The Babadook (Jennifer Kent,2015) Part 2 of the horror Halloween special.

Indie horrors have taken off lately, especially since release of games such as Slender Man and Five Nights at Freddy’s. But nothing screams (Literally) indie horror like Australians horror film The Babadook.

When Amelia Vanek (Essie Davis) reads the Babadook to her son Sammy Vanek (Noah Wiseman), he starts to freak out at EVERYTHING, as he begins to believe that he is under attack from a terrifying monster. So to the surprise of the mother but not to the surprise of the audience, the monster turns out to be real.

the babadook

The film opens with an extremely cleaver way of portraying a car crash. The movie focuses on just a close up of one of the characters, rather than the car. This then cuts into our character literally falling into bed (from a great height). Moving away from the stereotypical ‘running away from the serial killer and falling over’ and into the world of indie horror and the unexpected gores that await. And as a movie buff, I can’t help but love the cleaver juxtaposition, shot types and use of sound/ music …or lack of.  So if you are a media / film student this is defiantly worth a watch.

So one thing that we can all agree on , is that when you have a monster trying to kill you , it is always a bad thing to have a son with anxiety and a crazy sadistic mother. But with a kid that annoying who can blame her, “mum, mum, mum, mummy, mum, mum, mum”. However, I don’t think this would make you crazy enough to kill your own child.

So when the annoying child happens to find the only cursed book in the whole house, you can’t help but slightly hate him. If I saw a book that creepy, I wouldn’t keep reading. With terrifying illustrations and suggestions to go and kill some children, it really isn’t a suitable bed time story. It’s all a bit similar to the Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981), except Latin chants aren’t really a good read.

Even though Sammy is more unbearable than your average child, he is our hero in this tale. Yes, you know it’s bad when the fate of everyone else is in the hands of a 6 year but he is adamant on saving his mummy and that’s what’s important.  He builds contraptions and gadgets to fight of the monsters and even tries to warn everyone but because he is 6 not many believe him… until it’s too late (insert evil laughter).

Despite being tormented by one of the scariest looking monsters in cinema. We are also reminded of the delicate nature loss and the dreadful though of being alone. For me , this is a great addition to the film by exploring controversy , rather than just ‘ it’s not a good idea to run upstairs when a killer is in the house.’ This is what truly separates a normal horror film from indie, a genre that all film makers should look at more often.

One thing this film does extremely well is build tension and trust me they take their time. With the odd creek in the middle of the night and the boy seeing things we can’t, the anticipation will kill you. With the first sign of horror not happening until 35 minutes in and all that is, is the book changing into something VERY disturbing, it is all rather stressful.  But luckily for us we eventually get to see the killer 47 minutes in, and as a fan of modern horror, I am not used to waiting that long. And I can tell you now, when the film hits the 47 minute mark it is terrifying. With no music, creepy grey lighting and the mother going INSANE, it just adds to the horror. Then again I would go insane if I saw this…


However, if I was to change one thing about the film, I would suggest that the mother wouldn’t murder the dog. We may be ok with her pulling out her own teeth but please don’t kill an animal!

The film begins to reach its climax with just 20 minutes left. The Babadook possesses the mother and hunts down her son. Nothing is as horrifying as a mother trying to kill her 6 year old kid, a very clever and innovative 6 year old kid.

Unfortunately, “you can’t get rid of the Babadook” So what do you do when something you can’t get rid of ? Keep it as a pet of course! Yes the ultimate pet demon. Now that the dog is dead, they decided to have a pet Babadook in their basement. And just to represent how this is a ‘good’ ending they changed the colour scheme for a dark grey to a slightly lighter grey.

I would say that this is one of the most unique horror films I have seen in a while and it is that reason that I have made this my ultimate Halloween movie to watch.

How have you not seen this?

 Deathbyapril-April Ely.

Follow me on Twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril For updates.

Check out week ones horror movie :

scream 4

Scream 4 (Wes Craven,2011


Scream 4 (Wes Craven,2011) Part 1 of the three week Halloween horror reviews

When Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) our beloved heroin from the first three movies, returns on the anniversary to sell her book, she brings the past with her. But could we expect anything less than another two killers causing havoc on Woodsboro.

