Tips for writing a TV/ film review blog!

As the only writer for the movie/TV review blog ‘How Have you not seen this’ for over 3 years now, I have picked up a few tips on writing reviews and what works best for me. Nevertheless, I do not get paid to write these reviews and everything is written in my spare time, as one of my main hobbies. Even though I work in the media industry, I am not a journalist, as anyone who has a quick glance at my website can tell. So basically… don’t take my word as gospel. Without further ado, here are my top tips on writing movie reviews.


Tone of voice/ point of view:

tone of voice


  • Have a consistent tone of voice. Your readers should be able to identify that the blog is written by you so the tone you use should be consistent throughout every post. This can be anything from chatty to serious, rude to light-hearted. I have chosen the colloquial approach, like I am having a chat with my readers about a film.


  • Try to encourage conversation, you are stating the pros and cons of a film or show and people will either agree or disagree with your point of view. Try to provide them a way to really engage with what you have written, to encourage a fan following. This can be through a comment section or links to your social media.


  • Have a clear point of view on what you are reviewing and work from there. Understand what angle you are writing from. Did you love it? Did you hate it? Even though you may have a strong opinion on if the film was good or not, try to include arguments from both side, to avoid being too biased and give a professional review.



content concept

  • Start by splitting your review into sections. Your reviews should have a clear structure. Try to then use this structure within all of your reviews. This can include Introduction, plot, trailer and then main review. The main reviews should then split into additional sections. This can include plot, music, actors etc. Try to focus on one point at a time and weigh up the pros and cons of that feature within the film. For example, why the music was good and why the music was bad.


  • Including a for and against. You are reviewing a film so people want to know what was good about it and what was bad. You don’t need to have a point for every feature you discuss but try to balance it out.


  • Include content your readers will be interested in. Try to post about what your readers are particularly interested in. My blog, for example, is aimed at movie buffs who understand film terminology and will want to know about features, such as camera techniques and use of sound and plot development. These usually have a key interest in recently released or ongoing films/ TV shows. Therefore, my content mainly focuses on these elements, meeting the needs of my audience.


  • Spelling and Grammar. I know that when it comes to spelling and grammar, I am awful. I use to be much worse but writing this blog has actually improved my writing skills. When writing anything online, it is common knowledge that people on the internet will pick up on bad spelling and grammar so the idea is not to give them this material.   Try to proof read everything you post beforehand and use spell check!


  • Conclude your review. Have a quick summary to give your audience your overall opinion on the film. Should they watch it? What would you rate it out of 10?


  • Spoiler warnings. Some people may have not seen what you are reviewing so either, post spoiler warnings or try to be as spoiler free as possible.


Layout/ design:



  • Have a consistent and professional layout. You want to look professional so ensure everything is neat before posting. It is a good idea to preview the blog before postings, to ensure everything is how it should be.


  • Be visual. You are showcasing a movie or TV show so include still and clips (be careful of copyright).


  • Let people know where the important information is. If you have split your reviews into section, then include headings or bold text. Try to use Italics for film titles etc.





  • Know what you are talking about. Watch the film or show recently. In addition, try to make a few notes during or after so you know the points you want to include.


  • Research the film a little. Find out who plays who, the director and the release date. These are good bits of information to include. You could also release any news and behind the scenes knowledge to try and backup your arguments. You want to come across as knowledgeable on the subject.





  • Try to post regularly. Try to post on a schedule and stick to it. This keeps readers happy and will motivate you, if you have a deadline. As writing reviews is a hobby for me and I have a very busy work life, I try to post once a week, on Mondays or Tuesdays. However, find a schedule that works for you.


  • Have fun.  Post about a film or show that you are interested in.



Ghost Stories (Jeremy Dyson & Andy Nyman,2018)

After years of America hogging the horror genre, the British have finally attempted to take back the film type and add a darker colder twist. The weather is wet all the time, the people are miserable and has an odd sense of humour…defo a British horror. The gloomy atmosphere is perfect for a supernatural horror but how well did it pay off?

ghost stories

Plot: Phillip Goodman (Andy Nyman), known for debunking psychics and anything paranormal is asked to investigate 3 unsolvable ghost Stories.


