With an early episode just in time for Halloween, Whitney and Ellen dish on all of their favorite spooky pop culture, including what they put on their Halloween playlists, the first movie to scare their socks off, and who from the horror villain gallery they would prefer to be their murderer. Plus, Whitney throws out some crazy hypotheticals in a Halloween themed game of Would You Rather!
Of any genre, horror is the hardest to get right. Ask anyone who’s ever tried. It’s nearly impossible to find a subject matter that is universally horrifying, so these movies usually end up being shunted into one of many horror sub-genres: slasher, paranormal, psychological. Because of this, audiences are left to pick their poison, so to speak. So when I tell you that I’ve found a near-perfect horror movie, I invite you to take that seriously.
Which brings me to Crimson Peak. I walked into the movie with no expectations. Not low expectations, but no expectations. None. I intentionally isolated myself from any buzz surrounding this movie, so that I could walk into it fresh.
It begins like any Dickensian period piece. Wealthy Edith (Mia Wasikowska) is visited by the ghost of her late mother, and
warned about the dangers of the enigmatic Crimson Peak. As the years go by, Edith forgets the warning and peruses a career as a writer. Her literary aspirations are put on hold, however, when she meets Thomas Sharpe, a titled English gentleman who, as evidenced by his dark hair and habit of lurking in shadowed corners, harbors a secret. Edith is charmed by Thomas and, to a lesser degree, his creepy sister, and agrees to marry him and join him in England. Shortly thereafter, she begins to suspect that her new family has something to hide, and takes it upon herself to figure out what it might be.
From the beginning this movie cultivates a looming sense of dread. The film makes overt but effective use of color and shadow (you can distinguish the good guys from the bad guys by their hair color, fashion choices, and total amount of screen time spent having whispered conversations in the shadows). Director Guillermo del Toro took what could have been an overdone concept, Victorian ghosts and decrepit haunted houses, and gives it his own spin. The ghosts are actually terrifying, which isn’t something you see a lot anymore.
Tom Hiddleston is here doing what he does best, heating things up with his now trademark blend of sexy and sinister. Also, for anyone who cares (everyone) you do in fact get to see him naked. And let me tell you, it is just as good as advertised. Jessica Chastain also kills it (wink) as the sister and displaced lady of the house. There is so much to love about this movie, even those of us who aren’t hot for horror will eat it up.
So if you’re looking for a movie that will get you into the Halloween Spirit, look no further. Seriously. Hotel Transylvania 2 can wait for Redbox.
For this episode, we discuss our hits and misses of the 2015 Fall TV season, both new shows and returning. Also, they get a bit giggly playing a game of Truth or Dare. Listen as Ellen does horrible celebrity impressions and Whitney reveals who she thinks would be a real lion in the boudoir.
In a truly shocking turn of events, Lady Gaga is not the thing that’s ruining American Horror Story this season. Over the last four years, AHS has pushed the boundaries of what is, or should be, acceptable for network TV. Finally, with the new season, Ryan Murphy and Co. might have gone too far.
For the record, I don’t think that Horror Story is actually scary. It’s been disturbing, and gross, and unsettling, and (on occasion) funny and touching. Not really scary, though. The one time it ever came close was an amazing scene in Asylum, when Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) escapes from Briarcliff Manor with the help of seemingly decent psychologist Oliver Thredson, only to find that she is no safer outside than inside. The look of confusion, horror, and bitter disappointment on her face as she slowly realizes that Oliver (Zachary Quinto) is anything but her salvation is by far the best moment in the show’s notable history.
But then, the reason that moment landed so well was because we cared about what happened to Lana. The thing that differentiates seasons like Asylum and Coven (easily the strongest of the anthology’s run) is that they give us characters with whom we can fall in love, so we actually care when they are subjected to horrors, supernatural and man-made. I don’t think that these seasons were any less shocking or horrifying, they simply also provided us with a soft place to land.
