Selfie from Hell (Film) Review

We start September with a new horror currently featured on Netflix. It tackles one of the most prolific afflictions (?) of our generation (as I type that I realise that we’re not actually talking about MY generation but the one beneath it, maybe even further down that that. God, I’m ancient).

*Spoilers*

Selfie from Hell (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

After her cousin comes to visit and falls ill, a woman starts to receive strange cell phone messages.

My Review

We all know that selfies are bad and anyone who partakes might as well be murdered horribly as punishment, right? I think we can all agree. Obviously that isn’t the message here and I jest but one of my pet peeves is people who hate on social media even though its all part of evolution and the world we live in – and is generally a positive thing, sue me.

Anyway, this film doesn’t really do anything by way of a message which might be where it falls down. Perhaps if it had been making a comment on social media on the whole it would have been stronger but the result is all just very… so?

Hannah (Alyson Walker) is a good girl because she’s clean and pretty and conscientious. When her cousin Julia (Meelah Adams) comes to stay it is immediately apparent that something is majorly off about her. She looks dog rough for a start and this isn’t being mean, it’s the truth – the girl is clearly not well.

On arriving at Hannah’s, she soon falls into a stupor which leads her cousin on a dubious mission to find out just what the fuck is actually going on.

I might be a little hazy on the order of the day here as I was distracted (by social media, go figure) but Julia is from Germany and has traveled to the US to visit her cousin, Hannah. Back in her home country, Julia is a vlogger (popular enough to have a couple of conspiracy theories about her posted on the web but she’s no Zoella).

Before we even meet Hannah I believe there’s a spooky selfie taking sequence that reveals a nasty surprise for Julia – whenever she snaps a cheeky duck face, it is revealed that she is not alone. Fuck that, honestly – that would probably be the only way to deter me from taking pictures of my own beautiful face.

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“Please stop sending me Farmville requests. PLEASE!”

Back in the US with Julia in a catatonic fug, Hannah is desperately worried and determined to figure shit out. She first of all starts digging around Julia’s laptop which clues her in on some of her cousin’s recent vlogs. Or one, namely Selfies from Hell, Part 1. But where is part 2…? Ooooh.

Watching Part 1 doesn’t answer any of the questions Hannah has so she does what any sensible heroine would, she googles how to access The Dark Web. Is it that easy honestly? She also recruits her cyber/Skype love interest Trevor (Tony Giroux) who is a dab hand with a hard drive (pnar) who gives her just one piece of advice: don’t give out any personal information on The Dark Web. So she doesn’t and everything works out just fine. SYKE.

Obviously she gives out her personal email address within 17 seconds of speaking to someone – Trevor’s big plan is to go onto TDW and ask anyone if they know anything about these mysterious 13 selfies Julia’s been banging on about (apparently it’s a video which is kind of confusing and not what a selfie is but NVM. If you watch all 13 selfies then you’re basically in BIG TROUBLE).

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At least something was

Hannah gives her deets to user F34R3473R (fuck typing that more than once), gets sent first a nasty message, then receives several pervy phone calls. Who knew? During her Nancy Drew investigations, Hannah also uncovers multiple articles surrounding Julia’s mysterious death – but hang on a minute, she’s asleep upstairs in the spare room, non?

From here we loose grip on the narrative as Hannah finds herself in a sticky situation with the pervert stalking her, Trevor watches the 13 selfies (duh) and the evil entity reveals him/itself. I can’t really remember what happens at the end except to say there’s no happy ending for anybody concerned.

One interesting thing about Selfie from Hell is that main actress Meelah Adams produced a short by the same name (which then became this film) as part of her bachelor thesis on the effects of viral videos. I want to like it more for that reason alone. Unfortunately, it’s not very good beyond the deeply relateable premise.

It isn’t horrible, apart from not making the most sense, it’s just instantly forgettable. And let’s face it, there can’t be a more interesting playground to explore that The Dark Web so how is it so boring? I mean, apparently you can buy a raccoon on there – what’s not to love?

Performances aren’t great, the production values are not great and it isn’t that scary – however, the selfie scenes are creepy, I’ll give them that.

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“Keep searching, it’s a raccoon or nothing…”

My Rating

2/5.

What does my girl think of this one? Would she add it to her Instagram story or delete that shit forever? Find out here.

FOMO Oh No

I’m anti-social. Honestly, if I were left to my own devices I’d be a full-time hermit living on Cloud 9, never going out and having all my meals and necessities delivered to my door.