Review: As I have mentioned, the horror film sets itself as British very well, through known British actors and the overall aesthetic of the movie. As one of the few British horror films, especially within the past 5 years, there is a lot of pressure on the success. Everyone knows that American horror films can be crap and still earn a boat load of cash at the box office but the Brits have a bit more pressure. Any good horror should rely on a mixture of actual horror and a strong plot or if it’s a modern horror… just a hundred jump scares.  A few great actors including Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther and Paul Whitehouse did take the film to new highs and removed the crap created by the false scares.


Ghost stories opens in a documentary style show, to encourage the investigative journalism element to the film. Each of the three stories Phillip aims to debunk are considered ‘scarier than the last’, according to the marketing material. However, as someone who is hard to scare, I found that the best was actually the first horror story but this one is up to the preference of the viewer. Each of the three stories, in particular the first, is great at showing suspense. It doesn’t just open with a glint at the killer or a bit of scare to keep the audience engaged but instead, the fear factor is dragged out. The film was more ‘Alien’ than ‘Scream’. This gives the viewer a bit of time to settle in before they are given a genuine scare. Apart from suspense, the horror is created through lighting, use of on screen space, character design and like most unoriginal horrors, jumps scares. One fault I would give the film is the director chucking in a few red herrings. I mean it sticks to the conventions but boy, at what cost. In some cases, it’s not just the story itself but the way it is told by those who experienced the event. Story 2 is particularly good at achieving this.

ghost storeis 3

The film however, may be good at telling a horror story but every story needs a good conclusion. Each of these little tales of terrors ends at the climax, without showing what actually happens once these characters encountered the monster. I mean, we know they survive as they are telling the story but how did they survive? However, this little plot mishap could be a part of the films charm.

Like any good horror and well any good drama or thriller, there is a unique and unexpected plot twist you just couldn’t predict. It worked in the way that no one could have thought that the film would actually end like that but the plot twist was rather confusing and for me and many others, removes the affect and horror of the film. Honestly, it got weird quick and left me dumbfounded.  They do drop subtle hints throughout, which is clever but again, you would not have picked up on these hints.

ghost stories 2

Overall, for me the most of the film is decent, offering a good little horror film, a lot better than some of the crap Hollywood has been sprouting off. However, it didn’t live up to how it was shown in the marketing material. I felt that the trailers were misleading and I was not getting what I paid for. Nevertheless, this might have been done to keep the big plot twist a secret.



Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg,2018)

In film and Television lately, it is safe to say that Nostalgia is a recurring theme, thanks to shows such as Stranger Things and films like IT… basically anything with Finn Wolfhard. We are given the warm fuzzy feeling from reminiscing on better times. However, this is usually for people born in the 80’s. Ready Player One is no exception, but with a twist… it’s 80’s, 90’s and today. It is essentially pop culture the movie and has an Easter egg for everyone! This is the film we all need to feel young and excited again.

ready player one poster

Plot: In 2045 the world spends most of their days in the Oasis, a virtual reality world where you can see and do anything. The creator, upon his death, has promised control of the Oasis to anyone who finds the hidden Easter egg. The only way to find the egg is by first winning 3 keys. Wade Watts embarks on this journey with 4 others to find the keys before the corporations beat them to it.


Review: Starting at the basics, the plot itself is good, it’s carried out well and builds steadily throughout the 140 minutes (like any good plot should) but is not what makes the film fantastic. Fair enough, it is interesting enough to keep the audience engaged and follows the structure of a typical video game but the narrative alone is nothing compared to the spectacle of the film. It’s just obvious how the film would end. Steven Spielberg is known for creating big amazing movies with incredible production design and characters. This movie has definitely ensured this stereotype sticks. Good plot with incredible design… so far so good! Firstly, the Oasis is designed beautifully, the number of game worlds is good enough to please any nerd and the CGI is phenomenal. The attention to detail both in set and to the characters avatars should be putting this film into the next Oscar nominations. The mix of real world footage with these animated avatars is a sight to behold (the second key, all I’m saying). What I am getting at here is it’s visually stunning.  If you are a big fan of film design and game design this should definitely be at the top of your watch list.

