Top 10 movies you have to see before you die

Okay, I know that I haven’t exactly categorised the movies I am going to talk about into thriller/drama/comedy/action/sci-fi but I suppose that’s just because I’ve always found it heard to pick a favourite genre. It’s hard to put these movies into a definitive order of preference because they’re all great, but I’ll give it a shot.

10. The Shining

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Heeeeeeeere’s Johnny!

I’ve always been a Stanley Kubrick fan and a massive Jack Nicholson fan, so combine the two and I’m in movie heaven! The first time I watched this film was when a couple of my girl friends came over to mine for a sleepover. Watching it with friends made us see the funny side to the film, as opposed to the intended scary side – see below image.

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If you’re one of those people who likes to come out of a movie and think “What a wonderful conclusion, I’m so glad that all of the unanswered questions were answered!” then this is not the movie for you. If you’re waiting for me to sit here and give you a fully fledged review about the plot and my opinion on the ending then look elsewhere, because to this day I’m still puzzled. Despite this, I still really enjoyed the movie and feel that while it is not one of Kubrick’s best, he does succeed in shooting a horror flick while moving away from the cliches such as shadows, eery music and ghosts.

9. The Fouth Kind

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So as I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty into aliens.

The Fourth Kind is one of those mockumentary type films, which uses “real” footage combined with fictitious footage but whether you think the real footage is in fact genuine is your choice to make. I’ve read a lot of blog posts saying “The Fourth Kind is a Hoax!” and “Is The Fourth Kind real or fake?” and to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure what to believe.

I thought I’d do a little research into the matter and I have discovered that there is no record on any search engines of anyone called “Dr Abigail Tyler”. It in fact states on IMDB that Abbey Tyler was played by London born actress Charlotte Milchard.

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Illusions destroyed.

8. Scream 1, 2, 3 and 4

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Okay, this may be an obvious choice but I adore the Scream movies. It made me sad to see them end. For good.

A lot of friends have said to me before: “You find Scream scary!?” and my answer is always “HELL YEAH!” Maybe I’m the only one, but “ghost face” terrifies me.

For me Scream is up there with the scariest movies I’ve ever watched. Whether it’s the jumpiness or the fact he wears a mask, I could never watch it alone – I even found it difficult to look at the photo I added above.

7. Thirteen

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A story about a girl and her troubled relationship with her mother.

Nothing special about that, you might say. Wrong. There is something extremely gripping and original about this one. The movie is depicted in such a way that the story becomes eerily graphic and chilling as it slowly shows how the influence of an older friend can tear a family apart.

My favourite part of this movie is the fact that Nikki Reed (some of you god awful “Twihards” may know her better as Rosalie) co-wrote the movie with Catherine Hardwicke. I find this particularly interesting because at the time Reed was only 13 years old and it was really telling a tale about her own life. To act in a movie about your own life is one thing, but to do it at such a young age is another.

6. The Birds

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First things first. The kid’s face in this screen shot is great.

When reading the synopsis of The Birds, one might think it sounds rather boring… “A weather socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Californian town which becomes infested by birds.” Hmm, I’m sure film companies were just fighting over Hitchcock when they heard this one (!) But when you watch it, the movie is utterly engaging. Sure, the camera work is a little amateur and the “graphic” scenes are most unrealistic, but give the guy a break – it was 1963.

5. 500 Days of Summer

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After having watched Inception I thought “Hey, that Joseph Gordon-Levitt fellow is quite cute,” but it wasn’t until I watched 500 days of summer in April 2012 that I thought “Wow, I would quite like to marry that boy.”

This is one of the movies I really shouldn’t allow myself to watch because I get far too emotionally involved and end up falling in love with the main character and cry when things don’t work out the way I wanted them too. Even though this movie ended HORRIBLY (I’m sorry Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber – what were you thinking? Autumn? Really?) I still adore it.

I think I speak for a lot of girls – yes, Sarah I’m talking to you – when I say that we all want a little bit of Tom.

4. Kill Bill 1 and 2

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Admittedly, I only watched the Kill Bill movies last summer when I discovered what an amazing screenwriter and director Tarantino is. I can’t believe it took me so long to watch them because I really was missing out!

Quentin Tarantino is a extremist. He knows what looks good. He knows what works well. He knows good camera angles. He knows how to incorporate bloody violence into all the right context but most importantly he knows that the sky is the limit. With a Tarantino movie, you know you’re going to get something off beat and obscure but you’re never quite sure what he’s going to do next. This is no exception.

All I need to say is “That really was a Hattori Hanzo sword.”

3. Pulp Fiction

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It was hard choosing what order to put my top 3 movies in and I really do rate them equally, but I’ll start with Pulp Fiction.

Another Tarantino classic, and boy, he done good! Pulp Fiction redefined thrillers. Pulp Ficton changed the history of cinema. I don’t think it’s possible to express my feelings for this masterpiece, but in short Tarantino exceeds the boundaries of film by incorporating a “cool” subject matter, adding in some excellent actors – including his favourite leading lady Uma Thurman – using witty I-wish-I’d-said-that dialogue and adding just the right amount of profanities and violence to create a must-see movie which will go down as one of the best movies ever made.

2. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

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After watching this movie, I was left speechless. Maybe it was because of the sheer amount of emotion it evoked, or due to its perfect soundtrack by Jack Nitzche, or maybe it was due to the bleak end shot of the movie.

I feel that nowadays filmmakers feel that the only way to make a hit movie is to add some sexy Hollywood starlet and combine her with special effects and sex scenes. This beautiful movie proves that Hauben, Goldman an Forman could work together to create a cinematic classic in a raw, stripped back form.

The alternaton between truly uplifting scenes, and devastatingly upsetting scenes is what makes this movie one of my all time favourites.

1. Rear Window

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We got there in the end! My all time favourite has got to be Rear Window.

Hitchcock’s movies are all masterpieces but there is something about Rear Window which allows me to watch it over, and over, and over despite knowing the ending. It’s the kind of movie that I watch and want to absorb every little detail, from the colour of Grace’s lipstick to the types of flowers on the neighbour’s window sills.

My nana introduced the movie to me years ago when I was off school with the flu. She was the one who introduced me to Hitchcock and his wonderful directing skills. It’s amazing what he can do with a guy in a wheelchair. If someone was to tell you that the movie takes place in only one room, you might think “How could he make an entire film out of this?” Well trust me. It’s possible.

If you take anything away from this post and decide to watch any of the movies, the one movie which you have to see before you die, is the classic Rear Window.

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