Experiencing the Champs Élysées Film Festival

Anyone who knows me knows that film and cinema are my life. I’ve been a film buff all my life and horror is my specialty. I mean, Dracula is my all-time favorite novel.. So you could say death and murder entertain me quite a lot.

Anyway, I’ve always fantasized about attending a famous film festival and last weekend I finally made that dream come true. Granted, it wasn’t SXSW or Cannes – which I walked down the red carpet of two yeas ago (in off season)! – but it was still unbelievable in my mind. I was about to attend a Parisian film festival on the CHAMPS ÉLYSÉES and see none other than “The Exorcist.” Yeah, I saw “The Exorcist” at a Parisian film festival. You might be confused like, “What? I thought she said film festival.. Doesn’t that mean NEW films?” Well no, this festival’s theme this year was the history of American and French cinema. So, basically they played numerous famous films from our histories.

Walking up to the theater, there was a line all the way to the street. Everyone was waiting on a red carpet under a lit up arch to walk under. I felt so awesome walking down that carpet and through the arch for my film. Like a movie star, man.

And get this, I’d never seen “The Exorcist.” Me, of all people, had never seen the film that set the precedent for modern supernatural horror. But after seeing it, I can see why it is so famous. Even decades later, I was entirely creeped out by everything I saw. 70’s special effects aside, I was blown away. Every aspect of it was horrific. Two thumbs up, seriously.

 So there you have it, my first famous film festival experience.. The Champs Élysées Film Festival.


IMG_5336So I just got back from hanging out with six million skulls.

I finally went to the catacombs in Paris today! The day before Halloween! Perfect timing!

So this was yet another thing to check off of one of my bucket lists. Anyone who knows me knows that I love scary things. Scary movies, scary books, scary places (I hang out in the cemeteries here in Paris just reading horror novels, yeah I’m creepy) and anything else weird/odd/creepy. So touring the ancient catacombs of Paris was absolutely amazing.

But honestly, I have to confess something. I’d never even heard of the catacombs until my baby brother (he’s 20, and like 6’1″ so he’s definitely not a baby at all – but he is to me) told me about them this past summer. He told me about the movie about to come out, “As Above So Below,” and that it was an actual thing in Paris and asked if I was going to go while I was here. Well, today I went. And I couldn’t help but think the whole time that I wish he was with me. It was just the kind of thing that we would do together. We always went to movies together when I was living in the US and we’d call them sibling dates. Okay, well I would call them that but he wouldn’t. Anyway, we’d go see comedies, kid’s animated films, scary movies.. things like that. And it never failed, when we would go see a “scary” movie, afterwards we’d both be disappointed because we don’t really scare too easily. I love that about that kid. He matches my creepy-weirdness to a T. From our love of scary movies, to our sci-fi passion, this kid is totally my partner in crime. We always used to play Star Wars outside together. BUT! I’m getting off track. That’s a story for a different time. Basically all I’m saying is that my little bro is the bee’s knees. And that the only thing that could have made my tour of the catacombs better today would have been if he were at my side.

And now without further ado, please enjoy some creepy photos.IMG_5260 IMG_5265 IMG_5270 IMG_5275 IMG_5281 IMG_5286 IMG_5288 IMG_5289 IMG_5290 IMG_5294 IMG_5295 IMG_5300 IMG_5306 IMG_5312 IMG_5317 IMG_5318 IMG_5326 IMG_5327 IMG_5328

Yeah, I would. And I did. And yes, I wore that shirt on purpose. Of course.

‘The Cabin in the Woods’: 4 out of 5 stars

By Megan Suddarth

Published April 17, 2012

Attention horror movie buffs: Looking for originality? I know it’s hard to find this day in age, but behold! “The Cabin in the Woods” has it all: zombies, redneck torture-loving zombie families, ghosts, dragons, masked murderers, clowns, demon ballerina girls, Japanese spirits, werewolves, unicorns, mermen, snakes, spiders, vampire bats, yeah, you heard me … ALL OF THAT.

This movie seems like your regular-dumb-teenagers-in-an-abandoned-cabin-looking-for-some-fun-type horror flick. But, that’s not the case at all. No, even from the get-go this movie has you wondering, “What the crap is going on?” From super secret agent guys to underground laboratories, you’ll be confused out of your mind at the start. Never fear! You catch on throughout and realize this movie is unlike any before its time.

Five young college friends seek a good time at a cabin in the woods (clever, huh?) and soon find out they’re in for a ride. After about 10 minutes, it’s pretty obvious that everything that the kids are going through is being controlled; but, the question is: Why? Puppets in a game, they seek to find the answer to all the pain they’ve been experiencing.

Dana, the innocent, Jules, the promiscuous, Curt, the jock, Holden, the intellect and Marty, the stoner. The group is brought in and made to participate in an evil act. The plot unfolds and the group slowly decreases its number until you think it’s all over for everyone. But, this horror takes a turn that most won’t see coming. Don’t count them out yet, not until you’ve seen guts spewing or heads ripped off (yeah, it gets pretty gory).

Now, like I said, this movie is pretty original. You don’t usually see every monster that you’ve imagined hiding under your bed combine forces to kill you, but “The Cabin in the Woods” does just that. That being said, the originality is the most enticing part of the movie. If you’re a horror buff like myself, you won’t be very impressed by the “scary parts.” I mean, yeah, it’s scary, but for those immune to the horror genre such as myself, there isn’t much that will make you go home afraid to turn the lights off.

The entire film is made up of an idea that hasn’t been done in Hollywood before and it’s pretty exciting to watch what unfolds in front of your eyes. Just don’t get your hopes up too much if you want to be scared out of your wits.

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