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Freshers' week can speed by in a drunken blur. But in between and after the boozy frolicking of your first nights out at York, you'll be spending time getting to know your flatmates in a slightly less raucous environment. Films are a great way to chill and pass the time, especially when the hangovers kick in. So here are five ideas for you and your new-found friends.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
The perfect film for freshers. Following what three high school seniors do in Chicago city when they skip a day off school, not only is Ferris Bueller funny and easy-going, it also epitomises the anxieties of leaving your friends at home before facing the brave new world of university. Plus, Charlie Sheen appears as a drug addict (the irony!). By far my favourite feel-good film of all time, there's nothing really to dislike about Ferris Bueller, unless you hate The Beatles, Ferraris or life itself. Heartily recommended.
Most chick flicks are awful. Of course as a guy I'm biased, but having lived with mostly girls in my flat last year, I can tell you that if you ever want to watch a film seen as a "guy's movie", you have to endure some compromise. Fortunately, Bridesmaids is pretty decent. Shrewdly written with some hilarious performances, this film stands out with the likes of Mean Girls, Love Actually and When Harry Met Sally as chick flicks men can just about enjoy too (though I don't advise publicly admitting it). So guys, when someone mentions watching formulaic snooze-fest The Proposal, subtly suggest Bridesmaids instead. The girls still fulfil their chick flick indulgence, and Star Wars might still stand a chance yet.
The Lord of the Rings (2001-03)
If you're going to do a Lord of the Rings marathon, do it right. Watching the 12.1 hour Blu-Ray extended edition is a feat in itself, but it's a challenge that will make a fellowship out of your flatmates. Tip for fans: some people might need convincing of this adventurous quest, and one way to get everyone on board is by turning the trilogy into an epic drinking game. Expect a few Boromirs among you to pass out on the way to becoming Lord of the Drinks, but rest assured, by Helm's Deep your flat will be on Sam-and-Mr-Frodo levels of intimacy.
Harry Potter (2001-11)
Another candidate with drinking game possibilities (Butterbeer, anyone?). In all seriousness, is there anyone out there who doesn't like Harry Potter? The series that has defined most of our generation's childhoods in both literature and on screen will certainly be a popular choice for a film night. Watch The Philosopher's Stone for its (ahem) magical nostalgia as it takes you and your flatmates a trip back to a time when things were simpler, and all you wanted was an invitation from Hogwarts. Those acceptance letters from York are sure to stir up memories.
Thrills and chills
Nothing bonds people together like a good, scary film. Bloody flicks like Saw might be off-putting for those with weak stomachs, and besides, psychological horrors or thrillers tend to provide more frights. Most people have seen the Paranormal Activity series (and once you've watched one, the rest lose their fright factor), so I recommend something like The Others or 1408, or for a comedic touch, the brilliant Shaun of the Dead. Moving into the thriller category, Seven, The Silence of the Lambs and Shutter Island are all great flicks that will keep you and your flatmates on edge. And for those with a reverence for the classics, Hitchcock's Psycho is not exactly scary anymore but still provides wonderfully written, suspenseful entertainment.