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Suspense Saturday: The Sixth Sense

Post written by Ainsley Peace

I remember the first time I saw The Sixth Sense. While my surroundings are blurry, I can reach back into my memory and recall exactly how this film made me feel. By nine years old I had already fallen deeply in love with cinema so I could easily tell you that this movie had one of the best twists ever. This may come as a shock to those of you who have experienced more of M. Night Shyamalan’s failures than his successes but The Sixth Sense was one of the best films of the year.
The Sixth Sense follows child psychologist Malcom Crowe after he is confronted by a former patient. Shaken by the encounter, Crowe takes on the task of attempting to cure a young boy who “sees dead people.”
Inspired by an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Sixth Sense has a depth that many ghost stories and horror films were lacking at the time. The emotional impact far outweighs many horror films with its use of child psychology and very personal fears. Cole, played by Haley Joel Osment, who was best known for playing the titular character’s young son, gave a memorable performance as the young boy plagued by literal ghosts.
There are probably very few people that don’t know the twist of this movie. With the wide variety of content that is constantly being released there is a chance you won’t be as surprised as the audiences that originally saw it. As you go into this movie let go of all the baggage that comes with ghost stories, horror films and movies directed by Shyamalan. Allow yourself to be swept up by the psychological thriller. It’s slow pace and lack of gore make it the perfect horror movie for people who don’t love horror movies.

Netflix Pick of the Week: Rogue One

Rogue One, now on Netflix

If you are a big Star Wars fan chances are you have already seen this one in theaters. If you are a casual fan, chances are you’ve seen this one in theaters. That doesn’t mean you can’t spend a Friday night in front to the TV chowing down on popcorn as you invest another two hours on this incredible movie with a diverse cast and a strong female lead.

Funny and full of information, Rogue One proves that these are the years for Star Wars movies to be made once again. Constantly the target of online trolls and sexist reviewers, the current movies in the franchise have had its fair share of backlash due to the diverse casting they now employ.

Standing alone from the new trilogy of films and a prequel to The Force Awakens, Rouge One follows Jyn as she joins the resistance to stop the building of the Death Star.

If you enjoyed The Force Awakens for its strength, answers and story, Rogue One should be another enjoyable adventure through the future. The new films in the franchise given us what the Prequels did not. While we had a few characters to entertain us there still lacked something to root for and with strong female leads like Rey and Jyn we are give woman that we and our little girls can look up to. With men of color like Cassian and Fin, men are given someone that resembles them on the screen. It is so easy to forget the importance of female leadership and diversity but for those who have been waiting a long time the casting of these film’s mean a lot more.

For lovers of strong female leads, diverse casts, sci-fi, Star Wars and adventure, a night in with Rogue One should mean a lot to you. I know it means a lot to me.

Netflix Pick of the Week: Scream

Released in 1996

Since I’ve been on a Wes Craven kick I’ve decided to choose this nineties gem and Kevin Williamson written slasher starring Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Jamie Kennedy and Drew Barrymore as my Netflix Pick of the Week. A standout picture that has now become cliche due to the saturated market of teen horror that has tried to imitate it, Scream is a great movie born out of a clever script.

Self aware and witty, this nineties slasher knew what it was doing. Scream is more than your typical horror film, while playing with some of the rules set in to motion before slasher scripts were a thing, Scream found its own way in to the heads of its audience. While there are certain things you may question (check out cinema sins Everything Wrong with Scream) the good far out ways the bad. An enjoyable movie that I return to at least once a year, Scream is a classic thanks to great direction by Craven and a fun script by Williamson.


The cast of characters are far more complex than the characters of this films predecessors. Randy, played by Jamie Kennedy, is the know-it all film buff. He is the odd one out in a group of friends including final girl, Sidney Prescott, who is still reeling from mother’s murder one year prior to the events of the film. Her boyfriend Billy Loomis, with his perfect teen heartthrob hair, is the brooding type while his best friend Stu is the goofball. Tatum is the best friend and the perfect foil to her good girl friend, Sidney. Apart from the high school students is Dewey, a sheriff and brother to Tatum, and Gale Weathers, a reporter who believes Sidney was wrong about the man she accused of killing her mother. There is also a special appearance by Henry Wrinkler as the Principle and a cameo by Director Wes Craven who appears as a Janitor that looks suspiciously like Freddy Kruger.

The film is brutal but not gory. Funny and is dramatic without becoming overly cheesy. There are many ways this film could have gone wrong but while refusing to take itself seriously, Scream is able to standout in a difficult genre.

Checkout MTV’s Scream, on Netflix, A Nightmare on Elm Street and New Nightmare by Director Wes Craven are on Netflix and The Vampire Diaries and The Following created by Kevin Williams are also available on the streaming website.

