The Moulin Rouge (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)

When you think of musicals you expect the usual girl meets boy and they sing about their issues and their undying love for each other. WELL in the case of ‘The Moulin Rouge’ you would technically be right. However, the film isn’t as happy or as normal as the usual musical. Granted musicals aren’t usually normal because real life isn’t full of random musical numbers with dances that everyone knows the moves to. BUT this film is even weirder than that.

When Christian (Ewan McGregor) is mistaken for the call girl Satine’s (Nicole Kidman) new client, things get a little heated between the two and they quickly and I mean quickly  fall in love. However, when her official client walks in, they make up the excuse that Christian was in her room rehearsing a new play. So to keep up the act they must in fact create this play.

As this is a film directed by Baz Luhrmann, who is also responsible for ‘The Great Gatsby’ (2013) and the modern ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (1996), you can expect overdramatic fabulousness. The colours are beautiful with deep shades of red and gold. The costumes are glamorous. The actions are exaggerated and EVERYTHING IS MAD…. there is a moon singing opera. It’s a truly beautiful film but you will need to have a particular taste to enjoy the film as much as I did.


The best part of any musical is of course the songs! Considering the film is set in 1900 France we get songs from Elton John and other modern songs as well as some originals, my favourite being ‘Spectacular Spectacular’ that follows the rhythm of Can Can. This is a feature used in many other of Luhrmann’s films, especially the Great Gatsby. Our fantastic director is also great at foreshadowing, with the plot of the play within the film basically reflecting the plot of the film itself. The film even ends with the two becoming one. A film as well done as this is one that should be celebrated and perhaps even studied. Yes, this film has received six Golden Globes, eight Oscars and many more awards.

Despite all the craziness you will fall in love with all the characters and will get very emotional over our two lovers. Trust me when I first saw it with two of my friends they were both crying at the end. The dramatic ending will leave you full of emotion. Even though many of Ewin McGregor’s lines of cheesy as hell, it’s still going to make you cry.

Satine: Besides, I can’t fall in love with anyone

Christian: Can’t… fall… in love? But, a life without love, that’s… terrible…

Satine: No, being on the street, that’s terrible.

Christian: No! Love is like oxygen!

Satine: What?

Christian: Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!

Christian: [bursts out into song]

mr 1

BUT this film would be noting without the incredible acting and voices of Ewan McGregor (who knew he could sing?) and Nicole Kidman. The two are beautiful singers and highly talented. They make convincing lovers and bring this story to life.

I would defiantly suggest this film (10/10)!

Another great song from the film.


Film pick of the week: ‘The Moulin Rouge’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’

TV pick of the week: Netflix original series ‘Stranger Things’


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


Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates.



It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014)

Horror films are by definition meant to scare people and unless you are a complete wimp there are only a few films that actually meet these criteria. Over the years this has even become more difficult to do. What scared the audiences of say the 70’s wouldn’t scare the people of today. I mean ‘The Exorcist’ (William Friedkin, 1974) had audiences literally running in fear when it first came out, whereas people today find it laughable or sometimes boring. For me the scary films include a lot of James Wan work just because I find supernatural horror scary. Therefore, I decided to watch ‘It Follows’ as it was in quite a few lists of top horror films online (mind you ‘Scary Movie’ (Keenen Ivory Wayans, 2000) was also on the list). I can tell you now I was pleasantly surprised.

A sexually transmitted demon is basically the plot summed up in 4 words. Sounds a bit mad but honestly from a film and TV student it’s fab. When Jaime “Jay” Height (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend Jeff Redmond / Hugh (Jake Weary) she wakes up strapped to a chair and is given some information on her new deadly stalker.  Just stay away, it will follow you …forever until you pass it on to someone else. It can look like anyone. Always stay in places with more than one exit, it may be slow but it’s not stupid.


Can you imagine that just be followed by a monster that no one else can see for the rest of your life until you have to decide to pass it on. But could you do that … just doom someone to that torment? It’s similar to passing on the button in ‘Drag Me to Hell’ (Sam Raimi, 2009). I don’t think I could do it. But the thought of never being safe and forced to constantly be on the move is a good motive…the whole idea is just so sinister.  A plot so simple is defiantly a plot so unsettling.


I must say that in my opinion the film isn’t necessarily scary but the use of music and camera work is fantastic. It just feels like modern day homage to Kubrick’s work. The drones and sound score are fantastic. Each frame seems like a piece of art work and the use of colour just sets a dark forbidding tone that just forces you to feel uneasy. The whole thing is just creepily beautiful. If you are interesting in film making or just a big fan of films I would suggest a watch.

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

Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates

The Conjuring 2 (James Wan 2016)

Many sequels are worse than the original but I will stress the many part. The sequel to The Conjuring is fantastic. However, it is extremely different, making it difficult to tell that they are a part of the same franchise. Luckily, they decided to keep two and only two of the characters from the original. Instead of scraping the barrel from the original, we are given a new storyline and a new haunting or two if you include the infamous Amityville house shown in the first five minutes.


The film follows the story of the famous London haunting in Enfield. For those of you unaware of the story I will post a link below. BUT as this is Hollywood the story has been changed to be exaggerated and truly horrific. Since the original story is pretty sinister then you can imagine how creepy this film is. Whilst watching my heart was pounding and I had Goosebumps but it didn’t help when my house mates screamed at every jump scare and as this is a Wan, there was a lot. “It was shit scary”.  On the other hand, just when you thought the trouble of an evil man haunting and possessing a young girl isn’t enough, they add another side story… a spooky Nun who is nowhere as creepy as Anabelle and much like the terrifying doll is getting their own spin off.


The film follows the Enfield story pretty well but adds some elements and builds up more of an engaging narrative compared to a few weird voices and some violent Lego. Instead we are given moving through walls and dogs turning into fairy tale characters (yeah I don’t know either). They have seemed to remove showing some of the main elements of the original story and briefly brush up on what happened through short conversation or a recreation of the documentary on the haunting. Therefore, I advise to either pay attention, read up on the actual haunting and don’t take this film as a guide to the truth because after all this is show business.


The use of lighting like most of Wan’s supernatural horrors is incredible. We are left literally in the dark and are surrounded by the heavy fog of the unknown. Camera angles hide potential horror and leave us on edge as to if we will actually see our monster. If all this wasn’t enough to keep us in the edge of our seat, the sound track really builds tension. With drama drones, stabs and stings the sound along is enough to freak you out for the night. If you want to create a great haunted house on Halloween just play the soundtrack for this film and I assure you guests will freak out.

Link to story:


I would defiantly rate this as one of the best horror films of the year!

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


Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates.