Tag Archives: Crimson Peak

Failed Critics Podcast: The Crimson Halloween Beasts

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All of you that have never listened before and have seen your family die [from laughing], huh, you now have something that stands for you! That would be the Failed Critics Podcast: Halloween special.

OK, so it is a couple of weeks early, but think of all that extra time we’ve given you to source the incredible horror movies from a whole host of different decades that we discuss during our spooktacular (urrgghhhh sorry) triple bill. With picks by hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes, and guests Carole Petts and Phil Sharman, there’s plenty for you sink your fangs into (aahhhhhh sorry sorry sorry).

Before all that, we begin as we always do – with a quiz! Steve is in control of the questions and still 2-1 up after last week’s disaster (get it?) leaving Owen teetering on the edge of being handed a potentially diabolical booby prize should he be unable to prevent a joint Carole and Phil triumph. Perhaps regardless of whatever film might await either Owen or Steve, nothing could truly be more distressing than the news that a Die Hard prequel has gone into production. Still, at least there’s the London Film Festival round-up and Godzilla vs King Kong news to discuss, eh?

We even found time to sneak in a couple of new releases alongside our main triple bill feature. With reviews of Guilermo Del Toro’s latest visual gothic tale in Crimson Peak, and the very first Netflix original movie, Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba, there was plenty to talk about in this week’s episode.

Join us again next week for DE NE- NEEERRRR, DE NE- NERRRR, DE, DE NER NER NERRRR… 007 is back for his longest outing yet with the release of SPECTRE.

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Crimson Peak

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“It is a monstrous love. And it makes monsters of us all.”

Crimson Peak is not a horror. It’s a gothic romance. Creepy, tense, but full of emotion”. So promised Guillermo Del Toro before his latest film was released. Still, I’ve seen the trailers and they suitably creeped the shit out of me and I was more than ready to call bullshit and say that Crimson Peak is in fact a horror flick. After a conversation with my local Cineworld where, for reasons I simply can’t explain, they refused to do a showing of one of the few horror films I was looking forward to with the lights on, I jeered myself up and headed to sit in pitch black with a film from a guy who’s horrors – or whatever he wants to call them – scare the living crap out of me.

Mia Wasikowska is Edith Cushing; a woman who, as a child, discovers she has the ability to see ghosts when her mother’s death leaves her haunted by terrifying spirits. Now a grown woman, she dreams of being a writer and is stifled by the sexism of the late 19th century and is left a little deflated by the situation she’s found herself in. Enter Sir Thomas Sharpe, a very cool and suave looking Tom Hiddleston, an English baronet and an inventor who’s desperately chasing finances to build a machine to mine the invaluable red clay that his estate is built on. Falling for Sharpe’s charm and sophistication, the pair are quickly married and heading across the Atlantic from New York to Cumberland where they will live together in the gentleman’s run down estate with his sister, Lady Lucille Sharpe; an ever so slightly creepy turn by Jessica Chastain.

Having been ghost free for a decade and a half, Edith’s arrival at the Sharpe’s Allerdale Hall estate brings with it ghosts both new and old that haunt the new bride’s nights warning her of the evils that lie within the house she now calls home. As Edith digs into the pasts of the house and the brother and sister that live there, she begins to uncover a generations old secret that threatens to swallow her up and leave the creepy siblings successful in their diabolical plans that will make their run down estate shine once again.

Guillermo Del Toro’s films have always amazed me, but I’ve always been of the opinion that we, as an audience, get two different Del Toro’s. The first is the man we all got to know years ago, the man who writes, directs and produces creepy Spanish language films whose imagery is as disturbing as the stories he tells. His direction is simple and elegant and horrifyingly beautiful. Then we get the man who found commercial success with his English language movies like Blade 2 and Hellboy; films that are, in their way, just as good as his Spanish language movies but are missing something. They are amazing, and again his direction and imagery are superb but they feel like they are missing the soul that Del Toro puts into his ghost films. This is where Crimson Peak really shines. We are treated to the kind of world that, until now, has been reserved for the man’s sublime back catalogue. Films like The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth and the Del Toro produced The Orphanage are where I believe we get to see the best in the director’s work and finally we get an English language film that takes us back to his roots.

