Christmas Inheritance (Film) Review

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GAH. Something that the Netflix UK needs to rectify in time for December 2018 is the lack of Hallmark Christmas movies it has to offer. While Jill has suggested so many amazing sounding Festive cheese fests for this month’s theme, I’ve struggled to get most of the titles here.

Thankfully – or not – Christmas Inheritance was one of the easier to get my glitter encrusted mitts on and so here we are. You can almost guess the entire plot from the film’s title too which is strangely comforting, and exactly what you need from a Christmas film.

*Spoilers*

Christmas Inheritance (2017)

IMDB Synopsis

Before ambitious heiress Ellen Langford can inherit her father’s gift business, she must deliver a special Christmas card to her dad’s former partner in Snow Falls, the hometown she never knew.

My Review

Ellen Langford (Eliza Taylor) is a restless party girl with a douchey fiance who isn’t really interested in her and a fractious relationship with her dad. Mum passed on when she was younger and there’s something missing from her life. What on earth could that be, one wonders?

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Those pine needles are going to be a bitch to remove

While Dad is incredibly wealthy thanks to his successful gift company, he worries about Ellen and her lack of grounding. So after she shows herself up at a business function (cartwheeling into the Christmas tree, that’s my girl), he engineers a little task for her. Go and hand deliver a letter to his business partner Zeke in small town Snow Falls, where the dream for their company first began.

Ellen is reluctant to take this trip because she’s a princess – and is determined to conclude business and return the big apple (and her life) as soon she possibly can. She’s a little bemused as to what she’s supposed to discover in Snow Falls, though her father is insistent that she will learn a lesson here.

Things get off to an awkward start when local business owner Jake (Obvious Child’s Jake Lacy) accidentally runs over Ellen’s suitcase. He drives her to the the only B&B in town which he also just happens to own – so their paths are destined to cross again, who knew?

Jake runs the B&B with his aunt Debbie (Andie “Is it raining? I hadn’t noticed” MacDowell) and it’s a quaint little place full to bursting with embroidered cushions. Debbie it turns out used to date Ellen’s pa before he met and fell in love with her late ma.

Oh yes, and Ellen has arrived incognito – nobody knows she’s the daughter of famous Snow Falls resident Jim Langford – they know her under an assumed name: Ellie London (or something lame like that). It’s through Debbie’s reminiscing about Mrs Langford that Ellie learns what a kind and decent woman her mother was.

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“Not another fucking Christmas movie.”

Well, Snow Falls is a neat little town that thrives on Christmas Spirit and before long the community attitude starts to rub off on Ellie too. Uncle Zeke incidentally is nowhere to be found so while she waits around for him to show up, she’s left kicking her heels in town.

While beginning to enjoy her time, Ellie seems less absorbed in her own problems – and when a storm whips up, leaving lots of people stranded for the night, she mucks in just like everyone else, even agreeing to share her room with a young mother and her kid. At one point Ellie even goes and rounds up the town’s only homeless person and brings him back to the B&B where he’s welcomed with open arms (everyone is so freaking NICE, this town would drive me mad).

Jake starts to take note of Ellie after this, ‘cos everyone knows kindness = bangable. Jake, for the record, has been hurt by a previous love and is totes not interested in getting into another relationship ever again, much to Aunt Debbie’s dismay.

Meanwhile, Ellie has told Jake in a panic that she’s a baker but since she doesn’t know the back end of a mixing bowl from her own arse, Debbie soon works out that she isn’t what and who, she says she is. Ellie confides her true identity to Debbie and Debs agrees to teach her to bake so she can maintain the charade.

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Elle’s Christmas card that year was pretty awks

And, as Ellie warms to this charming way of life and spends more time with Jake, looking at snow sculptures and doing charity work (probably), a spanner arrives in the form of her fiance, Gray (Michael Xavier). Gray is dismissive of Snow Falls culture, takes the piss out of the new improved Ellie and breaks a promise to keep her identity hidden. He also cock blocks Jake, who’s everything Gray is not (boring, pious).

Anyway, Ellie is changing and so is her attitude to other people and she outdoes herself when she organises a kick arse collection of local crafts for a Christmas fayre (or something, I lost interest). But Jake is taken aback by her lies and the fact she is engaged to be married – and it feels as though there can never be a happy ending for anybody.

Shall we all just go home? But lo! What light through yonder window breaks? Is that Ellie dumping her fiance and returning to Snow Falls under her own steam because suddenly she understands what all this has been about?

Maybe.