The film opens with the famous hot girls answering the phone and ignoring the killer’s ominous threats.  However, this only causes the killer to get very persistent and rather rude to our dumb blonde on the other end “hang up on me again and I’ll cut your neck till I feel bone”. So just your typical phone call then.

scream 4

We then get our stupid teen open the door after the text “I dare you to open the door”. It really is the ultimate cliché! Not to our surprise but to the surprise of our murder victim waiting to happen, the killer is inside (who could have guessed?), Leading to our stereotypical characters getting stabbed. On the other hand, for the audience to feel a sense of surprise and awe, this whole scene was a movie within the movie, stab 6. We cut to two girls sat on the sofa bitching about the film they had just watched BUT this is also a movie, stab 7. Yes apparently these films are so worth watching there are 7 of them.  Therefore, to complete the loop we move cut to a scene of another two blondes sat on the sofa… again! Could this be stab 8 or scream 4? However, like all of the scream films and even all the stab films , Ghost face gives the ‘dumb blonde with the big tits’ a phone call and a stab to the stomach , we even get a homage to the first with someone get crushed by a garage door. But from the Scream franchise we couldn’t ask for anything else.

Like horror films now, we need character development and we need to care about our unrealistically attractive cast. We need to know if Sherriff Dewey (David Arquette) cheats on his wife Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox). If Gale writes her book, If Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin) gets to kiss Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) and if Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) gets back together with Trevor Sheldon (Nico Tortorella). There is just so much plot development for a slasher movie. I can’t help but think, is this is an homage to the original or a piss take ?

Despite opening with a murder or two, the film wants to create suspense, doing so through false jump scares, near death experiences, boyfriends creeping in through the window and really bad lighting. Just so many clichés!

For all us Brits, we also get clips from Edgar wrights Shaun of the dead (2004). It’s nice to know that one of the best horror/ comedy films and in my opinion Edgar Wright’s best movies is appreciated in the US. This is unfortunately quickly interrupted by the murder of the next door neighbour… damn it.

How’s the movie?

What movie?

Shaun of the dead.

shaun of the dead

But her near death experience is really dramatic so we will forgive the film. As this is a horror film, this is what we expect drama, blood, severed body parts and organs hanging out of corpses.

The movie does show homage to the original , with the phone calls , Gail Weathers attempting to save the day, the plot twist at the end (and it is a good one) and of course ‘is it the boyfriend?’ question. Luckily, we also get a few new great features, with the advancements in fear tactics and horror styles; everything is just a bit scarier. Other features include live web broadcasting and the constant use of mobile phones. It’s all the things we love about the originals just with a touch of modern flare.

You do a remake to outdo the original.

The characters also seem to notice the fact that they are in a movie. Listing ways to survive, discussing who can be the next victim and where it is going to go down, it Is definitely like the original.   We also get the characters laying out the perfect drinking game for the viewers at home.

Drink when someone can’t get reception.

Drink when there is a harmless character creating false jump scares.

Drink when someone screams “no”.

Even though we all have our lessons on how to survive, everyone, including Sidney keeps answering the phone. We all know that when someone is home alone and the phone rings, it is going to be the killer. Why don’t the characters just cotton on? Everyone seems to separate, run upstairs or even lock themselves in small spaces, again meeting with my idea that this film is literally filled with horror clichés.

One of my favourite scenes is when Charlie is tied to the chair outside of the house (again like the original) and in order to save him, Kirby must answer the horror film questions. So when she gets to test her knowledge on the genre so do I.  Unfortunately though, this film does end in Kirby being stabbed. So I guess it’s not the perfect scene because I really liked her character.

Part 1 of the final showdown occurs at the house when we find out who the main killers are. They then try to blame their acts on other characters and want to be seen as the victim, AGAIN LIKE THE ORIGINAL!

However, when Sydney survives and is able to point out the killer, it calls for another boss battle. This causes for one of the bloodiest cat fights of the century. With three girls against one, it’s no surprise that the killer gets their comeuppance in the best way possible…CPR paddles to the head.

Can I just have one final word?

What, please?

No clear



If all this isn’t badass enough, the end credits song is just to die for, no pun intended. Bad karma (Ida Maria). It is defiantly a suitable song to end the film with.