As is always the case with Guillermo Del Toro’s films, the acting is amazing, but the direction is what shines brightest from the screen. The Sharpe’s Allerdale Hall is the true star of the film; the haunted house looks like a gothic cathedral standing tall in the rolling hills of North England. Inside, every turn takes you in to a perfectly crafted corridor that is as eerie and it is gorgeous; every creaky staircase and every flickering lantern is moulded perfectly into a house who’s walls literally bleed red from the wet clay surrounding it and as the snow falls and the house is surrounded with white, the mansion looks even more beautiful and even more eerie.

I genuinely can’t recommend Crimson Peak enough. I’ve loved Guillermo Del Toro’s films since I first saw Mimic almost two decades ago and to see him going back to what made me fall in love with his flicks is definitely something special. It’s got some horrific moments and some terrifying imagery, but I can’t argue with the director when he promises a creepy gothic romance, that’s exactly what we got. It’s emotional and powerful and everything a fan of Del Toro’s ghost stories could want.

US Box Office Report: 09/10/15 – 11/10/15

Pan cannot fly, audiences do not give The Walk something it can feel, Steve Jobs wins everything, Knock Knock does Trash, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Proving either that audiences are getting smarter at avoiding garbage movies, or that completely phoning in your marketing by near-outright admitting that the film you’re trying to sell sucks isn’t a fool-proof strategy for box office gold, Pan has flopped big time.  For what was supposed to be a big, tent-pole, $150 million, franchise-starting blockbuster, the film was completely dead on arrival, managing an absolutely pathetic $15 million for third place.  Would you like a measure of just how dreadful that is?  2015 has been a year filled with terrible big budget blockbusters (and Jupiter Ascending shut up) bombing domestically, and Pan is still the worst opening of the lot!  Worse than Tomorrowland ($33 million), worse than Terminator: Portable ($27 million), worse than Fantastic 4 ($25 million), and even worse than Jupiter Ascending ($18 million)!  So, err, yeah.  Probably not getting a franchise out of this one.  Thank Christ.

Elsewhere, the bizarre-to-me “release early in IMAX” strategy has claimed yet another victim from studios that fail to understand that this is a TERRIBLE IDEA as Robert Zemeckis’ 3D extravaganza The Walk made the leap from its underperformance in IMAX last week to cinemas where actual people could see the film.  Not that anyone was interested in seeing it, mind, as The Walk completely failed to find an audience, finishing up in seventh with $3.7 million, presumably because The Martian has the whole “crowd-pleasing spectacle” market on lock.  Speaking of, that film is still your Box Office Number One with $37 million, only dropping an excellent 32% between weekends.  It’s almost like we reward Ridley Scott if he actually makes a good movie.  Maybe he should do that more often.

In the land of the Limited Releases, the big winner was Steve Jobs, possibly surprising quite literally no-one.  I mean: it’s a biopic about Steve Jobs, one that’s gone through hell to get made, directed by Danny Boyle, written by Aaron Sorkin, starring Michael Fassbender, heavily resembling The Social Network, with excellent reviews, and has first been released in 4 cinemas in New York and Los Angeles.  If this film didn’t make an absolute killing this weekend, I’d have been incredibly surprised.  But a killing it did make, absolutely at that, with a weekend total of $521,522 and a per-screen average of $130,381 – the highest of the whole year, easily blowing past Sicario’s $66,881 from a few weeks back.  Of course, the real test is whether it can be similarly successful when it goes Nationwide in two weeks, since Danny Boyle’s been struggling with wider acceptance since Slumdog Millionaire, but I see no universe where this movie fails.

Feel free to shout that line back at me in two weeks if it does fail.