And does this also mean that Uncle Zeke and Mr Langford have found the perfect person to take over the mantel of their business, and drive it into a bright and exciting future?

Maybe again.

I’d say slap this on, grab a cup of tea and a slice of Stollen – and let the good times roll. Christmas doesn’t have to be officially over until the 6th January (and then we all turn into pumpkins if we haven’t cleared away all evidence). So enjoy.

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Oooh pretty

My Thoughts

Look, there’s really no sense in critiquing this. It’s exactly as expected. The story line is predictable, the characters bland yet palatable. The scenery is cute and Gilmore-esque – and you can almost smell cinnamon emanating from the screen.

All in all this isn’t the worst I’ve seen this season. It’s pure Christmas comfort in 105 minutes.

My Rating

2/5. It’s fine.

But what does my beautiful wifey make of this? Would she leave it out in the cold or welcome it in for cookies? Find out here.

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New Year, Same Me

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In 2018, I pledge to be even more me.

To take up more space, to take more chances, make more mistakes, more friends, more noise. Take trips, say yes, create more. Write more and be more present.

I’m tired of all the new me bullshit. While it’s nice to take stock of a year and look upon a fresh new one with a sliver of excitement, why must we always have to change? Who I am is just fine thanks, I’ll not be adjusting at all.

Apart from trying to save instead of spend, I’ll be:

  • Eating whatever the fuck I like
  • Going on at least two European breaks
  • Visiting London at least once
  • Writing regularly and maybe even outlining a plan to write something ‘real’
  • Recording a lot of new episodes for the podcast
  • Watching all the films
  • Reading all the books
  • Being vocal about anything and everything than means something to me

What are you thinking?

Black Christmas (Film) Review

BlackXmasThe last in our Christmas Collab series, and I wanted something a little less saccharine, perhaps because it feels like Christmas is done and dusted now, and it’s all a little much, innit, after five days of merriment?

So step forward Christmas Horror. What better way to begin the Christmas comedown than to witness some innovative murders and laughable acting in a seventies cult classic?

I’ll elaborate more below, of course, but I have to say this wasn’t the film I though it was going to be. They sure did make ’em suspenseful back there in the 1970’s, didn’t they?

Beware *Spoilers*

Black Christmas (1974)

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Olivia HusseyKeir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon

IMDB Synopsis: A sorority house is terrorized by a stranger who makes frightening phone calls and then murders the sorority sisters during Christmas break.

My Review:

It’s Christmas at the Kappa Delta Go Go sorority house and its occupants are in full festive swing. The Christmas tunes are banging and the booze is flowing as Margot Kidder and pals get into the spirit.

So nobody inside, nor Neighbourhood Watch for that matter, notice a heavy breathing weirdo scaling the outside of their pretty mock Tudor home and breaking in through the attic window. This is the stuff of absolute nightmares, I will not lie.

While the girls party on after their men have been sent home, Jess (Hussey) receives an obscene phone call from “The Moaner” (who’s called before). As the girls gather round to listen, The Moaner unleashes a torrent of abuse which is both gross and confusing. The call ends when Barb (Kidder) snarks him out and he tells her he’ll kill her.

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I need this jumper

After the call, Barb, who’s a little worse for wear, manages to upset her housemate Claire (Lynne Griffin) by calling her a virgin and she storms upstairs to pack for her Christmas break. I think we can safely say that she’s not the virgin Barb thinks she is, as she turns out to be the first house victim.

Her lifeless body is transported by our mystery killer to the attic where he remains, just him and his victim. Cosy. Meanwhile, downstairs, the rest of the gang fuss around their Den Mother, Mrs Mac (Marian Waldman) who is frankly my favourite character in the whole film, and therefore in grave danger.

Next day and Mr Harrison, Claire’s dad (James Edmond) is worried when she doesn’t show to be picked up outside the school. He finds the sorority house and is shocked to find it rather more progressive that he’d expected (e.g. everyone drinks, swears and has boys over). Mrs Mac doesn’t do much to ease his worries when he catches her referring to the cat as a “prick”.

(I love her).

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Mrs Mac: My Personal Hero

They go looking for Claire at her boyfriend’s Frat house but she’s not there so they go to the police who are about as useful as a chocolate teapot. The main cop on the front desk implies that Claire’s gone and shacked up with someone in a cabin somewhere and dismisses their worries completely.

Mr Harrison is sure she ain’t that kind of girl and so are Jess, and Claire’s boyf, Chris (Art Hindle) so they demand better action from the Fuzz. Luckily, they catch the attention of Rent-a-Lieutenant, Ken Fuller (Saxon), who’s as good a cop as he is handsome. He takes them seriously and gathers together a search party. At the same time he is dealing with a missing local schoolgirl, so the party splits up looking for both girls.

