just proves how amazing the special effects make-up is, as well. Characters you hate will die, and characters you love will die, and you just have to know how the story continues. There are several characters involved in the plot who existed in real life, such as Charlie Luciano, Bugsy Segel, and Al Capone (portrayed perfectly by Stephen Graham), which again proves the attention to detail applied to the writing. Season 4 loses some of the show’s excitement and speed, and season 5 seems like a tired, idea-lacking wrap-up that had me quite disappointed, but the first 3 seasons are just plain brilliant TV drama.

“We been on the road for eighteen hours. I need a bath, some chow, and then you and me sit down, and we talk about who dies, eh?”

“F***in’ tough guy, you gonna shoot me for mouthin’ off?” – I wasn’t going to, but you kinda talked me into it.”

“Untie him. Oh, but before you do, put a bullet in his f***ing head.”

2. The Sopranos

This is a TV drama that basically paved the way for all other TV dramas that followed. There would be no Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or Dexter, without Tony Soprano and his family of thugs. For those of you who have actually never seen it, it is a show about Tony Soprano, New Jersey mobster and capo and later on the boss of the Soprano clan. Officially employed in waste management, he and his underlings are stone-cold killers who make their living with drugs, prostitution, illegal gambling, and collecting debts. At the same time, however, Tony is a loving father of two children and an unfaithful husband. The show explores themes of faith, family, loyalty, friendship, Italian-American intercultural conflicts, and lays down ground rules for storytelling and dialogue that were revolutionary at the time. Also, you will see some of the finest acting ever broadcast, on the small or big screen. Michael Imperioli especially, portraying Christopher Moltisanti, will tear your heart out with his all-in performance, and was awarded with the Emmy for his efforts. Moreover, I believe it was the first TV show to begin the tradition that was later copied by Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead of killing off characters unexpectedly that you were sure would stay until the very end. Some of the deaths you will see coming, some will hit you completely unprepared and make you weep with either glee or (more often) grief. The show stays brilliant throughout its six seasons, but the finale is, well, debatable. Nonetheless, if you love TV dramas, and you liked Goodfellas, Casino, and of course The Godfather, you need to see this. Even Martin Scorsese himself did not want to miss out on the fun and has a very brief cameo in the first season.

“Who do you think you are?” – “I’m the person who says how things go, that’s who I think I am.”

“You don’t think that human beings possess free will?” – “How come I’m not making f***ing pots in Peru? You’re born to this sh*t. You are what you are.”

“You’re being set up! He’s lying to you, whoever he is!” – “Wouldn’t make any difference.” – “What do you mean, it wouldn’t make any difference?!” – “He wants you dead.”

1. The Wire

Once denoted the “best show that nobody watches,” The Wire is possibly the best TV drama ever created, and still, if you research how many awards the show has received, you will be appalled, and rightly so. Even though it was supposedly suffering from continuously low ratings, luckily the creators managed to produce five whole seasons, and they are a gift to anyone who loves watching high-quality TV drama. At first glance, it seems to be a cop show, but it cannot be compared to Law and Order and the likes thanks to HBO’s liberty to give it a gritty sort of realism, which is what the show is praised for and owes largely to its creators, who are an ex-cop and a journalist, respectively, and know how the real world of crime and punishment works in Baltimore, Maryland. Using their background to thoroughly investigate and tell the story of life in Baltimore from as many angles as possible, the show aims to portray a new point of view in every season. While the first season begins with introducing the police in Baltimore and kicks off the amazing plot by starting the investigation of the Barksdale clan, a drug-dealing organization operating on the streets, the second season introduces the struggles of the dockworkers on the Port of Baltimore. The third season focuses more heavily on Baltimore’s politicians, showing a white councilman’s attempt to become mayor in a predominantly black city. In the fourth season, we enter the school system of Baltimore, while the fifth season places us in the newsroom of a big Baltimore newspaper. The fascinating thing about this multi-faceted way of portraying Baltimore is that we not only learn more and more about the city and how its institutions have an effect on the individual, but that the plot manages to outline not only the stark differences, but also the striking parallels between all these milieus. Giving every character, from the lowest street thug to the richest politician, their moment to shine, we see how every system is built on greed and deception to achieve its goals of surviving and persevering. The Wire is also the only TV drama I can think of that stays equally strong and brilliant in its casting, acting, and storytelling from the first episode to the very last one. If anything, the series finale is the best episode of them all, because it manages to wrap up the story of the entire show by demonstrating how everything always changes and yet stays the same. There is a reason why it has been termed a literary show. It is beautiful, skillfully crafted, and yet still entertaining enough for people who prefer less demanding entertainment, through awesome and funny characters such as Omar, the gay gunman who robs drug dealers for a living. The Wire is my favorite TV show of all time and will always be an example of how to do it right.

“You come at the king, you best not miss.”

“Does this sh*t look like money, motherf***er? Money be green!”

“You heroic mother***ers. Fighting the war on drugs, one brutality case at a time.” – “Girl, you can’t even call this sh*t a war.” – “Why not?” – “Wars end.”

