Video review: PENDING
Despite all the reviews that I have read on for this film, I actually enjoyed this. I was looking for the things people ‘complained’ about which were largely ‘weak characters but with stunning visuals’. I mean it is a given that the production design is top-notch because we are talking about Del Toro so it was easier to focus on what was considered as ‘weak’. And I have to say this movie really depends on what you as an audience is ‘looking for’.
If you bought into the whole advertisement of this movie being a Halloween film with crazy aesthetics and scares all around, you will be disappointed.
However, if you can be more open minded and really consider what Del Toro tried to do here, you will enjoy this much more.
First off, yes, this is not a horror film. There are no crazy ghost chasing people down to kill them left and right but rather these ghosts are here as your guides. Remember, this is a gothic film so of course the ghost apparitions are much more scary than say your friendly neighbour Casper the Ghost. One could argue that the stuff these ghosts do throughout the film was done poorly and not effectively but remember GOTHIC! and seriously, just buy the ghost logic of ‘if you die a horrible death, all you can do it come back in your corpse-form and point and speak the same words over and over again’.
Secondly, this is more of a love-tragedy film; think Shakespeare. The relationships between the three leads is a story we have seen before. Man marries woman. Man’s sister has plotting plans for this marriage. Woman is clueless. Just also add: Woman can see ghosts and they somewhat help her find out the plot. So yeah that’s basically the entire film and if you are fine with that for a plot, you’ll enjoy the film much more.
Lastly, go with the flow. There are certain things that you just have to accept here. Love, apparitions, and curiosity. This is not a film mar with logical chess moves. There are cliche ‘horror’ troupes here such as the ‘I heard a sound, it sounds strange but I’ll investigate regardless’ and its that innocence of the character that makes all this much more compelling.
I find the three cast really interesting and fun to watch. Sure there is hardly a real cast outside these three but I am satisfied with their performance. Jessica Chastain has always down nothing for me but she really shines here as she plays such a mysterious, intense creepy character. I am totally done for her playing a Bond villain (a dream of hers, apparently). Tom plays the charming smooth type of guy we all known since Loki and it plays well here though it is strange that he is always missing during those ‘sleepwalking’ sessions for Mia Wasikowska. And yes, our main lead, she plays an innocent, curious, determined young lady, despite the circumstances she goes through in this film and I was totally find with her figuring things out despite the fact that audiences knew the marriage was suspicious (which somewhat resembled a play and I enjoyed this aspect of the film).
So there you have it. How I felt about the film. Of course, there were flaws but they were excusable faults though like Tim says, Del Toro really should get someone to edit his scripts so we can be saved from the awkward dialogue and narration here and there. But all in all, I enjoyed this film and seriously you are missing out on something (you’ll get something out of it) if you simply didn’t go watch this cause it’s not the horror film that was advertise for this Halloween.