If you ask me the true test of whether or not a movie is a good one is that of time, namely if it can stand up well to repeated viewings.
Let’s be clear, Guillermo del Toro doesn’t need my sympathy because I imagine he’s quite content making some of the most innovative genre movies in recent memory.
That being said, he also can’t seem to catch a break. His latest, the Gothic Romance Crimson Peak, has currently earned almost $28 million worldwide, after four days.
That’s not a long time, you might be thinking, and you’d be right though the problem is that del Toro’s movie is rated R, which means that no one under seventeen can see the movie without a parent or guardian (which limits your argument pool significantly, as if the fact you’re making a gothic romance didn’t do that already).
Which is the exact opposite of a movie like Goosebumps, which is PG and has earned almost double that amount domestically.
When Guillermo del Toro says that his latest movie, Crimson Peak, isn’t a horror movie, but a gothic romance, he means it.
A gothic romance is a type of movie that, while horror-adjacent, visually, beckons back to movies like The Innocents, where elaborate costumes and sets help to set the mood and atmosphere.
And like Jack Clayton’s 1961 movie, there are ghosts.
And insects (this is Guillermo del Toro, after all), plenty of insects.
Despite–more often than not–great dialog I tend not to be particularly fond of long stretches of it (everything in its place). That being said, del Toro and Matthew Robbins (who co-wrote the movie) understand that extended scenes of dialog aren’t a problem when they involve interesting characters and they bridge the more horrific elements. And while the movie is not at all concerned about violence for violence’s sake, when it happens it’s pretty intense (primarily because you don’t see it often enough to take it for granted).
This post is based on (admittedly) thin evidence, though there is a logic.
This year Fox released their latest version of Fantastic Four, which was–to put it bluntly–a box-office disaster, earning almost $167 million against at budget of at least $120 million.
At this point, to break even (typically double the production budget), which is the most that Fantastic Four can hope for at this point. There are a lot of people who hope that Marvel Studios regain the license to the characters, though this was before one of the producers, Simon Kinberg, announced that there were plans for a sequel.
Which is utter nonsense, and little more than the producer of a failed movie saving face. The proof is easy enough to see because you’ll find few companies willing to take a franchise that has already failed–and blatantly so–and pump more money into it. By way of example, Disney’s Tron: Legacy earned over $400 million on a $170 million budget while Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim earned $411 million on a $190 million budget. Most of that money was earned internationally, which was probably why Universal was so reticent about going in on a sequel with Legendary.
Both films were moderate successes, yet neither are getting sequels (though hope springs eternal for the latter). Continue reading
The movie revolves around (Lou Taylor Pucci) who meets Louise (Nadia Hilker) in Italy, and falls madly in love. Sure, it’s weird that Evan can only see her at night, but what relationship doesn’t have its quirks?
Though if that were Louise’s only problem, Spring wouldn’t be much of a movie. The added bit is that it seems that she…changes at certain times to something not quite human.
It sounds like vintage Lovecraft, and until Guillermo Del Toro makes his At The Mountains Of Madness, I’ll take it though I get the feeling that Spring is not going to get a theatrical release.
And in case you don’t get the reference…
And you should know that I don’t take to paraphrasing Princess Leia lightly, though I think that it’s warranted in this particular case.
Call Girl Of Cthulhu trailer
The point being, I have just seen the trailer for Call Girl of Cthulhu and it looks to be in the vein of movies like Re-Animator and From Beyond, by which I mean the gory, gooey stuff is mixed with liberal doses of humor and/or camp, though I am not implying either of them aren’t entertaining and gory-good fun.
Though what they lack is a sense of the majestic, the feeling that they what we see on screen is only the tip of the iceberg and that the horrors out there in the vastness of space are way more horrific than we can even contemplate. It’s present in Lovecraft’s writing–and especially in August Dereth’s–though no movie has dealt with the more cosmic aspects of his writing–though John Carpenter’s In The Mouth of Madness, has been the closest.
As far as the other movies go, there’s a certain tawdriness that’s not touched on in any of his writing that I have read–be they written by Lovecraft or not.
Two images of Guillermo Del Toro’s (so far) aborted film of H.P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness
And that’s not to say that the sexiness that seems a part of Call Girl of Cthulhu isn’t present in someone’s writings, but I would at least like to see some of mysticism, the subtle horror evoked by his writings.
Which is why I plead to Guillermo del Toro to please bring At The Mountains Of Madness to the big screen because as far as I can tell no other filmmaker has the understanding of the Mythos, as well as the respect for its creator, to do it justice.
From what I have read of Del Toro’s take he intended to treat perhaps the seminal Lovecraft story with the piousness and gravitas that it deserves, and it’s about time.
Legendary Pictures can certainly use a hit, after the dismal performance of Black Hat and Seventh Son. That being said, I hope that Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak is the movie that does it for them.
That being said, there are a few things riding against it.
First off, it’s rated R, which means that no one under 17 can see it without a parent or guardian, though that hasn’t stopped American Sniper from pulling in the bucks (though the only thing that the two movies are their rating and that they both have actors in them).
The movie looks gorgeous–it’s from del Toro, after all–though unlike his prior productions there appears to be overt sexuality, something only hinted at, if that, in his prior productions.