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Reviews – Issue 10



Jak Rāta

Listen, the prospect of Effy Stonem (Kaya Scodelario) fighting against killer crocs should be more than enough to have audience’s flooding in to see the 2019 film, Crawl. The premise was interesting enough with Scodelario as protagonist Haley, a state champion swimmer, racing against the clock as water floods the basement of her home and with that, some hefty gators. In all honesty, I was pumped for this gorefest. Angry gators, Effy Stonem and a shitload of water? Why would you not want to sit back and enjoy the ride?


However, the film falls flat in places with unrealistic sequences of gators defying the rules of physics, even when a huge percentage of the film takes place in the water. Scodelario performs well but sometimes comes across as a bit of an unrealistic narrator. Some of the film is spent focusing on the relationship with her estranged father, Dave – this part doesn’t seem to add anything to the plot. Sure you could argue that the relationship fueled her need to please, and in turn her prosperous growth as a swimmer, but without it I think they’d still be fine in the end. Sis can certainly swim, I’ll give her that.


Overall it’s an okay horror. There are moments in the film where you are caught by surprise and it isn’t all predictable but is that enough to combat me being able to foretell the ending about 33 minutes in? Probably not. If you’re wanting a film to put on for a household of people that like cheap thrills, then by all means do it. It’s not regrettable, just abysmal. 


Devil’s Trumpet by Tracey Slaughter 


Sumayyah Gordon


Catherine Woulfe put it perfectly when she said sex is always there, “throbbing away”, in Waikato author, Tracey Slaughter’s latest collection of short stories. Devil’s Trumpet takes a deep dive into visceral truths – prying into lust, infidelity, and desire. Back in exhilarating fashion, Slaughter has supplied the goods with this new collection of thirty-one short stories; from flash fiction to novella-length works that command attention without even asking for it. Subverting expectations both deliciously and devastatingly is nothing new to Slaughter who has a myriad of highly acclaimed literary works to her name. Although, I must say, Devil’s Trumpet is a new form of brilliance waiting to be unraveled.


The Shining


Cameron Mailer


I hadn’t done my due diligence on ‘The Shining’ before watching the two-hour long Stanley Kubrick horror at 11pm, but there was a profound difference to what I expected and

what I watched, in a good way. It’s arguably the best horror of all time, and it has the critical acclaim to back it up. Not your stereotypical or modern horror, like Annabelle or Saw, it grips your attention, makes you laugh at the bad (or good) acting, freaks you out during the long silences and twisted imagery that flashes in only frames at a time, and now I can finally say that I understand the “Here’s Johnny!” reference. 


Probably best watched with friends or a significant other so you can freak out together – as all horrors should, but maybe bring a few extra ciders to get you through the long scenes that over-build the tension (I just needed them so I had an excuse if I crapped my pants).


Your Power – Billie Eilish


Eilidh Huggan 


Okay, wow. I have found my new feminist anthem! My drive to fight for the change has been rekindled by Billie and her beautifully inspiring and disarmingly dreamy ballad. ‘Your Power’ is the third single from Billie’s upcoming album ‘Happier Than Ever’ (coming July 30) and is definitely a shift from her previous electronic thriller dance-pop tracks in ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’. Billie goes for something a little more understated this time,  carrying a hidden message in her gentle vocals, getting under your skin rather than throwing something in your face. As said by the queen herself, “this is about many different situations that we’ve all either witnessed or experienced. I hope this can inspire change. Try not to abuse your power.” 10/10 will vibe again. 


I want to look just as hot whilst disarming the patriarchy. Thanks.


The Vampire Diaries



I was late to The Vampire Diaries train by an entire decade. Lockdown makes you do some pretty questionable things, like watching low-budget, poorly written, awkward series. I am certain The Vampire Diaries only gained traction because it appeals to the fantasy-loving female. You know, the one who went through an extended horse phase and then drew bite marks on her neck, trying to convince her classmates into believing she was a vampire.


The only reason I continued to watch anything beyond the pilot is because I was yet to choose the better actor. And I still can’t choose, but people don’t watch series like these for Hallmark-like acting. 


It’s not the best vampire series out there, but it is definitely one to nestle into on a dismal winter’s day.


Single Sentence Reviews X4


Up&Go (Dairy Free)


I don’t care how good it might be for my gut, that shit really isn’t worth the hype. It’s chocolate flavoured ick. 


All I Know So Far – P!nk 


Just give me a reason… to like this song. Bring back 2006 P!nk.

Sunshine Bakery on Cameron Road 


You can’t argue with a savoury, a gingerbread man (or woman, shit) and a coke during your walk of shame.  


Big Ben El Mexicano Chilli Pie


I wanted to like it, I did. However shit wasn’t that good. Hot sour cream aint the tahi.