So if you are a fan of the original 3 or just a lover of the horror slasher movie, this is a must watch. And with Scream the original Netflix series now up on the British Netflix, we have all the more reason to watch the film. I give it 5 stars and 7 stabs.

How have you not seen this?

Deathbyapril- April Ely

if you want updates on my review follow me on instergram @deathbyapril and Twitter @aprilely31

Check out my review on

Sorority Row (Stewart Hendler,2009)


Pixels (Chris Columbus,2015)

Everyone loves the 80’s, some of the best movies ever made came out that decade and of course some of the best games. Pac-man, tetras, Donkey Kong and Super Mario are a few of the famous. For everyone these games are our childhood. But what if our childhood came back to haunt us?

Back in the 80’s a sample of earth was sent into space, including some of our beloved arcade classics and because we’re all slightly sadistic and a lot of our games include some form of violence , these aliens take it as a declaration of war and send down the games ( and Madonna) to attack us. So who can save us? NERDS of course, the greatest gamers of the lot. It’s nice to know that hours of gameplay finally paid off.


With the immature Adam Sandler playing Sam Brenner, the gaming world champion, Kevin James playing his best friend / the President of the United States and a bunch of kid’s games, you would think this delightful movie was aimed at children. You would be wrong though (I think). With constant references to three ways, chloroform, slut cannons and slapping soldier’s butts, it is in fact …kind of hard to interpret the target audience. My 47 year old dad loved the film because he got to re-live his childhood for an hour and a half and 19 year old me enjoyed it because the film was hilarious, so you can assume it’s aimed at everyone.

Like many great films, foreshadowing was constantly used throughout. With a competition at the beginning of the movie and Adam losing the boss battle to Donkey Kong, you can only imagine who the final round of the film is against. Another example is when Ludlow Lamonsof (Josh Gad) aka. Olaf is obsessing over a video game character, who he believes is the one, so again we all know who he is going to meet.

The film also made me say “Good old British” With the use of red, blue, pink and orange mini’s (you haft to know that reference) as the ghosts from Pac- man and one of the battles taking place in England, it always bring out the patriotic side of me. However, like most American films, they do take the piss out of the way us Brits speak.


“What are you saying?” “I have no idea”

Trust me though, if you weren’t into arcade games before watching this film, you definitely will after and you sure as hell will feel bad if you don’t recognise the games and the 80’s pop culture references. This can include Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman, 1984), MTV and even some of the cheesy slang they used back in the day… seriously “Tubular”. THIS FILM IS JUST ONE BIG 80’S REFERENCE. We also get the treat of the kick ass queen songs. We will rock you!!! Whilst watching this film, even though I was born in the 90’s I definitely felt like an 80’s kid. Kicking out Grand theft auto and call of duty and bringing back the good old low quality pixelated games.

Despite all the references and ‘nerd power’ aspect of the film, the movie is incredibly hilarious. With some of the best one liners and scenarios to touch you deep in your funny bone.

Ludlow Lamonsoff: What am I looking at right now? Are you guys, soldiers or the casts of Magic Mike? Are you gunna fight or dance naked?

Seriously if that line alone isn’t encouragement enough to watch the film, then I don’t know what is.

The film’s final boss battle occurs in Washington with all the 80’s classics coming down for some kick ass action. But Donkey Kong is the one to take the cake and is our official grand finale; causing Sam Brenner to relive his past and finally beat the level. And what makes a good battle? Queens, we will rock you! I couldn’t ask for a better song.

Like most movies of this genre, if saving the world isn’t good enough for our heroes’/ arcaders then they all get the girl. Adam Sandler gets Violet van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), the president pleases his wife, Ludlow gets his beloved video game character Lady Lisa (Ashley Benson) and Eddie Plant (Peter Dinklage) gets his three way/sandwich with Martha Stewart and Serena Williams. It really is a happy ending.

