The Reviews Are In: Crimson Peak

maxresdefaultOf 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. CrimsonPeakChastain

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.

crimson_peak_stillFrom 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.

Whitney Weldon

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Fangirly Investigates: Oscar Predictions!

Oscar StatueWe’ve had Golden Globes, SAG, PGA, DGA, WGA, and all those other G’s and A’s, but now it’s time for the mack daddy, the big one.  Yep, it’s Oscar, biotches.  All other awards kneel before him. I’m still not a hundred percent sure how he got all the clout, but he did.  Don’t ask stupid questions!

With the big show looming over us this weekend, we thought we would give you our picks for the big five categories.  And the Oscars will go to…

Best Picture

  • Amour
  • Argo
  • Beast of the Southern Wild
  • Django
  • Les Misérables
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Zero Dark Thirty

Ellen’s Pick:  Argo – I got a chance to see all of the best picture nominees with the exception of Amour, and I’ve got to say, it’s a fairly tight race this year.  Silver Linings Playbook seems to be gaining some ground, but I think that that after Ben Affleck’s snub in the Best Director category, the voters are going to give it to Argo.

Whitney’s Pick:  Beasts of the Southern Wild – Ok, I get that this one is a long shot, but for me is stood out among all the other nominations. The award will probably go to Amour, or Argo, or Zero Dark Thirty, but the last time I checked, none of those other films managed to produce a star half as adorable as Quvenzhané Wallis. That includes you, Ben Affleck!

Best Actor

  • Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
  • Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
  • Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
  • Denzel Washington, Flight

Ellen’s Pick: Daniel Day-Lewis – Had Lincoln not come out this year, I would like to think that Bradley Cooper could have taken it this year because he does a really great job at being funny and sympathetic.  But alas, Daniel Day-Lewis reigns supreme and he is THE guaranteed pick of the night.

Whitney’s Pick:  Daniel Day-Lewis – After five nominations and two wins, you would think DDL would give somebody else a chance. We get it, you were beyond awesome in Lincoln, and totally deserved that Golden Globe. I, however, would be more impressed if your character wasn’t the most beloved American president of all time. If you get nominated for playing, say, Lyndon B. Johnson then we’ll talk.

Best Actress

  • Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
  • Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts Of The Southern Wild
  • Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Ellen’s Pick: Jennifer Lawrence – Gotta give it to my girl, JLaw.  Homegirl’s got a solid chance of winning and rightly so.  Chastain and Watts could prove to be dark horses, but the voters seem to be digging the year’s only quasi-light fare this year.

Whitney’s Pick: Jessica Chastain – Honestly, this is more of a guess then anything else. Wallis and Watts seems pretty unlikely, and of the three remaining nominees, I think Jessica Chastain is all over it.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Alan Arkin, Argo
  • Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
  • Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
  • Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Ellen’s Pick: Robert De Niro – In what I see as the closest race of the night, I’m going to go with who I think the Academy likes the most, which leaves me with ol’ Bobby De Niro.  But, really, don’t hold me to this one because it is anyone’s game at this point.

Whitney’s Pick:  Tommy Lee Jones – Again, this is a wishful thinking pick. In Lincoln, Tommy Lee knew how to steal and scene and wear a wig, two qualities I look for in a man (ask anybody).

Best Supporting Actress

  • Amy Adams, The Master
  • Sally Field, Lincoln
  • Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
  • Helen Hunt, The Sessions
  • Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Ellen’s Pick: Anne Hathaway – This one is hers to lose.  I will be SHOCKED if she doesn’t get it.  Some people are saying Sally Field could prove to be an upset because… she’s Sally Field, but it’s going to Anne Hathaway.

Whitney’s Pick: (Duh) Anne Hathaway- I would be lying if I said I didn’t love ALL of the Supporting Actress noms, but it’s totally going to be Anne. She absolutely deserves it, after the Academy snubbed her twelve years ago for The Princess Diaries. This is your year, girlfriend!

There you have it?  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Who do you WANT to win? Let us know in the comments! And Happy Oscars, everybody!

Ellen and Whitney