Barb isn’t in the party as she’s been sent to bed to rest (too much boozing, innit) but Jess, Chris and Phyl (Andrea Martin) join Mr Harrison in the park, where they make the grizzly discovery of the school girl’s body.

Jess returns home early and I haven’t explained this yet, but she’s preggo. She has told her boyfriend, Peter (Dullea) that she doesn’t want to keep it and he’s not best pleased, fucking up an important piano recital and then smashing up his piano. (What did the piano ever do to you, Peter?).

What Jess doesn’t know is that Mrs Mac has gone into the attic to find the mewling pussycat and that was a big mistake. She doesn’t come back down. And actually nobody ever asks questions about the cat again, anyone would think they were preoccupied.

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“Hmmmm, I need something sharp for this here murder… which one though?”

One by one the girls are picked off, without being discovered by the others, and in unique and wonderful ways. For instance, I’d never seen anyone stabbed to death with a crystal unicorn before and now I can cross that off my Bucket List.

The frequency of the obscene calls from The Moaner steps up as well, so Jess reports them finally to Lieutenant Sex Brows, who arranges a tap on the phone.

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“Why thank you, yes I do spend a fair bit of time on my brows. Stephanie at It’s Not You, It’s Your Brows on Main Street does them.”

Peter turns up and is horrible to Jess, threatening her when she refuses to back down on the abortion issue. He smashes some bulbs on the Christmas tree to show he means business then storms out. Lieutenant Sex Brows doesn’t like him on sight and begins to wonder if he’s guilty of the phone calls.

I’m going to leave this here I think, after the Questions Section, as it’s worth a watch but let’s just say that the calls are traced – and they’re coming from inside the house! 

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Barb and Phyl took their annual game of Twister VERY seriously

The bumbling cop on front desk is tasked with the issue of getting Jess out of the house without freaking her out but fails dismally (you had one job!).

Plus, Jess isn’t the kind of chick to leave her friends alone in a house with a mass murderer so she pops upstairs to wake Barb and Phyl. That doesn’t work out too well and would ya know it, there’s a final showdown of the Slasher Movie kind.

HURRAY!

Questions: 

Will anyone else besides poor Jess ever answer the fucking phone? Will anyone survive? What the hell is Peter’s beef?

Will the cops ever properly search the house? I mean if calls are coming from inside the house, does that not warrant a thorough shake down of the premises? I guess not.

And… will you ever sleep again? Because I don’t know if I will.

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Eye eye

My Thoughts:

I thought this would be a lot more fluffy than it was with more pillow fights and sorority girls in negligees. I’m not disappointed that it wasn’t that way, in fact I was pleasantly surprised by how tense and genuinely creepy this movie is.

It’s also infinitely more subtle than slashers of the modern age, though it still isn’t for the light-hearted. I mean, there are hooks through throats and suffocations a plenty.

At one point it actually had a Hitchcockian vibe (Psycho (1960), naturally) and that’s what makes it stand out a little more from many films of this ilk. I’d even dare to put it up there with some of the seventies greats. I mean, it’s not Halloween (1978) but it’s not far off.

I recommend it, if you’re looking for an alternative to ABC Made-for-TV festive parables, animated elves and Christmas specials (not that there’s anything at all wrong with any of those things)

My Rating: 4/5. Yeah I dug this.

What did my sweetest baboo Jillian think though? Find out here.

Day 27: You’re So Cool

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27: Quote from True Romance (1993)

My brother and sister-in-law gave us a light box for Christmas, and it’s already my favourite thing. Motivational quotes for days (when I can think of them!).

This one of course goes out to you, dear reader. You’re so cool.

Ps. I haven’t left the flat for three whole days and I’m okay with it.

#hermitlife

Day 25: It’s Christmas!!

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25: Deck the boughs, baby!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful day.

Let’s take a moment to spare a thought for all those no longer with us on this traditionally happy day, and to all those that don’t have as much as we do.

Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2016!

Christmas Eve EVE

tumblr_nzm0c0H3DB1t3r740o1_500Or Happy Last Day of Work as I’m choosing to call it. I’ve got that Last Day of Term feeling, even though my Last Day of School was a hundred years ago and I can barely remember it.

I’m sure it involved a shell suit and bitchy comments from one of the Mean Girls, though.

