Horror Movie Reviews

 Horror movies have always had, and always will have, a special place in my heart. When family movie night would roll around each week when I was a child, we would either watch one of the Harry Potter movies or a complete horror movie. This is one of the few major parts of my childhood I have carried on throughout my years. Here are my reviews on 5 of the best horror movies out there!


It (2017): 

The movie takes place in the summer of 1988 (my all-time favorite decade for fashion, music, and movies) and follows a group of 13-year old kids ‘horror’ stories and bravery. They find out something they call ‘It’ has been feeding off the children’s fear in Derry, Maine. The kids (referred to as The Losers Club), of course, explore and work to defeat It. (I am not good at writing non-spoiler summaries so I will just leave them as a few quick sentences.) This movie has to be one of the GREATEST movies I have ever seen in my life. Not only is it in my favorite genre of movie (horror), but it includes so many other themes and ideas; for example, unbreakable friendship is the most prevalent theme in the movie, as well as never giving up, staying strong, and caring about others more than yourself. Writing this is giving me so many feelings of happiness and I just want to watch the movie again (I have seen in 13 times.) The children actors in this movie have to be some of the BEST actors I have ever seen. They play into their roles so specifically and responsibly and I KNOW that is their job but… they are teenage boys. (Okay I’m actually not exaggerating I’m not sure what it is but this movie brings me more joy than H*rry P*tter which is a HUGE deal if you know me…PLEASE watch this movie it is so great.)


Coraline (2009): 

 This movie is about a little girl who moves with her neglecting mom and dad into a new apartment (Pink Palace Apartments) where two other parties live. Coraline hates living there because it is so boring and spends most of her time exploring to make time go faster before she starts school. One night, she finds something that seems wonderful at first glance, but she soon discovers it is not what it seems…Coraline is a movie that holds a SPECIAL place in my heart. A lot of my memories with my sisters as babies include forcing them to watch this perfectly creepy movie. The aesthetics… the character development… Coraline HERSELF… the sidekick cat… everything is AMAZING and I really recommend you watch if you have not already.


Edward Scissorhands (1990): 

This movie starts off with the ‘Avon Lady’ walking around the neighborhood, trying to sell her products. Since no one was buying them, she decided to try to sell them at the mansion on top of the hill, which was said to be haunted. There, she finds a man with scissors for hands who she takes to her house to take care of him. He faces a lot of struggles in this modern life, but manages to keep busy by beautifying the town in more ways than one. The room he sleeps in belongs to the ‘Avon Lady’s’ daughter, who he falls madly in love with and would do anything for. I strongly believe this movie does not get as much recognition as it should. The AESTHETICS OF THIS MOVIE!!! THE CONTRAST OF EDWARD AND THE TOWNSPEOPLE!!! The colors of the town houses are probably my favorite part. And the whole story in general… it is just genuinely amazing (to watch and to listen to). I’m also a sucker for a good love movie, so love and horror in one movie equals a happy Shelby. This, like Coraline and It, has more of a deep story with a few aspects of horror, but it still gets the job done.


Halloween (1978):

Michael Myers, a six-year old child, brutally kills his older sister one night and gets locked up for fifteen years. When he is released at age twenty-one, he goes back to his hometown in Haddonfield, Illinois and attacks multiple other teenagers, but ONLY on Halloween. I love any movie with teenagers as the main characters. I’m not sure why, but I have always found them interesting. (Only adding to the perfect kind of movie in my eyes… it takes place in the 70s). This movie is not really scary, but more interesting to learn about each character and why Michael does this. My sisters, who are 9 and 10, said this movie was funny to watch because the main teenage character did many dumb things throughout. And, to be honest, this was the 70s… the acting was not all that great. This is just a CLASSIC horror film you need to see once in your life.


Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): 

Don’t fall asleep… If you do, you will die. After two girls have a nightmare about the same man and one of them dies, the other one discovers what is truly happening. A man in a red and green striped sweater kills with his razor hands, but only when people are sleeping. What I have learned from these movies is kids are a lot smarter than adults. Oh, and, the police are always unhelpful. This movie, like Halloween, is not very scary, but it has a very cool idea. What happens in their nightmares happens in real life, unless they do not let it happen. Overall, if you think you’re afraid of scary movies, pay more attention to the story behind the characters than the actual characters themselves. All of these are just like any other good movie… This movie especially is a good beginner horror film because it is kind of scary, but not scary enough to give you nightmares for weeks.


