Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Jason...
Who & What: Guillermo Del Toro directs a script he co-wrote with Matthew Robbins (the two have worked together several times but Robbins' most important credit is clearly having directed the seminal-to-me The Legend of Billie Jean - "Fair is fair!"); British playwright Lucinda Coxon (who also wrote the script for the upcoming The Danish Girl) was brought in to add "the proper degree of perversity and intelligence" to the tale.
Mia Wasikowska plays an aspiring novelist named Edith Cushing (I have to share the character names, they're too juicy not to) who gets swept off her feet by the dashing and dark Sir Thomas Sharpe (played by the dashing and dark Tom Hiddleston) and subsequently carried off to his sinister Gothic mansion full all of the requisite spires and shadows with an incestuous-seeming Jessica Chastain as the Lady Lucille Sharpe sneaking amongst them. Charlie Hunnam plays an old friend of Edith's (named "Dr. Alan McMichael" and it doesn't get much more "decent" and "boring" and "doesn't stand a chance in hell" than that) who warns her against the lot of it.
Why We're Excited About it: Del Toro's said that this is his stab at making one of his small Spanish-language movies in English and, while I'll defend the Hellboys and Pacific Rim plenty, there's no denying his greatest works have been the smaller character-based oddities of The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth. The list of influences he cites on Peak - The Haunting, The Innocents, and The Shining - are all the precise titles we want to hear mentioned, while at the same time he says his aim is to deconstruct our genre expectations. Plus the cast is as talented as they are gorgeous (which is to say plenty) and if you've watched the pitch-perfect trailer then you've seen the spectacular costumes (those poofy sleeves!) they're running up and down the haunted staircases in as a storm blows the curtains and the fireplace goes out and man oh man do I love me a good old-fashioned Gothic haunted house movie!
What if it all Goes Wrong? As small as Del Toro kept saying he wanted this movie to be, the trailer is BIG, full of CG ghosts rising through floors and sets seemingly built all the way up to the thunderstruck heavens - even if it's contained to mostly the titular house and grounds I do worry that the filmmaker's well-documented giddiness over his subject might've maybe carried him away on a storm-cloud of everything-but-the-haunted-kitchen-sink and we'll lose the characters underneath those gorgeous poofy sleeves.
When: Carve your pumpkins and throw on your best velvet cape and head straight to the theater - the movie hits right when the movie should, just in time for All Hallows. Universal's got it slated for October 16th in the US.
#7 45 Years
#8 Bridge of Spies
#11 A Bigger Splash
#12 The Dressmaker
#13 The Hateful Eight
#14 Knight of Cups
#15 Arabian Nights
Sidebar 3 Animated Films
Sidebar 2 Tomorrowland
Sidebar 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron
Intro Pick a Blockbuster