Sorority Row (Stewart Hendler,2009)

From my last review on Jennifer’s body (Karyn Kusama, 2009) and the new TV series scream queens (Fox, 2015) I have been inspired by the genre of chick flick/ horror. So what has more teen drama than high school? University! Yes nothing screams horror like a bunch of female students sharing a house together… and being stalked by a serial killer.

When a prank goes horribly wrong and a fellow housemate Megan (Audrina Partridge) ends up being murdered by her boyfriend and a few of her “friends” a disaster is marked. 8 months later the associates begin to be hunted down and brutally killed one by one. The film is a bit like the PS4 game Until Dawn and 1997’s I know what you did last summer (Jim Gillespie) but with a lot more girls and a little more teen drama.


As this is a horror film the movie opens with STEREOTYPES! We get a tracking shot of a dark house and some very horrific screams… which turn out to be coming from a girl who has just had her clothes stolen. We can’t jump straight into the horror genre now can we? If you have ever seen a modern horror film you would know that these movies are filled with false scares.

We are greeted by semi-naked pillow fights, dancing and enough alcohol to fill an Olympic swimming pool. You could easily mistake this part of the film for American Pie (Paul Weitz &Chris Weitz, 1999) BUT as a university student I can tell you now, it’s nothing like this!

So even though this is a horror film we need our all attractive bitchy cast that fit into the teen chick flick conventions. There is the nerd, the slut, the bitch, the sweetheart and the reasonable main character. Basically, girl versions of the horror list in Cabin in the woods (Drew Goddard, 2012). This again causes this film to pretty much represent all the stereotypes of the horror genre.  But I find we still love horror films even when we know what to expect.

cabin in woods stereotypes

Reputation comes for the company you keep and the company you keep, bitches.

On the other hand, there are honestly a lot of times in the film where you can’t tell you are watching a horror film instead of a girly sorority house / fraternity movie. This in my opinion makes the horror parts so unexpected and truly adds to the film, allowing for extra character and plot development. Likewise, we don’t get to see the killer until 35 minutes in, creating suspense. There are even parts of the film were you have your stereotypical horror setup but no one gets killed so when a kill does happen it’s a complete surprise.

In many slasher movies the killer usually has a signature weapon and final kill move, Freddy cuts you with his razor hands and leather face slices you open with his chainsaw. But our killer barely uses his signature weapon of a tire iron to commit the final act. This allows for some truly creative and agonising deaths such a bottle down the neck, being shot with a flare gun in a hot tub and being stabbed whilst trapped in a laundry shoot. This film expresses some of the originality from Final destination (James Wong, 2000) and saw (James Wong, 2004), so relaxes, sit back and enjoy the gore.

Despite all of these incredible factors that make this film unique, my favourite thing about this movie is Ellie (Rumer Willis), the cute nerdy girl who screams at EVERYTHING.

Let’s go before Ellie sees this

*Ellie screams*

Too late.

I find that every movie is better with inappropriate exaggerated screaming throughout.

The final showdown occurs at the end of the party, when everyone has gone home except our main characters and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) holding a shot gun. If that isn’t bad ass, I don’t know what is! In these final scenes the house catches fire, there are boyfriend troubles, cat fights broke out and sarcastic bitchy quotes are said at inappropriate times, it really is a dramatic grand finale.

Oh my God is that Megan- she looks terrible.

I’m starting to think he’s not marriage material.

And just when you think the film couldn’t get any more girl power our survivors get a slow motion dramatic walk out of a burning building to the sound of kick ass power music. It’s the Beyoncé of movie scenes.

I would defiantly say that this is one of the best cross genre movies I have seen for a while and would be one of the horror movies I would actually recommend. I would defiantly give Sorority row 5 stars.

Gold star

If you liked this review check out my movie review on

Jennifer’s Body (Karyn Kusama,2009)

jennifers body

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how have you not seen this?

deathbyapril- April Ely. 


Jennifer’s Body (Karyn Kusama,2009)

Jennifer’s Body is your typical teen chick flick with high school drama, girly BBF’S, emo bands to obsess over, boys and the ever so traumatic experience of grades and demonic possession. This cross over of the horror and teen comedy is a unique twist on the genre.

When Jennifer played by the incredibly gorgeous Megan Fox and her friend Needy (weird name huh?) played by Amanda Seyfried go to a bar to see a band called Low shoulder. The band instantly finds a liking to Jennifer. So what do you do when you find a hot girl who you think is a virgin? Sacrifice her to Satan of course! Yes it’s a lot easier selling someone else’s soul for fame, rather than your own. BUT when it turns out she is not a virgin, the spell goes wrong and Jennifer becomes a boy eating monster. And the more boys she eats the hotter she gets, which is pretty easy anyway for Megan Fox. Therefore, it is up to Needy to save the day and all the boys in her school.  I would also like to point out that Jurassic world’s and Parks and Recreation’s Chris Pratt it in the film so it’s got to be good.

jennifers body

The film opens on your stereotypical horror convention of a tracking shot of a dark house and someone evil looking through your window and then moving into “this is my best friend Jennifer, she’s a cheerleader”. So just when you thought these films were horrifying enough they put supernatural murder into the equation.  But this ends quickly with Jennifer eating raw meat from the fridge and throwing up black slime that seems to move around causing Needy to figure out that someone is wrong pretty quickly, only to return back to the Teen flick part of the film when Jennifer returns fine at school.