Which brings me to Hotel. In only a few episodes, I’ve seen a dozen things that make me physically ill and, if you know me, that’s saying something. They are just vile enough that I won’t even mention them here. Suffice to say, while this show hasn’t ever been for the faint of heart, this new season might not be for anyone who didn’t spend their childhood torturing small animals.
Unlike previous (and much better) seasons, there’s unfortunately very little for audience to latch onto or identify with while they try to hold down their lunch. The closest thing we get to a hero is John Lowe (Wes Bentley) a police detective who (surprise!) struggles with alcohol dependence, a troubled home life, and a dark past. Minimal points for originality.
There’s also, so far, very little in the way of a story. There have been several violent murders, scenes of sexual torture, abject cruelty, but not much in the way of a discernible plot. I guess there’s a murderer? And some vampires? Who knows? Clearly not the writers.
Hotel is a perfect example of what can happen when a show can’t decide what’s more important: continuing to please their increasingly less avid fan base, or flipping a middle finger to network censorship.
Krysten Ritter, a gritty urban backdrop, AND indie folk-rock??? Why Netflix, you shouldn’t have…
Sure fire way to make a the Comic Con crowd and NFL crowd come together? Air a Star Wars trailer during the halftime of Monday Night Football. I had to actually figure out what channel ESPN is on in order to take in the sweet, sweet goodness that is this trailer. My thoughts and reactions were multiple and varied, but I thought I would run through some of them for you.
- First off, I cried. I am a bit of the “boy who cried wolf” as I cry at the drop of a hat, so this may not be saying much. It is of note, however, that I cried during this trailer out of pure excitement and not because of anything particularly sad.
- WHERE IS LUKE? The question that is haunting nerds everywhere. Is he good? Has he gone to the dark side? What is he doing? How much will he be in the movie? Looks like JJ and Co. are reserving that and more until December 18.
- I am happy to see Rey (Daisy Ridley) featured so prominently in the trailer, almost as if she is the lead. Star Wars has always suffered criticisms because of the its lack of ladies and while there may only be two (that we see the faces of) in the trailer, baby steps.
- How cute is BB-8? I want one.
- Is Finn a Storm Trooper? Former Storm Trooper? Why is he in the Storm Trooper getup? I am thinking former, especially with the line that we get here “I was raised to do one thing, but I’ve got nothing to fight for.” Perhaps he saw too much of the dark side in his former employers?
- How amazing do the effects look? Right mix of CGI and practical. It looks so beautiful.
- Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is really channeling Darth. He seems to be a bit obsessed, really. That mangled helmet rings of Helga on Hey! Arnold.
- “It’s true all of it.” + John Williams score beginning to swell + Millenium Falcon in hyperdrive = Ellen crying
- Speculation about that look between Finn and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaacs) are swirling, but I think it is just a moment of camraderie as they head into a fight that could be their last (or something like that), so calm down, internet!
- I know that the hilted light saber had its naysayers, but I dig it.
- Over whom is Daisy crying? Hmm?
- I love that moment of Han and Chewie with their hand on their heads. Looks like those crazy kids are still up to their hijinx.
- Again, so excited for Rey. She looks bad ass and integral to the story.
- This final montage of all these quick shots of epic looking action set piece makes me get goosebumps every time. There’s just so much I want to know!
- Han comforting Leia! I hope this means that those two worked everything out. I’m also hoping for a “scruffy looking nerf herder” at some point in all of this.
- Agh! That final moment of Finn and Kylo about to battle with light sabers? SQUEE!!!! Better yet, watch John Boyega’s reaction to that moment.
- My favorite part of all? That I still know nothing about this movie, really. Yes, I want to know everything, but only within the context of the whole movie.
It should be obvious, but December 18 could not come soon enough. If you have been living under a rock and have not seen this yet, watch it below. Or if you are like me and just want to watch it again, watch it below.
We are so excited to announce our new podcast: THE FANGIRLY SHOW!
For our first episode EVER (!), we talk about superheroes on TV and the offerings brought to us by Marvel (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Daredevil, Agent Carter) and DC (Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, and soon Supergirl).