Posts Tagged ‘The Skinny’


Crimson Peak (Guillermo del Toro, 2015)

October 15, 2015


Why do you watch horror? If it’s solely about preying on your primal fears through a high-concept premise, it’s possible you might not get a great deal out of Guillermo del Toro’s gothic opus Crimson Peak. If you’re after jump scares, then you’ll probably hate it. If, however, you’re attuned to and appreciative of the ways in which some of the best horror films can not be about boogeyman scares, but instead cover a wide array of different emotional concerns, then proceed with less caution.

Imbued with the aesthetic and tonal spirit of bombastic, luxuriantly-coloured, oft-melodramatic Euro-horrors of the 1960s (think the films of Mario Bava or Roger Corman’s Edgar Allen Poe adaptations), Crimson Peak also has a dash of The Innocents (and thus The Turn of the Screw) and specific Hitchcocks (Rebecca and Psycho) in its lush blood, as well as a bit of Brontë – a good chunk of the story could be interpreted as Jane Eyre with more literal ghosts…

Click for the full review for The Skinny


Horse Money (Pedro Costa, 2014)

September 17, 2015


To offer a reductive description of Pedro Costa’s Horse Money for those unfamiliar with it or him as a filmmaker, imagine the following: Labyrinth, except Jennifer Connelly is now an elderly Cape Verde immigrant named Ventura, the labyrinthine dream world is a succession of purgatorial hospital hallways and broken streets, the Jim Henson puppets are replaced by the sorrowful ghosts of lost Portuguese souls, and the looming presence of David Bowie is instead the spectre of Portugal’s socio-political climate. That old, familiar tale…

Click for the full review for The Skinny


The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle, 2015)

August 19, 2015


The Wolfpack profiles six homeschooled brothers who’ve lived their entire lives as shut-ins in a Manhattan housing project, a DVD collection their only connection to the outside world beyond occasional supervised local trips maybe once a year. Raised in social isolation by a hippie mother and alcoholic, controlling father, the Angulo brothers, who remake their favourite movies for fun, prove interesting subjects and not all that different from many geeky teenagers, extraordinary living circumstances notwithstanding.

One wishes, however, that debut documentarian Crystal Moselle made any attempts towards exploring this scenario beyond the boys’ affability…

Click for the full review for The Skinny


Colors (Dennis Hopper, 1988)

August 19, 2015


Three years before Boyz n the Hood portrayed social problems in inner-city Los Angeles, Dennis Hopper’s Colors took a look at actual East LA gangs and the LAPD ‘CRASH’ unit trying to quell the violence. Robert Duvall is on fine form as an experienced cop with a more nuanced understanding of how to approach ghetto residents than his rookie partner, Sean Penn’s reckless and rather racist hothead. A young Don Cheadle, meanwhile, plays the gang leader they’re trying to stop…

Click for the full Blu-ray review for The Skinny


Skar’s Trek Into Darkness: Alexander Skarsgård on ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl’

August 5, 2015


I spoke to Alexander Skarsgård about The Diary of a Teenage Girl, teenage sexuality, Hollywood’s prudishness, Zoolander, and a moustachioed Tarzan.

Click for the full interview for The Skinny
Also available in the August print editions of The Skinny and The Skinny Northwest.


Stalag 17 (Billy Wilder, 1953)

July 28, 2015


Greater than The Great Escape, American prisoner of war tale Stalag 17 is a darkly comic theatre adaptation from director Billy Wilder. Simultaneously fiery and farcical, it’s a fitting final third for Wilder’s 1950s hat trick that also includes Sunset Blvd and Ace in the Hole, each in their own way a cutting, cynical look at American nature…

Click for the full review for The Skinny


Dear White People (Justin Simien, 2014)

July 6, 2015


Arriving on UK shores 18 months after its Sundance debut, US comedy Dear White People is all too relevant in light of the increasingly publicised troubles of so-called ‘post-racial’ America right now. Writer-director Justin Simien’s assured feature debut is a satire that follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college in the weeks leading up to a disturbance that breaks out over an “African-American-themed party” thrown by a predominantly white fraternity…

Click for the full review for The Skinny