Steve Jobs was not the only Limited Release this weekend, though.  Lionsgate continued their admirable attempt to distribute films aimed specifically at Latino audiences with heist caper Ladrones.  The film, somewhat unfortunately, did not manage to do particularly well on its 375 screens, closing the weekend in thirteenth place with $1.4 million in ticket sales.  On the bright side, at least it wasn’t Knock Knock, Eli Roth’s latest excuse for a movie with a Keanu Reeves performance seemingly precisely calibrated to make one take back any praise given to him for his work in John Wick.  In accordance with a more enlightened movie-going audience realising that Eli Roth was never a particularly good filmmaker, the film crashed and burned on 22 screens with just $18,623 and an $847 per-screen average.  And as for Trash, a film that came out in the UK in February: $10,230 from 17 screens for a $602 per-screen average.  Ouch.


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Here’s the Full List now, ENTERTAIN US!

Box Office Results: Friday 9th October 2015 – Sunday 11th October 2015

1] The Martian

$37,005,266 / $108,715,595

This film is rather sticking with me, for some reason.  I really didn’t expect it to, since I found it way too long and had the distinct sense that it would be one of those films I really like whilst watching but would just sort of forget about in the days following that viewing, but it’s genuinely sticking with me.  I think it’s because the whole thrust of the film – Mark Watney getting through his situation by organisation, bite-size tasks, and logic & reason – is very relatable to me, as somebody who goes about his life much the same way, so it resonates on that deeper level way more than I thought it would.  I like seeing that.

2] Hotel Transylvania 2

$20,420,392 / $116,942,033

Review will be along tomorrow, I guarantee it.  I’m also really sorry for not having written it already, I have just been absolutely swamped this past week and I’m behind on everything.  Just bear with me, it is coming.

3] Pan

$15,315,435 / NEW

Oh, boy, I need to find the time to get a written review of this out.  To not review this total trainwreck would be a dereliction of my duties as a Film Critic.  Not kidding, this is… this is really something.  At this rate, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 won’t be in my Bottom 10 of 2015 at all, and that is an utterly miserable thought to have.

4] The Intern

$8,678,187 / $49,592,234

Fun Fact I learned in my inaugural East Asian Cinema lecture this past week: What Women Want received a Chinese remake in 2011.  Why, I have no idea, but it exists for those of you who may be interested in checking that out.

5] Sicario

$7,579,324 / $26,935,340

Seeing this again on Saturday!  Might even be inspired to finish my review, too, because everyone should be singing from the rooftops about this one.  It really is that brilliant.  Very nice to see it doing OK at the Box Office, too.

6] Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

$5,371,941 / $70,765,331

There is not one element of this story that doesn’t make me hate every single one of this film’s cast members.  “And everyone just takes stuff, obviously…”  Obviously.  You just take stuff when told not to.  That’s something everyone just does, obviously, you goddamn f*cking prat.

7] The Walk

$3,719,177 / $6,430,676

Kinda disappointed in this one, even though I did rather enjoy it.  It’s charming, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fun, and the actual walk itself is brilliantly tense, but it falls down the same way that most recent biopics have fallen down and that’s in the fact that it has absolutely nothing to say about its subject other than “wasn’t this a cool thing that happened?”  It doesn’t want to interrogate Phillippe’s arrogance or the reasons as to why he wants to do the walk, so the film ends up feeling empty.  It almost gets away with it, because Zemeckis is a brilliant popcorn filmmaker, but the film’s ultimately too insubstantial to make it worth watching over Man On Wire.

8] Black Mass

$3,118,427 / $57,557,128

I really don’t have anything to say about this movie until I can see it.  Stupid release window disparities…

9] Everest

$3,073,035 / $38,253,250

I keep forgetting this movie happened, which is especially weird since I rather liked it and even shed a tear at the ending.  Huh.  Probably a good thing I don’t hand out star ratings, otherwise I’d look like a bit of a fool right now.

10] The Visit

$2,523,505 / $61,158,030

Crimson Peak is going to completely bomb, isn’t it?  Like nearly everything else that Guillermo del Toro makes, it’s going to be brilliant and it’s going to bomb hard, isn’t it?  Yet M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie will close having made more than 12x its budget domestically.  Goddammit, World…

Dropped Out: War Room, The Perfect Guy

Callum Petch has got it all wrong.  He now writes for his own website (callumpetch.com).  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!