The film feeds off of guys desires of hot woman or just Megan Fox and woman’s need to be extremely attractive and have any man at their fingertips.  Another idea created is that hot girls are bitches and I mean laugh at the dead “I am god” horrible, where the so called “ugly friend” is the nice one. Meaning that this is a film to exaggerate this stereotype and kind of suggest that all the hot popular girls are evil and from some of my past experience I can kind of agree.

“Jennifer’s evil… not like high school evil, actual evil”

Despite all the horror and the gore, the film gets a very catchy theme song. As low shoulders fame kicks off and becomes the song of Devils kettle (Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse the film is set in a place called Devils Kettle) we get a constant reminder of how they caused all this destruction. But their song ‘through the trees’ is rather good (song below). And for any Panic! At the disco fans, they made a song for the film (New Perspective).

So far we have covered death, blood, violence and teenagers on our list of horror codes and convention but we haven’t had a sex/ nude scene. There are lots of potential couples. Jennifer seems to get every guy in school and Needy has a boyfriend called Chip (Johnny Simmons). However, the writers decided that Needy and Jennifer need to hook up, landing the film the best kiss award at the MTV movie awards.

Like most high school movies everything ends at the prom or in this case the spring formal, with prom decorations, flowers and pretty dresses? I’m using the question mark because I am confused towards Needy’s prom dress and makeup.  I mean look at this…

needys prom dress

Yes the grand boss battle occurs in an abandoned swimming pool when Jennifer comes onto Chip, the worst thing a BFF can do, make out with their befriends boyfriend… and of course try to eat them. However, when you get bitten by a demon, you inherit some of their powers and that comes in handy when you want to escape a mental asylum and murder an entire boy band.

This teen flick / horror really is a great movie but only if you enjoy either horror movies or even better, both of the genres. I find being a teenage girl at the grand age of 19 and a lover of horror movies, it really is a fantastic movie and should be adored by audiences with similar interests. I would rate this film 5 star.

Gold star

Here is a link to the song new perspective by Panic! at the disco

How have you not seen this? Deathbyapril – April Ely.

Follow me on twitter @aprilely31 and Instagram deathbyapril to keep updated on my movie reviews.

If you enjoyed this check out my movie review on Life after Beth (Jeff Baena, 2014)

Life after Beth Poster

Life after Beth Poster

The Lorax (Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda,2012)

Global warming and deforestation, pretty scary huh? But no one ever seems to pay much attention to the warnings; we just think it is a problem for the future. But Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, brings the future into the present and shows us a horrific world without trees.

When The Once-ler (Ed Helms) cuts down all the trees to make a completely pointless product called the Sneed, a forest God called The Lorax (Danny DeVito) gives him the last tree seed to give to someone who cares. So what can motivate a guy to do anything? A girl that’s who. So when Ted Wiggins (Zac Efron) promises Audrey (Taylor Swift) that he will find her a real tree, he sets off to get the girl and save the planet.


So what does a world without trees look like? Well we have electrical trees that look pretty good but have the slight problem of not being able to produce oxygen. A very important gas in the human life cycle, Meaning that we must have manufactured air produced by Aloysius O’Hare (Rob Riggle), the mayor of Thneedville and head of the “O’Hare Air” , who has a plan to stop Ted from finding the tress that can produce oxygen for free.

This original and creative animation brings the horrors of deforestation and the cruel destructive nature of mankind to life. BUT it does it in a way that both children and adults can learn and understand the damage we are causing to our planet, as well as the issues of corporate greed.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.

A very recognisable scene in this film is when we meet our adorable woodland animals, with rather good singing voices. In this part of the film The once-ler shows up and feeds the cuties marshmallows and then continues to chuck the contents of his cart onto the floor, hitting the animals with litter, clubs and knives. Teaching us again not to litter, feed animals sweeties and hunt our wildlife. This really is a film to show the children how to help our planet.  So I would defiantly have to agree with my brother, who said “it really is a film to teach you about the importance of our plant”.

If all this wasn’t encouragement enough, the film closes with a musical number…. Let it grow! Which is rather similar to Frozen’s Let it go (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, 2013).

Let it grow

Let it grow

You can’t reap what you don’t sow

Plant a seed inside the earth

Just one way to know it’s worth

Let’s celebrate the world’s rebirth

We say let it grow

It really is a song to get stuck in your head …and to get you to plant trees, making this film one of the best animations out there. Also Betty White, Taylor Swift and Zac Efron are in it so it’s got to be a good film!

This funny, romantic and all round educational film truly is brilliant. I haft to give the film 10/10, five stars and big thumbs up.

Gold star

I say Let it grow!!!