character design ready player one

Now we have established that it’s a good looking film, let’s move on to the POP CULTURE. There is something for everyone from Minecraft (as pointed out by the excited boy behind me in the cinema) for the 12 year olds to horror and 80’s references for the older generations. You see everything from Harley Quinn to Chucky, from Hello Kitty to the Iron Giant. It really is a game of spot the character you recognise. As a film and game nerd I felt that the film covered a big range of interests, with a surprising focus on the horror genre but I am sure there were a few references that went underappreciated by the younger audience. I hope that the younger side of the desired 12PG audience haven’t watched the Shining. On the other hand, there are also a few references underappreciated by the older audience. However, the film recognises this flaw and takes the mick, when one of the characters doesn’t know the plot to the media product that they are in, putting themselves in danger by going near the scary thing. (I am really trying not to spoil anything here). This entire element to the film is really what makes the movie but I can’t help but think that the film would have lost a lot of brownie points if the film didn’t include these characters.  Despite the diversity of the avatars, the characters themselves are from a variety of ethnicities, genders and ages. This is always a factor I like to see within a film and is always something I will give film extra points for including. The more variety then the more people who can connect to the film.

iron giant

Within any film and I do mean any film, there is usually a love story. Ready Player One is no exception. Wade Tye Sheriden and Samantha (Olivia Cooke) share a romance that seems a little too forced and fast developed. This does affect the believability of the movie but yet again, this is about everyone living in a game by the year 2045. I’m not sure if our technology can develop that fast. By that time, the world has gotten to the point where we all live in shanty towns. A little trivia for you: The real world was filmed in Digbeth, Birmingham. This was where I went to university. As it was so close to my uni, a few of my friends worked on the set (including an ex). It was also fun to know that Birmingham, according to Spielberg, looks like a dystopian disaster city.

ready player one set

Overall, the film is a fantastic piece of cinema that fills everyone with nostalgia and is just great to look at. Where else can you see King Kong smashing up the DeLorean. If you don’t get that happy feeling at least once in the film, you have clearly been living under a rock.


Top Anticipated Release of April 2018

Avengers Infinity War (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, 2018)


infinity war poster

Now I know that within my Top Anticipated releases of each month lists they usually include around 3 great new films. However, there is only one film worth writing about in this month’s instalment. I am a huge Marvel fan so April 27th is a big day for me. Avengers Infinity War Part One is out!! The 3rd instalment of this incredible franchise brings EVERYONE together and I do mean EVERYONE to defeat the purple Homer Simpson… Thanos. This unthreatening looking villain brings the destruction of all of the infinity stones to our beloved hero’s.  If Spider Man even gets a scratch on him, I will Riot! This is sure to be a huge event in the studios history and I look forward to the pain it causes me. Then next month we get Deadpool 2, thank you Marvel, thank you so much!

meme infinity war

Check out the Trailer Below!

What movies are you looking forward to?

Trailer Drop: Fantastic Beasts:The Crimes of Grindelwald (David Yates,2018)

Yesterday the official trailer for Fantastic Beast 2 was dropped. This November we will be given the second installment of the Harry Potter spin off. This time we are brought into the world of Hogwarts once more! We also get to meet young Dumbledore played by the one and only Jude Law (I can’t wait to see that). The story will explore Grindelwalds crimes and Newts mission to stop him. Check out the trailer below:


Blast from the Past : Funny Games (Michael Haneke,2007)

Quick Update: Usually, I will try to review new and upcoming films and television shows. However, sometimes, some of the best films were released before this year. The golden oldies, that proves to be a hidden gem, unknown to the regular viewer. Therefore, I am adding a new segment ‘Blast from the Past’, where I review older shows and movies. These will appear under ‘Film Reviews’ or ‘Television Reviews’ in the menu, depending on the criteria.

blast from past


Funny Games

Slasher horrors are pretty well known subgenre. It’s easily defined and easily spotted… unless the film is called ‘Funny Games’. From the title alone, it’s not hard to tell that this is one film that tends to stray away from its conventions. This is such a bold move in the film industry, that this can spark the evolution of an entire genre. This will depend on how well a film pulls it off.


