Iain Gray Freelance Writer

Articles - Telegraph Online


Horror? You can’t beat a bit of British

Apparently there is a gene in all of us that determines whether we will find scares in horror movies shocking or ridiculous, and explains why some people fainted and other people laughed during the initial run of The Exorcist. 


Terrible film - great tagline

Following the sad news of Roy Scheider’s death, I was perusing his body of work on IMDb when I stumbled across a forum thread for Jaws 2.


It’s a Wonderful Life voted best Christmas film of all time

It’s a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra’s bittersweet comedy starring James Stewart, has been voted the greatest Christmas film of all time. 


Nicolas Cage: National Treasure or Lord of Poor?

For a while, Nicolas Cage was one of the most bankable stars on the planet. With his long, hangdog face and twitchy performances, he found his way into the hearts of many a cinema-goer.


What is your favourite quote of all time?

“I’ll be back”, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infamous threat from the 1984 sci-fi classic The Terminator, has been voted the movie line we are most likely to quote.


Some day your prints will come

Rachel Weisz has dressed up as Snow White in a series of photographs for acclaimed celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz.


Harper Lee honoured by George W Bush

George W Bush has announced that Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, is to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a civilian. 


You should have screamed at it

As Halloween approaches like a masked man with a bloodied cleaver, the Telegraph’s critics have come up with an excellent list of the 31 scariest movie scenes. 


Saw movies scarier than The Exorcist?

The ‘Saw’ horror films have been voted scarier than the horror classic The Exorcist. 


London Film Festival: Tom Cruise charms the crowds

Hollywood star Tom Cruise delighted his army of fans with a two-and-a-half-hour walkabout in Leicester Square last night. 


Oasis release download-only single

Rock band Oasis have joined the digital revolution in the music industry by releasing their first download-only single.


Britney Spears loses visitation rights

Troubled pop singer Britney Spears has had her visitation rights with her children suspended until she complies with a court order.


Chris Pine to be Captain Kirk in new Star Trek

Chris Pine, a little-known American actor, has been chosen to play the coveted role of Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek prequel. 


Your powers are weak, old man

Not content with having Greedo shoot first, and the imminent release of the 675th box set of the series (this one’s made of tin!), George Lucas has announced a new development in the Star Wars behemoth a TV series.


Not everything is about Madeleine

Ben Affleck has announced that he will postpone the release of his directorial debut in the UK.


The Unfilmables

When ambition overrides common sense in the world of film, it can only lead to disaster, atrocity and humiliation, and the need for some directors to film their ‘defining’ novel more often than not results in an incomprehensibly expensive mess in the tread of the filmic trainer.


The scream that never ends

Have you ever heard about the Wilhelm Scream? Probably not, but the chances are that you have heard the scream itself. 


The Who eclipse the rest at Glastonbury

Perhaps it was the thought of home, this performance being the final act in an epic meteorological tragedy, that caused the almost delirious level of expectation at the Pyramid Stage on Sunday night. The suffering was about to end - please, let it all have been worth it.


You should have seen it: Grave of the Fireflies

“September 21, 1945… that was the night I died.”


You should have seen it: Freeway

If you only know the perfectly lovely Reese Witherspoon from Legally Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama or last year’s Oscars ceremony, then prepare yourself for a severe shock if you ever watch Matthew Bright’s ferocious, white-trash fairy tale.


You should have seen it: Ride the High Country

When one thinks of Sam Peckinpah’s films, there are two themes that generally stand out - men past their prime and gloriously bloody violence.


You should have seen it: The Hairdresser’s Husband

There is a natural redoubt of embarrassment in the mind of the young, protection against that most heinous of onslaughts the sight of one’s parents dancing at a wedding.


You should have seen it: The Devil’s Rejects

After last week’s foray into the romantic-comedy genre, I felt the need to return to my Neanderthal roots with a sick, twisted, no-holds-barred horror movie.


You should have seen it: Only You

Looking at my previous choices for this blog, I realised that I am quite obviously a big, hairy, uncouth, insensitive male.


Violent films don’t create a killer

The tragedy in Virginia is a senseless crime, carried out by an individual so disturbed and unhappy that we cannot come close to comprehending his state of mind.


You should have seen it: Liebestraum

It’s not often that a building is the main character in a film (Die Hard, maybe?), but Mike Figgis’s extraordinary 1991 thriller can claim that distinction.


Big, beautiful and stupid

Danny Boyle’s Sunshine is akin to the premiership of Tony Blair: initially intriguing, even hopeful, but ultimately a huge disappointment filled with hollow promise.


You should have seen it: The Rapture

With Easter weekend just gone, Reel Life looks at one of the most powerful and controversial religious films of recent times.


Hollywood hero in “brush with death

A close call for a Hollywood A-lister over the weekend who “escaped” from a “deadly jellyfish”.


You should have seen it: Mousehunt

After three decidedly grown-up films (Hardware, Memories of Murder and Runaway Train), it was about time for Reel Life to find another hidden gem for the little ones to enjoy.


Bright lights, big cities

I seem to have arrived back in the office and fallen straight into the middle of a brutal and uncompromising debate regarding the relative positive and negative points of New York and London.


You should have seen it: Runaway Train

Who’d have thought it? A film containing the words “starring” and “Eric Roberts” that doesn’t suck like a… well, like an Eric Roberts movie.


You should have seen it: Memories of Murder

With Korean director Bong Joon-Ho’s masterful monster movie/family drama/political satire The Host rampaging onto DVD today, it seemed time to look back at one of his earlier films.


Not the breast in show?

What a week in film, and it’s still only Tuesday! It’s been busier than Jennifer Hudson’s waiter.


Can you tell who it is yet?

Following Robert Colvile’s study of Oscar-winner prediction theories, I figured Reel Life should put forward a list of our own “will-wins” and “should-wins”.


You should have seen it: Hardware

Even though I am a committed fan of the “slasher” movie, a horror sub-genre where a group of [relative] innocents are hunted down and killed one-by-one by a monstrous, remorseless entity, I honestly believe that these violent tendencies do not follow me from screen to real life.


You should have seen it: My Neighbour Totoro

Are your children sick of Spongebob, tired of the Teletubbies, bored with Bodger and Badger?


Dimwits and light sabres

Science fiction has created some of the most thought-provoking moments in cinema - the travel through the star gates in 2001, a replicant questioning its existence in the face of imminent death in Blade Runner, the entire labyrinthine plot of Total Recall.


You should have seen it: Spartan

In the second in our series excavating some undiscovered cinematic gems from the tar pits of obscurity we look at David Mamet’s 2004 spy thriller.


Battlestar Galactica: the new West Wing

When its final episode was aired in May 2006, the mighty West Wing left a huge vacuum in the schedules.


You should have seen it: Miracle Mile

I’ve decided that every Monday Reel Life will write a paean to a great piece of cinema that has been tragically overlooked by the film-going public. So, to start with, here is a tribute to one of the most thrilling unknown movies of the ‘80s.


The booby prize that beats the Oscars

Ah, ‘tis that time of year again in old Hollywoodland, when careers hang in the balance like a long-forgotten ham. Yes, the most important film awards of the year are finally here.


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