 

Chris Carter – The Crucifix Killer – Review

Hey my loves,

today I am going to review a book I recently finished reading and fell in love with. It’s ‘The Crucifix Killer’ by Chris Carter! If you are a big fan of the thriller genre then keep on reading:

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So let me tell you a bit about the story: It’s about the hunt for a psychotic killer whose name is ‘The Crucifix Killer’. It’s the first book of a series about the Homicide Detective Robert Hunter. Detective Hunter and his partner are trying to find out who this serial killer is and enter a hunt that is gripping, dangerous and definitely not for people who cannot handle distress. I don’t want to give to much away, so I think that is all you need to know about this book.

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I love a good thriller and this definitely is one of the best ones I’ve read in my life so far! I absolutely love the storyline and the characters! It’s super intense and I even cringed a few times about a some things in the story and that says a lot, because I don’t cringe easy! But that only made the book even more fantastic! You fall in love with the characters and root for them and the end, oh my god, the best part ever! You had absolutely no clue who the killer was and when it all unravelled you were left shocked, excited and completely overwhelmed! I love the detailed storyline and immediately bought the second installment of the series.

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If you love thrillers and a good detective story and aren’t of the squeamish kind you will fall for this book very hard! I would recommend this book to all the thriller lovers out there!

Have you read any of the ‘Robert Hunter Series’ books by Chris Carter? Let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed this entry and if you did make sure to give it a thumbs up. I would really appreciate it!

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

Gillian Flynn – Sharp Objects – Review – 2016

Hey my loves,

today I want to give you a review of the New York Times Besteller “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn. As I told you earlier this month I wanted to read more this year and this book was the first one of my New Year’s resolution. And I loved this book! I read in about a week I think, probably would have finished it earlier, but I was busy with other things so I only read in the evening for about 30 min. or more. This is what the cover looks like:

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I loved this book so much it was dark, twisted, thrilling and fascinating at the same time. You had moments where you literally sat there and was like “WTF?? How? Why? Isn’t she a bit to young?” I was so sucked into the world of the main character – Camille Preaker – and my imagination played wild during reading. I would like to see this made into a movie, it was so compelling and the potrayal of the individual characters was so original. I just have to recommend this book for you if you like this sort of stuff – the dark, psychological, thriller ones – because I surely do, and this book might just be one of the best in that genre that I have read. Chapeau to Gillian Flynn, for her incredible work.

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I don’t want to give too much away from the storyline, so here is what’s written on the back of my paperback copy:

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: She must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie group on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims – a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story – and survive this homecoming.

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Have you read this book? If you did, tell me in the comments what you think of it. If you haven’t read it and were thinking about reading it, definetely do so. It’s absolutely amazing and was the best book I good start of my year with.

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Halloween Movie Night

It’s Halloween in a few days, and most people like to celebrate this day in some way or other. There’s of course a variety of things to do, but mainly you have two options: you can do a party, or you can watch movies. And just in case you decide on the latter, here’s a list of suggestions for you.

Classics

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

An absolute all-time classic, not just for horror fans. Sure, nowadays it does not hold the same shock value it had fifty years ago, but this movie is still great. Suspenseful, dark, creepy, superbly acted, and the score alone is haunting enough, even without the bizarre dream sequence in which Rosemary conceives her hellish offspring.

The Exorcist (1973)

Once considered the most scary movie ever, horror fans will not be shocked as much now, but this movie is undeniably a true piece of horror that made a lasting impression on all occult horror flicks that came later. I still cannot watch it at night, or alone.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

It is not the first zombie movie ever (that credit goes to “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” from 1920), but it is considered the one that laid down the ground rules for all zombie flicks to boot, and it led to the five subsequent movies George Romero made, which were remade and inspired more than one generation. It is not really scary, but then, most zombie films are not, and if you are a genre lover, you have to see it. Also, as far as I know, it was the first movie ever to cast a white woman and a black man as the two lead actors.

The Shining (1980)

One of my all-time favorites. Even watching it for the 20th time, you can still get a kick out of Jack Nicholson’s acting. From the haunting score, to the kid actor that is ridiculously good for a 7-year-old, to the rotting corpse in the bath tub, to the chase through the icy labyrinth, everything about this Stephen King adaption is perfect. One of the best scenes in movie history is the scene in the bathroom where Delbert Grady cleans Jack Torrance’s jacket. Oh, and the bloody elevators. And the twins in the hallway. The horror that Kubrick managed to create with such limited means is still awe-inducing.

Slashers

Halloween (1978)

Could have been placed in the Classics section, since it is the mother of all slashers, laying down ground rules like the final girl and the masked killer. I guess I was too old (21) when I finally saw it, because it did not make much of an impression on me. But I will not deny that it is a good movie, and perfect for a Halloween movie night.

Friday the 13th (1980)

Tried to hop on the train that “Halloween” (1978) started. I have to admit that I have not seen it, but Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide gave it only 1 ½ stars out of four, calling it a cardboard thriller. However, it has developed into a cult classic, and it has brought to the genre the idea of a secluded camp area that has been copied a million times.

