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Crimson Peak Review


Gifted Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) makes an odd misstep with this overwrought gothic horror thriller, which is so bloated that it's more silly than scary. At least it features a starry cast that has a lot of fun with the characters, providing some emotional undercurrents as things get increasingly crazed. But the truth about this film is that it's a haunted house movie with ghosts that aren't remotely frightening. And worse yet, they're essentially irrelevant to the story.

It's set in late-1800s Buffalo, as young aspiring writer Edith (Mia Wasikowska) is unsure about the romantic advances of her childhood friend Alan (Charlie Hunnam), who is now a hunky doctor. But he fades into the background when the dashing Sir Thomas (Tom Hiddlestone) arrives from England seeking funding from Edith's father (Jim Beaver) for a machine to mine valuable clay from his crumbling ancestral home. As he sweeps Edith off her feet, Thomas' sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) enters the picture with a clearly nefarious plan of her own. Sure enough, Thomas whisks Edith off to get married and return to the family mansion, a freaky towering wreck that oozes red clay. Or that might be blood. And since Edith has a history of seeing ghosts, the house feels particularly crowded to her.

The spirits are rendered as stretched-out skeletons surrounded by spidery wisps. And in England they're of course blood-red. Oddly, they merely seem to be observers to this story, never actually doing much proper menacing. And since they look faintly ridiculous it isn't easy to muster up the dread required to make this work as a horror movie. Everything else on-screen is just as absurd. The mansion looks more like an elaborately dilapidated over-sized movie set than a neglected manor house. Thankfully, Del Toro packs every scene with witty details and a lurid colour scheme that keeps the audience on its toes.

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Jessica Chastain Joins Crimson Peak

Jessica Chastain Guillermo Del Toro Emma Stone Charlie Hunnam Benedict Cumberbatch Matthew Robbins Lucinda Coxon David Yates James McAvoy

Jessica Chastain is to star in 'Crimson Peak'.

The Oscar-nominated actress is reportedly in negotiations with Guillermo Del Toro - who she worked with when he was executive producer on her horror film 'Mama' - to star in his new thriller, Variety reports.

Jessica will join the likes of Emma Stone, Charlie Hunnam and Benedict Cumberbatch in the modern day ghost story set in a haunted house.

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Guillermo Del Toro Set To Direct Crimson Peak

Guillermo Del Toro Lucinda Coxon Matthew Robbins

Guillermo Del Toro will helm haunted house thriller 'Crimson Peak'.

The 'Pan's Labyrinth' director is keeping plot details of the ghostly tale under wraps, but is keen to ''subvert'' the rules of horror films in an innovative take on the genre.

He told that the project is ''a very set-oriented, classical but at the same time modern take on the ghost story. It will allow me to play with the conventions of the genre I know and love, and at the same time subvert the old rules.''

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Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark Review

This inventive horror film plays to our deepest childhood fears. It's like a demented variation on The Borrowers, and first-rate acting and effects work combine to thoroughly creep us out.

Shy, artistic 8-year-old Sally (Madison) moves across the country to live with her architect dad Alex (Pearce) and his designer girlfriend Kim (Holmes) in a massive old Rhode Island mansion. But she soon starts hearing strange noises, and after discovering a boarded-up basement studio, things start getting a bit freaky. But how can she convince her sceptical father and the stepmum she doesn't trust that there's something in the house that wants to tear the family apart? Even after the handyman (Thompson) is attacked, Alex continues his renovations so he can lure a buyer (Dale).

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Katie Holmes Slept With Lights On After Reading Script

Katie Holmes Batman Guillermo Del Toro Guy Pearce Matthew Robbins One Of Us Real World The Lights The Script

Katie Holmes has to sleep with The Lights on after reading The Script for her latest movie 'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark'.

The 'Batman Begins' actress - who is set to star alongside Guy Pearce in the horror film remake, which has been written by Matthew Robbins and Guillermo Del Toro - admitted the motion picture's story left her "really scared" and hearing strange noises in her home.

She told the New York Daily News: "I usually sleep with the lights on.

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Warning Sign Review

Sam Waterston in a zombie movie? Though it's dressed up as a meditation on genetic engineering, Warning Sign is still just a zombie movie, sans the death. In this film, the guys just go to sleep before they become bloodthirsty monsters. And this zombification is curable: So the body count is awfully low. Still, Warning Sign has a pedigreed cast and a few fun moments (Kathleen Quinlan getting electrocuted by a mild-mannered scientist who just wants out of the research facility. Reasonably interesting for its era.

Dragonslayer Review

Here's what bothers me about Dragonslayer.

The story involves a fantasy kingdom which sacrifices a young woman every year to the mean old dragon on the hill, lest it burn up all the crops, and so on. Peter MacNicol plays a young magician who is bent on destroying the dragon, even though he's a bit of a schlub... you know, like Peter MacNicol. Caitlin Clarke plays a young boy who turns out to be a young woman in disguise, designed to evade the lottery used to pick the woman for sacrifice.

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The Sugarland Express Review

Somewhere between unleashing the homicidal tanker of Duel on television audiences and the man-eating shark of Jaws on moviegoers, a young Steven Spielberg found the time to spin a far more human yarn in his debut theatrical feature The Sugarland Express. Employing the same storytelling techniques here as in the more fantastic fables that would follow, he elevates the material above its fairly routine narrative.

Based on a true story, the film follows the efforts of two married convicts, Lou Jean and Clovis Michael Poplin (Goldie Hawn and William Atherton), to retrieve their son from the foster parents who took custody when the Poplins went into the clink. Having already served her time, Lou Jean springs her husband from jail and, a few tragic misjudgments later, soon she's on the run with him and a kidnapped patrolman, Slide (Michael Sacks).

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