Unfortunately, I also have severe FOMO and I like my friends so cannot live out my natural anti-social tendencies to their fullest. I go out with people a lot and I do love it. Sometimes I have to bail because there are too many people in one place, take Pride for instance. One of my favourite times to be living in Brighton and yet I can only bring myself to dip a toe into the festivities before it all gets too much.

I’m not boring I promise, just anxious and crowd-phobic. Yet I look at the Instagram stories of my loved ones having fun and I wish I were wild again, I wish I could be in the midst of it. It’s a bit sad for a 40 year old to be thinking this way but I guess that’s the nature of social media and I sometimes worry I’m going to get left behind, one day I’ll be too old to be part of it and that’s bloody stupid, isn’t it?

What if everyone has so much fun without me that they stop asking me out and I’m forced to sit in night after night for the rest of my life watching re-runs of Friends on a loop, lamenting the good times? You can see the damage I do to myself by thinking this way and continually being logged on?

I know my friends love me and not just for being there socially. I bring more to the table than my appearance at every single social event (hopefully). Quality not quantity and all that.

I think I need to step back and appreciate how lucky I am. That true friendship doesn’t just stop because you’re not there for one do. And doesn’t it make the ones you make it to all the more special? Life’s hard when you’re a contradictory little bitch, innit?

Anyone else suffer from a severe case of FOMO?

Girl, Bye.

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You know what true power is?

Cutting things out of your life that hurt or anger you. No argument, no “Fuck you”, just a “Girl, bye” under your breath and you’re off. I’m currently angry and bewildered by a particular incident that happened on that wonderful barometer of how shit people can be: the internet. Specifically, Facebook.

Someone I know recently posted a status update about ‘promoting plus-size’ (and how wrong it is), and even though I should never be surprised by the general lack of sympathy toward fat people, I did expect better from this individual.

Sadly (not really), she’s no longer going to be part of my life, on any platform or in the flesh (in my case, substantially more flesh). I don’t conform to who she wants me to be nor deserve any sort of respect based on what she’s saying apparently, so I’m stepping out.

I know, I know that us fats are all just asking for trouble being the way we are. We’re all going to die horribly because we wear bigger dress sizes. We certainly don’t live active lives, how can we? We all eat shit, swerve veggies and more or less just mainline Digestives on the sofa in front of the TV day in day out. You got me.

We don’t deserve to dress nicely or enjoy fashion or beauty, life or love. We don’t deserve basic respect either while we’re here. A sweeping statement on Facebook with a Daily Mail supporting link is definitely the way to go to reach people if that’s really what you want to do. And if people are alienated, feel personally let down by your attitude, all the better right? They deserve it, the pigs.

People do not respond well to being bullied. Being hateful (even in the form of faux-health concern) will not help. If anything it will make people far less likely to make the best choices for themselves. It will make them feel like shit. It will stop them living their best lives.

How dare this person promote a love yourself mentality and then screw over all the overweight people on her friends list? Oh wait, maybe she doesn’t have any overweight friends? (She doesn’t now). She is blonde, slim and beautiful after all, and it seems not tolerant of anyone who doesn’t fit a similar ideal?

I haven’t spoken to her about this and I won’t. I’m not interested in a debate. I don’t care what she thinks or says. Chances are that she thinks she’s being helpful and that her arrogant ‘motivation’ comes from a good place. I really don’t care.

Girl, bye.

You can bet I’m exercising this mentality in all areas of my life. Brexit was a good way to measure people’s true selves and unfortunately, a handful of people fell short of what I want in my life.

There are doubtless things I say and do that alienate me from people that I don’t even register and that’s their right too. Life’s too short for bullshit and I’m done.

Click, click – over it.

Definitely May(be) & My June/July Pledge

Artist’s rendition of what Jill and I will look like hanging out

May looks set to be a very packed month round these parts. I’ve already chalked off my first social engagements (which went swimmingly) and can now start looking forward to the arrival of a very special guest indeed.

Clue: it’s not the Queen of England. It’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more exciting than that!

I’m thinking you’ll get a lot of social media updates about the penultimate week in May when Jillian and I are finally together so maybe we’ll get creative on that front and wow you with something different. Or maybe we’ll just eat lots, go and see lots, and watch lots. That’s more likely tbh.