Anywhoo, it’s also Christmas Eve Eve (as my Husband likes to holler, early in the morning) and I’m already slightly stressed out about the day, even though there is no pressure on me whatsoever. I think it’s just the natural state of things.

All presents are wrapped and placed beneath the tree, the turkey is taking up half our freezer space and I’ve even remembered to buy honey for the carrots (actually a lie, but it’s on the list). I’ve got this.

But still, worry worry worry. Maybe it’s the thought of all the cleaning I have to do before my mother arrives.

This post isn’t about complaining though or talking about how we have to fit a new toilet seat before tomorrow, in fact it’s about this year and all the fucking fabulous things I’m grateful for.

And I am grateful. I have a very nice life, full of love and brilliant people, what more could I want? ASOS packages come and go but these are the things that really matter when it comes down to it. These are the people you call when you’re anxious, the people who carry things for you when you can’t walk another step (Glynn and the Christmas Vegetables*).

These are the people who are there all year round in their little (and large) ways, making life worth living.

I am grateful for:

  • The aforementioned people in my life. My fit husband who is genuinely the kindest hearted human being I’ve ever met (with the cutest bum). My lovely Mum, who is just fabulous inside and out. My stinky brother and his divine wife, Maddy. My friends; my beloved Panda, the perfect Tatty (who gets me through each working day in one piece). Lovely Lauren, Beautiful Becky, Vegan Monkey. My work colleagues, my wonderful Blog buddies and every person I’ve shared an alcoholic beverage with this year.
  • My Job. Even though I suffer daily doubt about my job, I feel as though this year I’ve proven I’m not just the goofball who turns up every day but somebody to take note of. I’ve also received a couple of pay rises which is both flattering and surprising (and no, I’m not rich yet). Sometimes I just feel grateful for having a job at all and not having to work weekends.
  • Nip+Fab’s Dragon’s Blood Fix Cleansing Pads. These have made my skin look incredible! Anything that can do that is invaluable to me, I look very fresh-faced and wholesome RN, if I say it myself.
  • Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab 2015. I’ve mentioned how much this means to me before but I still feel it warrants another mention because I love doing it so much! It’s opened my mind to a whole world of sometimes horrific movies, made me think more about what I love and brought me closer to one of the best people on this planet. ❤
  • My Step Son. Could have gone in the top section but I feel like he deserves a spot of his own, because what a kid. I know I won’t be having my own children ever but when people assume I’m a hardhearted cow with no soul, I want to tell them to fuck off because I actually do love a very cool child thankyouverymuch! Sure, he can be a know-it-all but who wasn’t at 11? And sure, we get the best of him mostly because he doesn’t live with us but he really is a funny, smart and shining little star.
  • My favourite local graffiti artist started following me on Instagram. Yes, I am a massive art nerd but I’m basically a Fan Girl for people with immense talent and this guy is amazing. And he seems lovely too, so win win. And yes, I’m still too shy to say anything when I see him in the street but you never know, maybe now he’ll approach me (lol).
  • Social Media. Just for connecting me to what’s going on out there. The news all over the world, of course, but mainly other people and their great attitudes, particularly to world issues, body image and fat acceptance. Yes, FAT.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Obvs. I’ll still walking on air having seen it.

So that’s a little insight into what’s making me feel all warm and fuzzy this festive season. I wish it was colder to be honest so I could snuggle up more guilt-free but I suppose I should just be happy that snow won’t stop all transport for the next few days and fuck up everybody’s plans.

Since I probably won’t be blogging in any significant way now before Christmas Day (bar December Affirmations, which I’ve queued up until after Boxing Day), I will wish all you lovely people a very Merry Christmas now!

I hope it’s a cosy, warm and loving Christmas for you all, and a big thank you for reading, liking and commenting throughout 2015. It’s fun to converse with new people, old friends and everyone in between.

So, before I go: What are you grateful for this year?

*There’s a cool band name for you!

All I Want for Christmas is Stuff

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Men in Silky Kimonos

I thought I’d aim for a more light-hearted post after the moodiness of the last. Those damn swimming pools.

One of Little Mix* (I nonchalantly pretend I don’t know which one but of course I do, it was Jade) tweeted her Christmas list and I thought it was a cool idea.

So here’s my fantasy Crimble wishlist (complete with links and imagery, just sayin’ Mystery Benefactor…):

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Dress – Bag – Faux Fur Coat, all ASOS

So that’s me. Coveting lots and lots of fabulous shit as usual. Obviously this post is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I do know the true meaning of Christmas… food and Pixar movies, amiright?

So, what are your Christmas wishes this year?

*Bloody love Little Mix