Scream (1996)

This one could have also been placed in the Classics section, since it revived the genre and defined its tropes, as well. Never say you’ll be right back! Not scary after watching it 20 times, but that is the one downside to slashers—they usually only work once. However, this first installment in a (too prolonged) series is at times exciting, sexy, hilarious, and just enjoyable.

You’re Next (2011)

A fairly new movie that is surprisingly fantastic. It is an independent project with no known names, but I was completely thrown by how good it is. The action starts suddenly, and brutally, and when the suspense starts picking up, your heart rate will definitely rise. Its solution is not really a surprise, but that hardly matters, nor do any potential plot holes, because the movie artfully plays with the genre tropes, spinning and twisting them without ever breaking any rules, turning the slashers into the slashed.

Zombies

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Another one for the Classics. Not actually a spoof of “Dawn of the Dead”, a misconception that must stem from the title. This brilliantly intelligent British production is a zombie film that just happens to also be extremely funny. Dozens of shout-outs at classics of the genre and other pop culture phenomena, as well as dialogues sprinkled with hints at the entire plot that you only catch if you pay really close attention, make this a pure pleasure to watch. Look out for Michael Smiley’s two-second-cameo as a zombie.

Zombieland (2009)

Wonderful comedy with big names like Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone that gives us a quite realistic view of what the life post-zombie apocalypse might look like. Like, for instance, the fat ones die first because they cannot run that fast. The characters are relatable, and also this movie has one of the best cameos ever. Of course, most people are already spoiled, but I will not mention it.

Wyrmwood (2014)

This Australian production might just be the best zombie film I have ever seen. Gory, yes, of course, but also very funny, and sad, and shocking, and with so many new ideas to the genre it makes your head spin. I saw it at the Fantasy Filmfest without having seen any trailers or reviews, which is a true blessing because you will not get the full experience if you do not watch it completely ignorantly. No, seriously, do not watch the trailer. It tells you everything.

Deathgasm (2015)

Outrageous production from New Zealand about a teenaged boy who founds a band with his pals and then they inadvertently play a song that brings hell to earth. While the idea is not new, the variety of weapons the survivors choose to employ to fight off the zombies surely has not been seen like this before. And the humor is so rudely, incorrectly, gut-wrenchingly funny that you just have to fall in love with it. Also probably the most gory flick I have ever seen. An absolute must for genre fans.

Creature horror

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Very funny, but also really creepy movie with Oscar-winning make-up effects that were unbelievable back then and still are today. I watched it when I was way too young and was absolutely terrified. I am certain it would not have as much of an effect on me now, but it is perfect for a nice scary movie night.

Ginger Snaps (2000)

Exciting, slightly scary movie about two sisters, one of which gets bitten by a wolf. The movie is not surprising, but well acted, and the characters are relatable. There is a significant amount of tension created as we watch Ginger slowly change, starting with her personality and the fact that she suddenly has very hairy legs.

Cursed (2005)

Also a werewolf flick, with Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg as siblings that both get bitten and go through some interesting changes as a consequence. Funny, fairly suspenseful and with a nice twist in the end.

Black Sheep (2006)

Completely absurd and extremely hilarious creature horror from New Zealand in which crazy scientists try crossing human DNA with sheep DNA and inadvertently create genetically modified sheep that crave for human flesh and bite people who then slowly turn into sheep themselves. And the hero, of course, has an extreme sheep phobia. Very gory and brutal, but the effects are handmade, which makes the whole thing very likeable and just plain awesome.

Haunted House

Poltergeist (1982)

Another one for the Classics, and, to my knowledge, one of the first movies ever to display such a clear example of the Haunted House motif. I admit I have not seen it. I am not made for this genre because of my vivid imagination. However, there is nothing but praise to be found for this horror flick that was cowritten and coproduced by Steven Spielberg (!). If you are a fan of the genre, I guess you need to see it.

The Amityville Horror (2005)

There is a long history of movies centering around the same story that I was not aware of. This installment is the only one I have seen and that is enough for me. Again, classic Haunted House, but with a striking resemblance to “The Shining” (1980) at times, just with a slightly different ending.

Paranormal Activity (2007)

I have not seen this one either. All I know is I watched a few snippets of it and then had to sleep with the lights on that night. This film (that is also a classic example of the found-footage-genre) represents the epitome of why the Haunted House motive is so scary—because it is an invasion by an offender you cannot fight against, in an environment where you are supposed to be safe. If you can watch that kind of thing, this is your movie.

Insidious (2011)

There are those who found it boring, and then there are those who were a complete mess after watching. I have to admit I belong to the latter group. Starts out as classic Haunted House, until it turns out it is not the house that is being haunted. A mean ending, and well-acted with a lot of jump scares and a very sinister atmosphere.

Miri – @OriginalSGreenD

Tell us in the comments what you’re favorite movie is to watch for Halloween!