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Netflix Pick of the Week: School of Rock

School of Rock 2003
School of Rock 2003

Director: Richard Linklater

Writer: Nick White

Starring: Jack Black and Joan Cusack

I decided to travel back a time and talk about a film I remember seeing in theaters as a teenager. At thirteen I watched Richard Linklater’s School of Rock starring Jack Black. Linklater is now best known for his critically acclaimed film Boyhood. The film received critical acclaim upon its release and did well at the box office. 2015 marks the year School of Rock is adapted for Broadway and Nickelodeon TV show is to come next.

School of Rock is a coming of age journey for its main character played by Jack Black. A man in his thirties, Dewey Finn is a struggling musician that must get a job to pay off his rent. After being dropped from his band Finn takes a substitute job from his friend without his knowledge. The private school is full of kids being more of an adult then Dewey himself. After discovering their talents as singers and musicians he decides to start a band with his forth grade students.

As the story progresses Finn begins to bond with the class as well as up tight principle Roz played by Joan Cusack.  With this bond Dewey and the supporting characters begin to exude a confidence they never had before. After his ruse is discovered by his friend, his girlfriend calls the police and he is discovered. The parents are understandably upset but that doesn’t stop the kids from wanting to move forward with their plan. The kids leave school and find Dewey at home. They head off to the Battle of the Bands for an epic concert that trills the audience including the initially unaware parents.

School of Rock is fun family fair. For those of you who are my age and remember seeing this film when it first came out share it will your kids or your young loved ones. It is just as fun as it was eleven years ago when it premiered in 2003. Nineties kids feel old yet? Now available on Netflix School of Rock is gearing up for a comeback with a Broadway production and a series.

Netflix Pick of the Week: Love Story

Love Story 1970
Love Story 1970

Director: Arthur Hiller

Starring: Ali MacGraw, Ryan O’Neal and Ray Milland

Genre: Romantic Comedy Drama

Spoiler Alert!

If I had a list of movies I never thought I would ever enjoy then Love Story would be at the top of that list. Films in the category of Love Story tend to be guilty pleasures for me. I watch them only ever so often and I am very picky with the ones I like. My first official night or was it my second, was spent on the couch. I was scrolling through Netflix and nothing caught my eye. Then there it was, Love Story. I decided to give it a watch, after all I spent enough time raging on it over the years I should at least give it a shot. I started it, popped me some popcorn and got cozy on the couch. I was pleased with its sense of humor and enjoyed the female lead played by Ali MacGraw. I heard through the trivia area on IMDB that some people were not found of the language. I was surprised to find that out because the part that I didn’t like was the infamous line, spoken twice in the film. Other than that I was quite pleased with what I saw.

Ali MacGraw’s, Jennifer Cavalleir is a working class girl, a polar opposite to her billionaire heir boyfriend Oliver Barrett IV played by Ryan O’Neal. The roman numerals should give that away. Her dirty mouth and lovable insults made me love her. After all this was the seventies and even though women were making leaps and bounds it was still hard to find women who talked like a sailor. I enjoyed the relationship between Jennifer and Oliver. The working class girl and the preppy as she often called him. Tommy Lee Jones makes his feature debut in Love Story and Screen Legend Ray Milland plays Oliver Barrett 111.

Now we know where this one is going. After an hour of laughs we can’t expect to stay happy forever. I mean they have been through so much and have came out on top how could they possibly stay happy? Well you won’t be disappointed if you expected a sad ending. Jennifer dies of leukemia and with this comes the line that makes we around to pull out my tongue “Love means never having to say your sorry.” Yes it does. It means having to say you are sorry and sorry again. I think I get where they were going with the line it just didn’t sound like that to me. Maybe I am wrong but other than that line I was very pleased with the characters and the story line.

A Royal Affair

Starring Mads Mikkelsen as the real life Johann Struensee. A Royal Affair is based on a true story set in the 18th century. Centered around the affair between Royal physician Struensee and Caroline Matilda of Great Britain the wife of the mentally ill King Christian VII of Denmark. What first drew me to this film was Mads Mikkelsen. I am a Hannibal fan after all. I also find period pieces beautiful and intriguing.  There are several period pieces that depend far too heavily on the clothes and make you all too aware of the setting. A Royal Affair however goes in the opposite  direction, I almost forget I am watching a film set several years in the past. I find myself relating to the characters. Especially that of Caroline, an open minded young women. Though some may see the King as a villain he is not. In my eyes he is very much a victim. As I watched the film I began to feel sorry for the king. The way he often treated Caroline was appalling and he could easily be seen as nothing more than a spoiled brat but that is not the case here. There was a part of me that could identify with his character. This show me that a great deal of the success of this film was the way they handled this character. Instead of being a caricature he was represented as a human being suffering from a mental illness. If you are a fan of period pieces I recommend A Royal Affair.

Note: This film is Danish.