Yesterday I went to see A Quiet Place at the cinema with slight trepidation. Not because it was an absurdly sunny day to be going to the cinema but because I’m pretty shit at watching horror films.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love a scary movie. I’ve completely geeked out over many of them, from the masterpieces (The Shining), to the divisive (Paranormal Activity) to the pure unapologetic (Drag Me to Hell).
But as someone who has been known to jump ten feet in the air when the person I live with unexpectedly walks into the room, I have to be in the right frame of mind to take on a horror, otherwise I’ll end up watching the entire thing through my fingers.
So, being stuck in a cinema seat with no escape made me slightly nervous. But as it turns out, it was the best film I’ve watched on the big screen in a long time and I couldn’t tear my eyes away.
Usually when a movie finishes and the end credits roll everyone gets up, eager for fresh air or a toilet break. When A Quiet Place ended, everyone in the theatre remained seated for a while, having to compose themselves for a bit. Then all around I could hear conversations confirming my own thoughts. It was bloody fantastic.
It tells the story of a family trying to survive in a world that’s been ravaged by an alien invasion. It sounds like a pretty generic formula but what makes this film so interesting – and terrifying – is the fact the monsters are blind but have an acute sense of hearing. Therefore we see a mum, dad, teenage daughter and young boy living life as silently as possible, padding barefoot on sand-softened ground, communicating via sign language and the merest of whispers. The mute life is such a killjoy, they even have to play monopoly with soft felt pieces instead of metal dogs and handbags. Ludicrous.
And without giving too much away, there’s an absolute gut-punch of a first scene which shows exactly why they don’t want to be making any noise whatsoever. These creatures do not mess around. They hunt by sound and they hunt fast.
This Sunday is the London Marathon and one of my best friends Laura is running it. She’s never done a marathon before and I hope she doesn’t mind me writing this here but to put it bluntly, she’s terrified.
Here she is. One of those people that looks disgustingly beautiful even when exercising. But don’t hold that against her.
A post shared by Laura H 💋 (@lau.running.london) on
I’m writing this because I’ve been getting frequent freak-out messages from her and I get it. I ran the marathon for the first time two years ago and I know exactly how she feels. It’s a big deal. It takes over everything – your body, your mind, your work and social life – and you do wonder if you’ll survive it. Seriously, as a former PE-dodging, current day prosecco-swilling miscreant, I did think about drawing up a will halfway through training for mine.
It’s been 34 years today since the world’s most angsty detention, with the iconic 80s film The Breakfast Club set on Saturday March 24, 1984.
This just so happens to be the year I was born, so I wasn’t overly familiar with the movie until I chanced upon it about a decade ago. But from that moment, it earned a firm place in my top ever movies list, so when I was asked by Rich Nelson to be a guest on his podcast Betamax Video Club, I jumped at the chance, suggesting we discuss John Hughes’ masterpiece.
For want of a more positive term, you could call me a rock wag, instead. Or some people just like to use the term groupie.*
Whichever way you put it, I’m dating someone in a band.
In short, this means I’m irritating the shit out of everyone who follows me on social media right now because the band in question – Black Palms – have just released their first track. And I REALLY want everyone to see it.
It’s a difficult one though because the problem is, when you’re in a band or ‘with’ the band, no one else really gives a fuck. Sure, friends and family will give it a obligatory Facebook like and maybe a share but will people actually sit and watch the video and listen to the track? Download it? Subscribe to the mailing list? Tell their friends?
If you’re anything like me, when someone asks you to check out a video on the internet your immediate reaction is to think “maybe later” and then completely forget about it. Videos are hard work. You have to get your headphones in or make sure your sound’s turned up and then actually invest minutes of your precious time.
It happened this week and it shook me to my core. I’d just come out the underground and was looking at Google Maps to work out which way my destination was, when a man on a bike swiped my phone right out of my hands and rode off into the night.
It was almost graceful, the way he did it – like he’d done it a hundred times before, which he probably had. Not so poised however, was the way I shrieked and embarrassingly, pleaded, as I ran after him for a few hundred yards. But that was it. My phone was… gone. In a matter of seconds.
Last week I worked my last shift as a producer on a little show you might have heard of called Good Morning Britain.
The world of breakfast telly is bonkers. You can never quite guarantee what’s going to happen next – so I have a lot of respect for the presenters and how they do their thing live on air at stupid o’clock in the morning.
To celebrate my departure, I had a go at taking on the weather – and quickly realised it’s even more fiddly and confusing than it looks. Many thanks to Alex Beresford for patiently giving me some much-needed guidance – and the best of luck to him as he competes in this year’s Dancing On Ice.