Watch all of these in a dark room by yourself at 3 AM, covered up with a blanket with nothing else to accompany you for a REAL scare and a lot of entertainment. Also, if you want to fangirl about any of these movies, my DMs are open.

By Shelby


Dear White People: A Netflix Original 

Dear White People, a new Netflix original series, premiered its first season on April 28, 2017 with ten thirty-minute episodes. The show is a spin off of the 2014 movie of the same title, expanding its original plot and introducing new actors as the characters while reprising a few actors’ original roles.​Similar to the movie, the setting of the show remains a fictional “ninth” Ivy League university named Winchester, and follows a group of students of color as they navigate racial discrimination at a predominately white school.

​The first episode introduces the race relations at Winchester when Pastiche, the campus’ all-white writing staffed magazine, plans to throw a Blackface party in response to protagonist Samantha White’s (Logan Browning) polemical campus radio show. Despite the cancellation of the party due to pressure from administration, somehow the event still successfully takes place. The diverse black organizations on campus get together to plan their retaliation, revealing contrasts and rivalry within the black students themselves.

​Each episode follows a different character, telling the same story from different characters’ perspectives, but relies on third person omniscient narration. The narrator pokes fun at the very framework of the show when he introduces himself as follows; “The writers of this program are depending on my ethnic but non threatening voice to explain things they are too lazy to set up traditionally,” in the opening scene of the show.

​Dear White People scored a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, the critic consensus siting the show as, “Timely, provocative, and sharply written” and “an entertaining blend of social commentary and incisive humor.”

​The show is brilliant at depicting different minority groups that exist within the Black community through the diverse black organizations. Groups were divided by interest in social media hashtags and wearing dashikis (Black AF), the socially conscious or “woke” activists (Black Student Association), and the bougie politicals (CORE) but united in their experience as black students at a predominately white institution.

​The New York Times said it best in their review of Dear White People when they said “the rapid-fire jokes don’t all land.” However, this rampant use of rhetoric is the best part of the show for me, personally, Eureka! moments like when Joelle Brooks (Ashley Blaine Featherson) told her best friend Sam, “You’re not Rashida Jones biracial, you’re Tracee Ellis Ross biracial — people think of you as black,” were magical and also connected for my other friends watching the show.

​The universal theme of searching for one’s identity makes Dear White People especially compelling. Biracial people, or anyone with dual identities, can emphasize with Sam’s internal battle between the two cultures of her racial identity. Sam connects with her blackness through her position as President of BSA and her radio show. Lionel Higgins (DeRon Horton), a soft spoken student journalist finally accepts his sexuality and comes out to his roommate and crush Troy Fairbanks (Brandon P. Bells).

​The antagonists of the show are given an equal opportunity to resonate with the viewers by portraying their personal backstories. Coco Conners’ (Antoinette Robertson), Sam’s polar opposite, toning down of her blackness is easier to understand when she calls Sam out for her “light skin” privilege. The pressure put on Troy by his father, the dean of Winchester, and the student body to ease race relations on campus offers a semi-explanation to his opposition of the BSA’s acts of resistance. Even Troy’s father’s controlling behavior towards his son is semi-rationalized by the fact that he doesn’t want his son to experience the racism that he did.

​While the show presents important questions, it is the beginning of a conversation and does not pretend to have the right answers. This is evident during Sam’s internal conflict with being the voice of black resistance while having a white boyfriend. Sam’s secret relationship with Gabe Mitchell (John Patrick Amedori) garners initial criticism from the black students. However, ultimately everyone begins to accept it as Sam does. In this situation, a correct answer is not forced. Instead, dialogue between characters allows viewers to form their own conclusions and opinions.

Dear White People is a breath of fresh air for young people navigating their way through race relations on campus, combining politics and personal stories to create the best new show next to Deformation. (“The epicenter of black college life at Winchester.”)

By Aisha