I can’t say much other than I’m really starting to get excited about the whole visit. Although, not so excited about the extensive Spring cleaning I will have to do before our home is fit for guests (You’re worth it Jill).

I’d also like to take a moment in this post to lay down my pledge for the next few upcoming months (if it’s in writing I have to do it right?):

From the 1st of June to the 31st July 2016 I, Christa Bass, will not shop

Since that is rather a bold statement, I will elaborate below.

During the month of June and July 2016:

  • I cannot buy: shoes, clothing, accessories or books
  • I may only buy essentials which include: my base make-up items, shampoo/conditioner, moisturiser and nail polish remover*
  • I can buy gifts for other people but only if required/authorised by my credit card holder (which will be Glynn, who I have chosen as he’s closest)
  • I will remove my credit card details from all my most visited shopping sites which is pretty much just ASOS
  • I will use put money I would ordinarily spend onto my credit card and then into our savings account
  • I am allowed to have my hair and nails done because that comes out of the well-being budget (LOL, loopholes!)
  • Instead of spending money during these months, I will read books from my To Read pile, blog and go to the gym at least 3 times a week

Now I don’t think any of you realise what a profound effect this will have on my day-to-day life as I am such a prolific shopper. Like, I have a very real addiction and I want to try to shake it. I shop alllllll the time and have a package delivered to work nearly every day (if not multiple packages).

I send back a lot of things which is great practice but I do get a big kick out of the initial purchase and receiving of items, which makes me think I need to find another outlet. I don’t know what that outlet is but I’m going to try and find out. I’m hoping it will be working out (for the endorphins not weight loss, yo) and blogging more.

So there you are. An exciting month coming up, with two months of sensible behaviour to follow. I think that’s a good balance.

Until then, my friends, it’s business as usual on the blog and in my life. We’ve had some sad news on G’s side of the family which means we’ll be travelling up north in the next week or so but apart from that, same old.

What are you most looking forward to in May/the Summer? ❤

*Includes female products, cotton wool, etc of course but who wants to list every little thing?

Advent(ures) in Spreading the Love (AKA Doors 1 & 2)

tumblr_nyej8sughd1u4taepo1_500December, you crazy cat. You’re so busy, aren’t you? With all your spangly jumpers, drinks parties and invitations left right and centre.

Not that I plan to miss out myself obvs, I enjoy joy as much as the next person. So I’ll be accepting a few pub suggestions, supping mulled cider by roaring fires and snuggling up to my friends and colleagues with the best of them. But I’ve also got SO MUCH to do. Like every other person right before Christmas then.

In between all the rushing about, I thought I’d try and do a daily affirmation for anyone reading because I think we need it. Basically, my version of an online Advent calendar, without chocolate (I know right, what’s the fucking point in that?).

We need female solidarity above all things at the moment though, right? Even chocolate. (Not to exclude the boys who might pop by, you can join in but this is about us, not you dudes).

This is, of course, a quickly tapped out introduction to my plan, a day late and not perfectly constructed by any means but hopefully the sentiment will still get through. Every day I am going to post a message to you (yes, you). It will be anything from a question to an affirmation or a picture of a cat I saw that made me titter.

I thought of this after a week (it’s only Wednesday) of some very low lows and then wonderful highs on the internet, more of which I will talk about later. It seems more than ever that we should be bolstering our fellow women and encouraging them to shine (something else I will come back to is The Shine Theory via Cattitude & Co, which I LOVE).

I’ll still proper blog in between but also keep this going until New Year’s Eve, that’s my Christmas promise.

So, as we’re on the second day of December already, here are doors 1 & 2 together:

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1. This mug urges you to throw away anything that isn’t absolutely essential to your well-being. Easier said than done, but still a nice sentiment. Let it go, you’re doing your fucking best and I salute you, girl!
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2. I saw someone on Twitter post their favourite selfies of the year (so far) and thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. I’m pro-selfie all the way for many reasons, including their ability to make me feel good about myself, for recording change, etc. Here are my recent favourites.

Do you #selfie?

See you tomorrow, you beauty ❤

The Ex Factor

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This headline popped up in my inbox this morning: “Facebook begins testing tools to let people manage interactions with exes” and, to paraphrase Miss Carrie Bradshaw, it got me to thinking.

Obviously, before I pour vitriol all over this post, I have to say that I understand this is meant to be a good thing. Apparently it will allow people to hide each other without unfriending or unfollowing. So your ex can post pictures of his/her new love to his/her hearts content and you won’t be able to see it, no siree.

