An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)

A quick review

For me this is one example of a typical classic horror movie. It used to be seen as horrific back in the day but now it’s just a great movie with some great make up and a stereotypical Werewolf movie narrative. However, as this is a classic, then much like me, you will be forced to watch and will be repeatedly asked How have you not seen this?  Until you have.

The film opens with our soon to be Werewolf and stereotypical American David Kessler (David Naughton) and his best friend Jack Goodman (Griffine Dunne) walking through the English moors. AND despite being warned by many locals to “stick to the roads” they walk off path and straight into the mouth of a monster. See all this would never happen if they just listened to the warnings, much like many characters within horror films. !! Why does not one ever listen?

Now I do believe this to be the usual Werewolf film but for its time the makeup and special effects is high- tec with the use of hydraulics for the transformations. This makes for a truly amazing and realistic change and for the transformation to look as painful as possible. With every bone braking and stretching and hear growing from every inch of the body. It will make many fans of the Twilight saga and many other teen films, no longer wanting to be a Werewolf, or any other monster for a fact.


On the other hand, despite the unpleasant side effects of a Werewolf bite, the cursed is haunted by their victims and encourages committing suicide.  This calls for some rather brilliant directing, make up and a twist on the horror genre, by mixing two monsters within the same plot. In addition, puts across the idea that those who kill should be killed and makes you question, who is the real monster?

For me the only problem is the poor acting from many of the supporting cast and the fact that our couple falls in love far too quickly. It’s just not realistic! But despite these flaws, this film is a classic, so must be treasured and admired. Therefore, If you haven’t watched it yet, I ask you How have you not seen this?

Also watch out for An American Werewolf in Paris.

April Ely – Deathbyapril.


Warm Bodies (Jonathan Levine , 2013)

A quick review .

Check out the trailer.

Once upon a time, in a movie far far away, Monsters and aliens were seen as scary. But now thanks to films such as Twilight (Catherine Hardwick, 2008) and TV programmes like The Vampire Diaries and Doctor Who, all this has change. Can’t we just go back to a time where vampires and monsters are feared rather than become sex symbols!

However, Warm bodies take this to the next level and attempt to make Zombies sexy … Yes Zombies! Zombies with rotting flesh and a slight issue with eating people alive are now seen as desirable in Hollywood. In this feature film instead of having a typical romance, a zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) falls in love with a human named Julie (Teresa Palmer), so from this you can kind of assume that the writer wanted a twisted Romeo and Juliet, with the film even having the ever so famous balcony scene.

From this new found love R slowly becomes human, along with many of the other infected, showing to the audience that love cures all. Aww how romantic and very cheesy. However, if you did ask anyone suffering from a terminal illness if love could actually cure, they would say no. But would pay a very important role in happiness.


Even though this film is funny, romantic and a very good film to watch and I would suggest that you do, I just can’t get to grips with Zombies being seen as attractive. On the other hand, the fact that they casted the gorgeous Nicholas Hoult, in my opinion does help.

I would also like to point out that the film does show a very unique way of portraying the walking dead. This can include that fact that zombies don’t actually enjoy eating people and they miss being human, from the ability to feel pain to actually remembering who they are.  This is done through the original technique of narrative and POV from the zombies (R) . As a result, removes the fear of the infected and causes the audience to feel a sense of empathy. Leading to the idea that the dead can feel love. Meaning that when you do think about it the plot does make sense and works but it doesn’t mean that it should be done again.

If you have not seen this horror chick flick then I would actually suggest you watch it!  If you can come to the acceptance that Hollywood may have gone a bit too far.

So I ask you : How have you not seen this?

April Ely – Deathbyapril.

Beetlejuice (Tim Burton 1988)

A short review

Haunted houses are typically the setting and premises of some of the best and worst horror films. However, do haunted houses necessarily mean horror? Not unless the ghosts/ Demons happen to be evil.  However, in this case the ghosts of Beetlejuice that happen to haunt the house aren’t, They are in fact a kind and caring couple; Adam and Barbra Maitland (Alic Baldwin and Geene David) who are stuck in their house for 100+ years and a forced to live with an unbearable artistic couple and their depressed daughter who in fact is so “strange an unusual” that she can see them.

For anybody that has just died and found out that they need to stay in their home for more than a century before they can go anywhere, the situation would be horrific but to see your house completely turned into an nightmarish representation of modern art. WHAT A NIGHMARE. So who can blame them for wanting to scare the new residents with some hilarious dance numbers? Yes, dance numbers, not conventional but it does call for a few truly funny moments within the feature.

On the other hand, despite the terrible attempts of the Maitland’s, a bio-exorcist also known as Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) is causing trouble for the family, along with the current residents of the house.   This makes for an even more interesting aspect of what can happen in the afterlife and gives the film a recognisable villain and trademark.


In my opinion this immature horror mixes both conventions of the genre and gives it a more childish and light-hearted flare. That changes between typical film making features with Claymation, fitting perfectly with the strangeness of the film and life after death. This method also reflects the normality we face in the real world and the uncertainty we face with the afterlife and Burton is able to mix the two, in order to show a truly unique idea on hauntings.

The film is also able to give a very different aspect on the underworld and gives the idea that how you die will impact the way you look and what happens to you in the afterlife. This can include, if you were bitten by a shark then that shark will be attached to you in death. Therefore, makes you think about being more careful when dying! Likewise, the film portrays a strong message on the all depressing nature of suicide and if this is the fait you wish to peruse, then you will be a civil servant in the afterlife and forced to work in an office for the rest of eternity and nobody wants that.

I believe that this is a fantastic classic and is one of Tim Burton’s best work. Meaning if you are in love with films as much as me and haven’t watched it yet, I ask you how have you not seen this.

April Ely