Posts Tagged ‘The Devil’s Backbone’

NEWSTALK 1010: with Rocky Horror + Guillermo Del Toro + Matt Reeves

This week on the Richard Crouse Show we celebrate Halloween with two of the stars of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Patricia Quinn and Nell Campbell. They both appeared in the original stage production and the movie, as castle maid Magenta and the tap-dancing Columbia respectively.

Then, we’ll spend some time with horror maestro Guillermo Del Toro, director of movies you love like Academy Award winning “The Shape of Water,” “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “The Devil’s Backbone,” “Pacific Rim” and many more. In a conversation we recorded nine years ago, we talk about why he is drawn to the horror genre, why children play such large roles in his films and much more.

Land finally, I recommend “Let Me In,” a great vampire movie you may not have seen… something fun to watch this weekend. We’ll also meet the director, Matt Reeves, who’ll talk about the movie and why we get scared when we go to the movies.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

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Each week on the nationally syndicated Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to hear in-depth interviews with actors and directors, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favourite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Recent guests include Ethan Hawke, director Brad Bird, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Eric Roberts, Brian Henson, Jonathan Goldsmith a.k.a. “The most interesting man in the world,” and best selling author Linwood Barclay.

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CRIMSON PEAK: 4 STARS. “love letter to both V.C. Andrews and Edgar Allen Poe.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 11.47.51 AMGuillermo del Toro’s love letter to both V.C. Andrews and Edgar Allen Poe is a beautifully crafted gothic horror that will make you squirm in your seat as your eyeballs dance around the wonderfully appointed screen.

It takes the elements of gothic literature—love transcending death, seductive strangers—and the weirdness we expect from del Toro—haunted houses, ghosts, vats of blood and even incest—to create a whole that is one of the most singular films of the year.

Period-piece It Girl Mia Wasikowska is Edith Cushing, daughter of a Buffalo, New York construction magnate. She’s a writer, penning a story of ghosts and love, when she is swept away by a mysterious stranger. Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) are British gentry in America to raise money to perfect and build a machine to mine the rich, crimson red clay that lies under their family estate. Edith is immediately taken with Mr. British Tall Dark and Handsome, leaving her previous suitor Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam) behind.

Soon they are married and off to Sharpe’s family estate, nicknamed Crimson Peak because in the winter the red clay it sits on turns the snow a lurid shade of cerise. The crumbling building holds many secrets in its rotting walls, secrets Edith must unravel if she is to survive.

Bloody and by times bloody terrifying, every frame of “Crimson Peak” drips with del Toro’s Grand-Guignol sensibility. Madness and murder are front and center, coupled with arch performances—Chastain in particular embodies the Hammer Horror style of wild-eye-acting—and the director’s flawless instinct for creating unease in the audience. It’s a transport to another world, a place where the ground seeps red and old houses moan in the wind. With atmosphere to burn it’s an operatic companion piece to “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” that plays like a fever dream.


the-devils-backbone-movie-poster-1020210149The ghost in Mexican-director Guillermo del Toro’s beautiful new tale of the supernatural owes more to films like The Haunting than to the malicious spirits that inhabited Poltergeist. Santi, the sad ghost of The Devil’s Backbone needs to tell his story to the living so he can find peace and exact his revenge. Set during the Spanish Civil War the story is built around the curiosity of Carlos (Fernando Tielve), a twelve-year-old boy delivered to a remote orphanage after his communist father is killed. Once there he unravels the true story of “the one who sighs,” a ghost that haunts the basement. Guillermo takes his time with the story, letting the feeling of anxiety and dread build slowly, layering the atmosphere with thick slices of mystery and the supernatural. That coupled with one of the best realized screen ghosts of recent memory make this movie both unsettling and worthwhile.

Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘horrible’ childhood at the root of his dark movies By Richard Crouse Metro Canada January 16, 2013

imgguillermo-del-toro1When I ask Guillermo Del Toro why his films often feature kids as main characters his answer is upfront, open and a little surprising.

“I had a horrible childhood, emotionally,” says the director of The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth. “I was not a child who was beaten or locked in a closet, but I really have a very intense relationship with the horror of Catholic guilt and the dogma. My grandmother was like Piper Laurie in Carrie. I was like a chubby version of Carrie. It was very difficult for me to get over that.

“I jokingly say I spent 40 years trying to recuperate from the first eight, but to a degree it is true. I really suffered intensely in the first 10 years of my life. I would cry at the concept of burning in hell, or the concept of purgatory and original sin.

Mexican Catholicism is very, very brutal and very, very gory. That all affected me.”

Mama, his latest producorial effort, is a spooky tale of two abandoned girls raised by a supernatural nanny. Del Toro came to the story after seeing a three-minute short film by director Andrés Muschietti.

“The short is brilliant,” he says. “Atmospheric and creepy. You can see a storytelling will. You can see a voice. There is a filmmaker in that short.

“Very often you see shorts that are glossy but have very little to say. Or they’re really intense and interesting but they are badly done. But this short had the perfect balance of form, function and story.”

Muschietti is just the latest director to be discovered and mentored by Del Toro, who himself was given a helping hand by people like James Cameron.

“I’ve been very, very blessed by finding good people who believed in me at the right time. Obviously I try and pay it forward. Right now I’m 48-years-old and have been doing this for 30-something years, 20 directing. I’ve been able to produce close to 20 movies between Mexico and America and Spain and I would say in 99 per cent of the cases it has been really, really beautiful. A couple of cases it has been hard or the movie has been disappointing but Mama is one of the good ones I am really proud of.”