Movies about the profound effects of cold-blooded nightmares on sensitive, impressionable children should not be dull, or arty at the expense of a good hair-raising yarn, but a benign horror flick called Intruders is nothing more (or less) than ludicrous, esoteric hokum. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, a Spanish director so unabashedly infatuated with the films of Guillermo del Toro that he even imitates the shadowy lighting and copies the same jittery camera angles as Pan’s Labyrinth, has done nothing to enhance the genre of thrillers that prey on the vulnerability of children and a great deal to cheapen it.
In Spain, before bedtime, a little boy named Juan makes up a story to entertain his mother, Luisa (Pilar Lopez de Ayala), about Hollow Face, a hideous monster shrouded in a cadaverous hooded cape who rips the faces off children and attaches them to his own blank head so people will love him.
Scary movies can get away with breaking promises to their audience. They can resurrect exhausted clichés (creepy old houses packed with things bumping in the night) and they can even toss in stale character archetypes (the clueless father, the precocious child who sees things adults don’t). But one crime even the best horror can’t get away with is presenting characters so stupid that we lose all interest in whether they live or die. Which is the heart of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.
While some of our musical tastes overlap with those of a teenage girl—in case you were wondering: yes, the new Kelly Clarkson album is awesome—we can happily say we are not in their demographic. As a result of this biological fact, we’ve never read or seen anything having to do with Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, Read More
O.K., so we watched a movie for this week’s Third Stringer called While She Was Out. It stars Kim Basinger and Lukas Haas, and was executive-produced by Guillermo del Toro. Sounds promising, right? After all, who doesn’t remember how awesome Ms. Basinger was in L.A. Confidential, The Natural and Batman? (Not to mention the way Read More
A frost is coming to publishing. And while the much ballyhooed death of the industry this is not, the ecosystem to which our book makers are accustomed is about to be unmistakably disrupted. At hand is the twilight of an era most did not expect to miss, but will.
For now, the Read More
Richard Abate, the Endeavor Talent Agency’s man in New York, has sold a trilogy about vampires by film director Guillermo Del Toro and thriller author Chuck Hogan to the William Morrow imprint of HarperCollins. You can be sure this was a multi-million dollar deal, with an advance somewhere in the neighborhood of the $3 million Read More
Showgirls : Still Sucks!
In an attempt to recoup its reputation-and, perhaps, the estimated $25 million deficit between the film’s cost and its U.S. gross-MGM has repositioned the 1995 accidental monstrosity Show-girls as a celebration of badness. But can camp go corporate?
For those who missed Showgirls during its terrifying first run, former crack Read More
Guillermo Del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone , from a screenplay by Mr. Del Toro, Antonio Trashorras and David Muñoz, is set on a desolate plateau in Northern Spain during the last vengeful days of the Spanish Civil War. An imposing stone building far from the nearest town serves as the Santa Lucia School, an orphanage Read More