How have you not seen this? Deathbyapril- April Ely

Follow me on Twitter @aprilely31 and Instagram deathbyapril 

Check out my review on

The Little Mermaid ( Ron Clements, John Musker, 1989)

The Little Mermaid poster.

The Little Mermaid poster.

Sinister 2 (Ciarian Foy,2015)

A quick review

The hugely successful film Sinister created in 2012 and directed by Scott Derrickson has decided to carry on its horrific story by producing a sequel. But of course , like many horror movies , the sequel is never as good as the original.

A demon named Bagul is forcing children to kill their whole family and film their work so that he can live on. So when Courtney Collins (Shannyn Sossamon) and her tow children Zack and Dylan run away from her crazy Ex-husband she ends up at a house with a horrific past. This past then begin to haunt her two boys.

“There’s always three things involved. A murdered family, a house, and some form of offering.”

Now, as someone who studies the art form of film and television, i understand how horror is created and the cliches of the genre. And i can tell you know , this is a film that rely’s heavily on shock value and jump scares. You can tell that this film is desperately trying to remain frightening and desperation isn’t attractive. By removing the fear created by the ghost children , that was established in the original , you remove A LOT of the fear factor. This forces the supernatural horror to turn into a Saw (James Wan, 2004) or Hostel (Eli Roth, 2005)  type movie. But i will tell you one thing, the mini films are just plain horrific!


However, even though the dead children are rather placid compared to the first, the children that are still alive are very sinister. To be  more specific ,the older son Zach (Dartanian Sloan), who seems way too interested in killing his family. If he didn’t succeed in his task I don’t think he will be welcome back at the family dinner table!

On the other hand, the worst monster has to be the ex-husband and luckily for us gets his just deserts. Yes, there is nothing better than a bad guy getting hurt by and even bigger bad guy. A bit like Loki and Hulk in The Avengers ( Joss whendon, 2012).

The film however is very cleaver at foreshadowing. The film basically opens at the close (like my Harry Potter reference?). With the end of the film being played at the very beginning of the film, it is both very similar and very different from the first film… So if you haven’t seen the film yet, i kind of spoiled it for you as soon as the film starts.

Despite the success of the fear factor created in the original, the sequel is mediocre compared. But if you have seen the first , you can’t not watch the next in the series . Therefore, much like Rotten Tomatoes, i would rate this film 3 starts.


How have you not seen this?

Deathbyapril- April Ely. 

If you liked this review, please check out my review on The evil dead remake!

Evil Dead Movie Poster

Evil Dead Movie Poster

If there are any other films that you would want me to review or can suggest films to watch , please leave a comment!

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Paper towns (Jake Schrier,2015)

“The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightening, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the Queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.”
John Green, Paper Towns

From the director and author of the Fault in our stars comes 2015’s Paper towns. This romance movie with a twist is a unique, funny and reflective on portraying the pressures of being a teen.

When Margo Ross (Cara Delevinge) moves next door to Q (Natt Wolf) he soon falls in with his miracle. As the time goes by she forgets him, until one night she sneaks in through his bedroom window to go on a revenge spree against her cheating ex-boyfriend and his allies. For Q it seemed like the perfect night. However, when morning comes Margo goes missing. So it’s up to Q and his friends to hunt her down in just a few hours before senior prom. Kind of like the ultimate teen movie!

Paper Towns movie poster

Paper Towns movie poster

Margo is our mysterious miracle according to Q. She has a number of legends to her name, making every teenage girl want to be her and every guy want to be with her. But does the man exceed the myth? Is all this true? Of course all of it can’t be, it’s just a story and she is just a girl, an ordinary girl made to look like this by her peers. So as Q finds this out his opinion of her changes, along with mine. She really isn’t that great; this kind of ruins the movie but makes us feel better about our ordinary lives. But i will give her one thing , she is very good at inspirational quotes.

At some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you’ll look back down and see that you floated away, too.”
John Green, Paper Towns

Q and his friends however do go on a true adventure with cows, crashes, Pokémon, abandoned buildings, prom, the world biggest collection of black Santa’s and graduation. Even though they aren’t as cool as Margo, their adventure makes you think about what you want in the future and the cheesy idea of the importance of friendship.

I also learnt that when you are frightened just sing the Pokémon theme song as loud as you can because “you are going to be the very best, like no one was before”

Even though it was created by the same author (John Green) and director of the Fault in our stars (2014) and even has a star appearance from our beloved Ansel Elgort who played Augustus Waters, don’t expect it to be as nearly as good or even remotely similar. Paper towns is a happy film and actually has a good ending compared to the saddest film I have ever seen! So to the girl sat behind me in the cinema, why were you crying? So don’t be disappointed because the film does actually stick to the book rather well, something all book lovers ask.

This rom com /teen flick is a fun movie to watch with your friends and is still in cinema so I won’t say much more because I don’t want to spoil it. I would rate it 5 stars.

How have you not seen this?

Deathbyapril- April Ely

This review is now on Swindon 105.5!


Swindon 105.5 daring to be different.

Swindon 105.5 daring to be different.

Please check out my review for the Fault in our stars.

The Fault In our starts movie poster

The Fault In our starts movie poster