Plot: When Ann (Naomi Watts), husband George (Tim Roth) and son Georgie (Devon Gearhart) arrive at their summer vacation home, they are visited by Paul (Michael Pitt) and Peter (Brady Corbet), two polite boys. However, this appearance is quickly lost as the pair end up taking the family hostage; betting that the three won’t live the next 12 hours.



*Side note: I haven’t seen the original film so I am not going to compare or contrast.*

As previously stated, it is obvious that this film is unique, both in terms of plot devices/ narrative, to the way the film is shot. I can guarantee that you have never seen a horror film like it.  From the outset and throughout, it is clear there has been a lot of thought put into every single shot and use of sound. This is definitely something to be appreciated. As a movie buff, I was having a blast the entire 1hour and 51 minutes. On the other hand, some could argue, that the director and cinematographer are just being pretentious. Even though the film is using these techniques to show originality and skill, and to find creative ways to tell the story, the methods don’t always pay off. The creativity is sometimes unnecessary to the film and even removes its effectiveness. A lot of the horror is always played out off screen, aggravating the audiences, due to the films screen space. Uneventful single shots are often held for far too long and the overall tone created through the filming techniques are slow and still. This strays away from the horror genre, as a lot of the gore and violence is shown off screen. We watch slashers to see blood and guts not to hear screaming over a shot of a table. Again, they could be trying to adapt the film genre but I don’t think anyone will be copying this new style anytime soon. Despite this, the effort is great and you can tell that they are trying something different, bringing in elements from thrillers. Its nice to see that psychological thrillers can fit in nicely with the horror genre. It may sound that im slagging off the film but I’m just saying, it’s not a traditional scream film, rather a great mind fuck.

funny games

The narrative also plays out in a way not traditional to horror. The order people die in is a big change in slashers.  When they do die, it seems uneventful, as it’s off screen. The horror is created through the tormenting of these characters. Peter and Paul make bets with the family and play games of cat and mouse. The longer and drawn out shots are of the aftermath of the killings and the psychological torture they carry out. The dragging out of the murders is essentially the entire storyline. It’s the other characters reactions that make your skin crawl, rather than a gunshot to the face or a knife to the stomach.  This is a really cool way to make the audience scared. We are watching people cry and crawl for 5 minutes, instead of just watching someone die and then changing scene. This requires fantastic acting. You can’t just have a hot woman screaming and running around; these characters need to show a lot of emotion. Luckily, we are given some well-known actors with a strong talent. However, by far the best characters are the killers. Unlike, the usual slashers, you actually get to see the killer’s faces. This both gives them an identity and shows their emotions or lack of. We are no longer just seeing an expressionless mask. Again, the pair pulled it off and in such a smug way, you really want to hit them the entire film… basically, bravo to the casting of this film. They work well within a film so unique.

funny games acting

Another unique element is the 4th wall breaking. This is a trope usually associated with the comedy genre. The killers talk directly to the audience, suggesting that they are only doing this to keep us happy. Furthermore, they give the characters within the film options on the outcome of the film, to “keep the plot development going”. It’s a bizarre concept that they are in fact directing the horror to please an audience that only the killers are aware of. It’s kind of creepy how they know we are watching. This idea of a fake reality, somehow allows Peter and Paul to mess with their world in a God like way. What they change is in their favour, and even suggests that they are immortal. This is frustrating to the audience as anytime the poor victims finally have the upper hand, this is quickly removed. This can be seen as a parody towards the traditional horror monsters, which always come back, no matter what people do to them. A bit of horror comedy never did anyone any harm and I always love it when we can have a laugh in these horrific situations. These elements to the film are only included in the film every so often, keeping viewers on their feet on when they will address the audience next. It’s very suspenseful and I love it.

Overall, the film is so different compared to anything I have seen, it’s a unique adaptation to the horror genre, without showing much horror. It’s clever in the most parts but can sometimes be seen as trying too hard. However, if you are a big film nerd that loves a good camera angle, this should definitely be on your watch list.