The Orphanage

Films With Surprise Endings

It’s not enough for the twists in mystery novels to be unguessable – after all, there’s a frisson that accompanies the feeling that you may be able to name the murderer – the solutions to mysteries need to feel natural and unforced. Left-field answers are fun, but organically arrived-at solutions are more satisfying. This rules […]

Halloween Horror Choice

So what did we decide to view for Halloween? (And are we dropping the apostrophe now?) HP Lovecraft adaptations, good call. There are a couple of terrific HP Lovecraft films I’ve mentioned here before called ‘The Valdemar Inheritance’ and ‘The Valdemar Legacy’. As an added bonus they have Edgar Allen Poe and Conan Doyle in. […]

A Ghost Story Is Not A Horror Story

It’s that time of the year again when I get invited to read something spooky in a wing-backed armchair beside a crackling fire. Actually, one year I did that in Black’s Club, but this year we’re in the National Liberal Club, a grander and far chillier environment for the annual Hallowe’en reading, and I’ll also […]

Favourite Horror Double Bills 2: ‘Orphan’ & ‘The Orphanage’

The former is a guilty pleasure for its Enemy In The Home set-up, its shameless B-movie set-pieces (the hammering of a kindly nun!) and the utterly outrageous twist ending that, for once, feels entirely in keeping with the rest of the film. Kate and John are rebuilding their troubled marriage. Kate drank after her miscarriage. […]

And It Turns Out They’re All Dead

We’ve talked about how books, films and TV series often sell hooks without hope of providing a proper payoff – ‘Lost’ provided one of the lamest examples in years – but many stories are let down by their climaxes. Authors often rush the final chapters of books when they should be slowing down the pace. […]