Heaven forbid that you hurt his/her feelings by kicking him/her off your newsfeed though, amiright?

‘Course it works both ways and might leave you feeling more relaxed if you’re the one moving on, leaving the person you used to love in your dust.

I am friends with a few exes. But when I say ex I mean there was a certain degree of interaction and one of them almost broke my heart, but these were never long term loves, nor life ruiners. One of them has revealed himself to be racist so has been swiftly removed but for the most part I’ve picked well in the past and they can stay.

But I don’t need advice on how to deal with my significant ex because he’s lower than low and therefore has no part in my present. It’s bad enough that I still bear the (emotional) scars of years walking on eggshells and years believing I was nothing and nobody because he make me feel that way.

If it hadn’t made me who I am now, I would hit delete on our shared past quicker that it just took me to type the word delete. The thought of ever accidentally bumping into him (I hear he lives in the next town over) fills me with pant-soiling fear. I don’t know what I’d do beyond running as fast I could in the opposite direction. Cry hard. Buy an 8 pack of Brillo pads and scour my skin until it bled, that sort of thing.

It’s not always healthy to try to make people feel good above your own well-being, to always be the bigger person or to take things graciously (and I have to take my own advice here). There are valid reasons for why people despise their exes and I don’t think FB can help you with those. Then again, it’s doubtful you’d still be friends on social media.

I think, block those fuckers and move on, loves. Try not to give them the power they need to thrive. Try and forget. Try and move on, and protect yourself. Trust me, you’ve got plenty of friends so don’t have to be friends with everyone you’ve ever dated.

That’s my view and I know I’m massively biased. I know many people look at this topic very differently and what works for them, works for me.

It’s just you know, I’m still angry.

Quit You

Film Bridget Jones The Edge Of Reason
Hiding from my Facebook timeline

It’s become a thing in our household to quit something we love on New Year’s Eve and stick to it for the duration of the coming year. I’m not sure why, but 2015 was my first year in the ‘game’ and I gave up chocolate, just for shits n’ gigs.

My lovely husband spent 2014 saying no to pork products, and this year is off the beer. His dedication to whatever the fuck the point of this is, is incredible. I suppose I only chose chocolate because I knew it would be hard and I wanted to prove to him (and myself?) that I can do it.

I’ve had about 3 slip ups, alright? But they’re all bought and paid for, none of them are secrets. I still thinks it’s bloody impressive that I haven’t bought chocolate for almost a full year. And don’t worry about me, I’ve still gorged on plenty of sweets and savoury snacks, I’m no fool.

The question is: what to give up this year? G has already committed to crisps, bringing my brother down with him (who incidentally, inspired by Bacon Gate, quit coffee for 2015). I’m thinking biscuits*.

What I’d really like to give up is Facebook. I mean, how hard can it be?

Really hard, I think. I love social media. I’m all about Twitter, all over Instagram and well that’s about it really but FB is a unique waste ground, isn’t it? It seems to have rules of its own and the rules are, there ain’t no rules.

As a result you get a melting pot of startling views, a rich tapestry of hot takes from across the world. For the most part people are fabulous but some of these misguided, uneducated opinions are starting to get me down.

Maybe things I do on FB upset others. I mean maybe there is such a thing as too many photos of men with glittery beards, who knows?

I have to do something drastic soon before my head explodes. I’ve already gone on a blocking spree, hiding a significant amount of people from my timeline.

It’s not any one topic either. I’ve bowed out of online friendships (without unfriending because that seems petty and has often come back to bite me on the nose) for all manner of offences. Sexism, racism, all too casual and therefore insidious fat shaming; general, hopeless ignorance. Minion memes.

I’m not perfect by any means. I don’t always get everything right, shock horror. I’m sure you could pick on some of the things I believe in/say/post but for the most part I live by the rule if I don’t know much about something, I’ll leave it alone. And post a photograph of a teapot or something.

So what to do? WHAT TO DO.

Despite the fact I now know just how racist some of my once normal-seeming friends are, I love Facebook for how easy it is to keep everyone together. So maybe I’ll do it, maybe I won’t.

Maybe I’ll just go on blocking people until there’s nobody left.

All I do know is, the one thing worse than Facebook itself? Someone umming and ahhing about leaving it.

What do you guys think?

*No dunk for 12 months 😦