When you think of skin-crawlingly sinister yet emotionally hefty cinema, the first name that springs to mind is undoubtedly veteran auteur Guillermo del Toro and his stylistic masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth.
A strong aesthetic has always been the mercurial Mexican’s calling card, sadly substance is sacrificed and we’re left caring little about our leads while distracted by the film’s striking beauty.
The cast excel despite a disjointed script and puffy, melodramatic direction – Wasikowska is pure, full of wonder, Hiddleston is dashingly swoon-worthy, yet possessing an ominous streak and Chastain is, well, downright terrifying. A banshee performance from an oft reserved performer.
The master of magic has created something wonderful to look at but emotionally null and void. If only del Toro sprinkled his fairy dust of yore over the script.
CAST: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam
DIRECTOR: Guillermo del Toro
WRITER: Guillermo del Toro
SYNOPSIS: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds… and remembers.