Basically, for me Pixels is the film to watch if you want to learn what it was like to be a kid in the 80’s. It’s funny, romantic and just damn nerdy. I loved every minute of this film and I’m sure you will to.  I would give the five stars! 4 Ghosts! And a level up!

level up

How have you not seen this?- deathbyapril- April Ely 

for more updates on my reviews- follow me on Instergram –deathbyapril and twitter @aprilely31

Check out my review on

The Lorax (Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda,2012


The Duff (Ari Sandel,2015)

Duff, it stands for ditchable, ugly, fat friend. According to the film there is one in every friendship group. Even though labels are supposedly out of date, such as geek, nerd and jocks, a new generation of clichés has emerged.

When Bianca Piper (Mae Whitman) is the out of place Duff compared to her two gorgeous best friends Casey Cordero (Bianca Santos) and Jessica “Jess” Harris (Skyler Samuels) so when Bianca is informed by her hunky next door neighbour Westley Rush (Robbie Amell) she wishes to no longer be considered the Duff but the hot stuff. However, when the queen B / Queen Bitch Madison Morgan (Bella Thorne) disagrees with Bianca’s recent change, she follows Bianca around with a camera to find horrific Gifs to embarrass her with.


The film is very much “these are my best friends and this is my crush who is way out of my league” setting up the idea that this is obviously a teen movie to help you feel good about yourself and love the heroin (the girl not the drug… obviously). And you would be right; it’s completely that type of movie. But we love them anyway. We even get our stereotypical college/ high school party that are ridiculously unrealistic, or maybe I’m doing university wrong?

With our main character struggling with not being able to talk to guys and not being able to perhaps look at attractive as some of the other girls in school, you can really relate and as someone who struggles with the exact same, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone… even if she is a fictional character. Luckily for us, to make it through our potential Duff experiences, the film gives us the 5 stages of Duff, well more like the 5 stages of grief.

l Denial

l Anger


l Depression

l Acceptance

Another great thing about this movie is the main form of revenge is creating memes and unfriending/ unfollowing people on social media. THE ART OF WARFARE.

But the memes created are slightly Bianca’s fault because when you dress like a prostitute and dry hump a manikin whilst screaming the name of your crush, you are bound to expect a joke or two.

Despite the joke of Bianca being your typical Tumblr user and Westley being a portentous dick that is far too sarcastic. The film teaches you how to be confident with your body, how to have the perfect date and even how to flirt with guys… badly. To be fair the confidence message is a brilliant one. I think people would be a lot happier if they could be themselves and can respect who they are.

Remember It gets better.

Moving from the ‘love yourself’ thing, the movie is your stereotypical rom-com. We all know that Bianca is going to end up her neighbour Westley after she realises her original crush Tobey (Nick Eversman) is a complete user. But what else could we expect it’s a rom-com, he always gets the girl. This makes the film very like Mean Girls (Mark Waters, 2004) much like Cady Heron , Bianca has crazy scenarios play out in her head. For me though my favourite is when she re-enacts the opening to a classic porno by putting every X-rated stereotype into the scene. A lonely house wife with a pool cleaning jock and a massive…

Box of pizza.

What more could you want?

I like to have sex… with women.

Like most high school films and even real life it all ends at prom/ home coming, much like Paper towns (Jake Schreier, 2015) , Mean girls and Carrie (Kimberly Peirce, 2013). Bianca makes up with her beautiful friends and enters the last stage of Duff, Acceptance.

Bianca mixes her new style with the old to create a confident and unduffed version of herself, resulting in everyone including Wesley to stop and stare, this gives the audience the perfect on screen kiss, aww clichés.

I’m  somebody’s duff, so are you, so is everybody, I like myself and I don’t want to be anyone else.

Like me Bianca loves to write article so you can guess what the end monologue is, her newspaper, with everyone reading it out and shouting “I’m a duff”. You really learn that we are all duffs to someone so in all honesty, why worry what people think? Were all the beautiful ditchable, ugly fat friends, take it from a Duff.

Therefore, this rom-com is not just your typical boy meets girl, it’s sassy, sarcastic, sloppy, pizza loving girl loves herself for who she is (as cheesy as that sounds). I would recommend this film if you ever feel depressed about the way you look or just the way you are. I would give The Duff 5 stars.

How have you not seen this?

Deathbyapril- April Ely.

For more on my reviews follow me on Twitter @aprilely31 and Instagram deathbyapril.

If you liked my review, check out my review on Paper Towns: