The Hunt (2020)

The Hunt

The Hunt

Flicking through Netflix looking for a shortish film to watch and I came across The Hunt which has such a silly premise it sounded like it would be a fun, easy watch.

Twelve strangers are kidnapped and taken to The Manor to be hunted for sport, they all have one thing in common though.

The liberal elite hate them.

I really liked The Hunger Game nod at the start of the action sequences, it was also good that the film kept playing with your expectation of who was going to be the main protagonist, knocking them off just as you thought ‘Them! It must be them.’ Including some regular big horror film names.

Some really good action sequences throughout, not as bloody as I thought it was going to be from the main poster and the fact that it was labelled as horror but still really enjoyable.

Betty Gilpin was excellent in the action role, the character was cartoonish but at times that’s all you need, especially late at night.

The end fight was well choreographed with some really funny bits peppered into it.

Well worth a bit of a brain-free watch, high on action low on blood.

The Hunt | March 13, 2020 (United States) 6.5

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The Lighthouse (2019)

This was going to be the first of the reviews that I’m going to be putting out there, learning how to write about film (and writing words down in general). I’ve always been a huge film/TV fan and never really felt I was allowed to have an opinion, but you know what? I do and I’m going to be sharing it through regular posts on this blog.

The format of the review may change as I go along and gain more confidence and skill in writing but I thought if I don’t get one out now I never will.

You can always follow me over on Twitter as well for live watch throughs of TV series as and when I do them and various ramblings about whatever seems to take my fancy.


The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse

Shot in (almost) square format which gave an old-fashioned feel to the film, though the black and white was crisp and had none of the greyness associated with older films. The deep black tones of the film matched the deep tones of the constant fog horn setting a mood that got darker and darker as the film progressed.

“The light is mine”

The darkness is so oppressive that the counterpoint and beat of the lighthouse light felt alive, a heartbeat, a seductive creature in itself, maybe the real inhabitant of the island.

Both Patterson and Dafoe portray their characters brilliantly, this is emphasised with stunning direction and camera work, every frame is redolent with depth and meaning, with the solitude being carefully crafted and counterbalanced with foreboding and foreshadowing.

There is a definite Lovecraftian feel to the oppression, the sea, and madness. This tone then ups a gear a third of the way into the film changing from a pure portrait of solitude to something else as the wind changes.

Touching on a lot of different themes this is a great, though harrowing, watch with stunning performances from both actors and I’m sure it will improve from multiple watchings.

A well-crafted portrayal of a bleak existence and descent into alcohol-fuelled madness where myth and reality blend into one wind-swept and rain-lashed nightmare.

The Lighthouse | November 1, 2019 (United States) 7.4

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Beyond the Veil

Mark Morris (editor). Flame Tree Publishing. (320p) ISBN 9781787584624
Beyond the Veil

Beyond the Veil

I love a good collection of short stories and when I saw this on NetGalley I jumped at the chance of reading it.

You often find that an anthology of short stories will often have several good ones, a couple of outstanding stories, and a couple of mediocre or, even, poor stories. Fortunately this collection is ’all killer, no filler’ from start to finish.

My personal favourites were;

‘A Mystery for Julie Chu’ by Stephen Gallagher about a woman who can detect magic in ordinary things, a Mr. Disco robot that channels the dead, and midnight auctions.

‘Yellowback’ by Gemma Files, a stunning piece of cosmic horror, mutating women, and changing worlds.

‘Polaroid and Seaweed’ by Peter Harness, another piece with a lot of creeping horror and metamorphosis, loved the Polaroid Mum bit.

Overall though I enjoyed all of the stories but for me these three shone out.

Got a few of these authors on watch now for anything else by them to read 🙂


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

The Woman in Black

Susan Hill. Vintage Publishing. (208p) ISBN 9780099288473

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black has always been a book that has been floating around my head as a book to read, talked about, mentioned when a good ghost story was required, but that I had never read, not even after the film with Daniel Radcliffe in it.

This blog gives me an excellent excuse to read books like that, especially books that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

From the start the language and tone used was that of Gothic Victorian novels, especially the ghost stories of the time, slightly ponderous, slightly archaic. This use of language really set the tone for the book as a whole.

The tale itself was none too horrifying but extremely chilling, with the tension and atmosphere being built slowly and steadily. The cast of characters added to this atmosphere, as did the isolation that Susan Hill brought to the story, the bleakness of the landscape was the equal of the bleakness of the story end.

Really pleased that I eventually got around to reading this well-crafted ghost story, tense and thrilling throughout.


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.