Film Corner: Seed of Chucky

Seed of Chucky
by Kissmate

I know Mother's Day isn't the same for all of us. I choose to end this day with a #KissmateWatches of Seed of Chucky, directed by Dan Mancini! Because topical! "Chucky and Tiffany are resurrected by their innocent gender-confused offspring, Glen/da, and hit Hollywood, where a movie depicting the killer dolls' murder spree is underway." Edited for clarity. I got nachos, my sweet lovely lovemate, and big bottle of soda. Let's start this!!

First impressions are everything, and our first look at the movie is.... sperm rushing to an egg that makes a CGI fetus with sharp teeth and an engraving of "Made In Japan" on its wrist. It's then born into a bright light and the next scene. We see a spoiled British child getting a present of the "ugliest doll" she's ever seen. At night, the doll wakes, grabs a knife, and starts murdering! Unfortunately, the doll awakens and it was all a dream.

Problem #1: The Main Character, Glen/da, has a running gag of pissing themselves. It happens SEVERAL times and is supposed to be seen as them being cowardly and awkward. It's just gross and unnecessary. We know he's cowardly from many other obvious clues. The living doll is woken up by the man who "owns" them so they can go on stage for their ventriloquist competition. The doll gets laughed at and is very clearly abused. (The doll's stage name is Shitface, ffs!) Problem #2: Made In Japan. Glen/da thinks they're Japanese because of the engraving on their wrist. Besides the later continuity errors, it feels very appropriative/weeaboo-ish. Like, he talks about his family possibly "serving the Emperor" or "being Zen Masters".

Film Corner: Bride of Chucky

Bride of Chucky
by Kissmate

Thursday... Funny, that almost rhymes with Bride... Let's do another #Kissmatewatches, this time with Bride of Chucky, dir by Ronny Yu! This is the first of a film duo that went for a more comedic horror genre than just thriller. Not a bad thing, but it does affect how one watches them. Now, instead of talking about how therapy would fix these issues, it's more "would a banana peel make this work better?" Anyway! Synopsis, courtesy of Amazon: "After Chucky is revived by a former lover, he transfers her spirit into a doll and enlists her help in a scheme to become human again."

Our first look is into a police evidence locker, and the tone is set up perfectly as we get good long looks at horror slasher Easter eggs. Michael's white mask, Jason's mask, Freddy's knife glove, a chainsaw, and a bloody drill. (I don't follow that last one.) We follow a cop who replaces one bag of evidence for another and drive away in the pouring rain. He calls up a woman.

Cop: "I got the thing. Bring me my money."
Woman: "See you soon. Oh and remember, curiosity killed the cat."

The cop, Bailey, lights up a cigarette as he waits. The temptation to look in the bag is too much, but just as he touches the bag- STATIC KSSSSH DROP CIGARETTE oh it was just the radio... He looks into the bag, this time seeing something confusing. We never know his real feelings as his throat is slit. A woman in fishnet stockings, tight leather skirt, leather jacket/corset, black collar- wow she's hot, filing her nails with the blood-covered file. She takes Bailey's lighter and struts off with the bag.

I'm going to say this now: Jennifer Tilly owns this role. She makes this whole "Bad Serial Killer Bitch" work for her, high-pitched voice be damned. And she looks SO GOOD doing it! (Whoever picked "Living Dead Girl" as her strut song gets my approval!) We see that she's into dolls and Charles Lee Ray as she "restores" Chucky to a Frankensteinesque state. We then cut over to- AHHH IT'S TED KILL KILL KI- Um, sorry, John Ritter is playing the Cop-Uncle Kincaid. If you're not prepared, it's the scariest part. (Editor's Note: John Ritter's scariest role was as "Ted" on the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)

A young man named David has come courting for Chief Kincaid's niece, Jade. David seems very nice, but we learn is secretly a cover-up for her REAL boyfriend, Jesse, as David is VERY gay. "I think my uncle was in love." "Yuk! I am so over the whole uniform thing." Alas, Kincaid saw through the ploy and sent a squad car to pull them over to make sure it was all real. And they get busted. (Also, this soundtrack is so far the best one. Not to knock on the others! Just... this one is clearly having some rock fun!)

Our wonderful goth girl, Tiff, reads a Voodoo book for Dummies to bring back Chucky. It doesn't seem to work. Her new boyfriend comes by to brag about his "murder" (faked). Tiff notices the Chucky doll isn't where she left it. She bites her nails in anticipation. Oh my god, Tiff is such a Dominant Top. I can see a lot of people wanting to be her.... what's the word? Bottom? Sub? Obedient Little Fly in Her Web? IDK. Tiff ties down her "boyfriend" and while she strips, she tells him about how Chucky and her were dating a long time before he was placed in a doll. When BF comments about how he could do better, Chucky kills him for his impertinence.

It is kinda funny how they have a reunion talk while Chucky is smothering the BF with a pillow. It does seem like they were genuinely in love. Back to the teenagers, Uncle Kincaid comes by to pick up Jade from the police stop. He cares about who Jades dates because of how it'll look on him, not about how she'll be happy or safe. He's playing the best douchebag he knows: the Ted kind. For those unsure what I mean by Ted, there's a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode where John Ritter plays (without spoilers) an abusive and misogynistic man. He's basically playing that some role here. Kincaid takes Jade away in his squad car while threatening Jesse. "I'm the chief of police. I can do whatever I want." ACAB.

Tiff shows Chucky around her trailer, even showing off the ring he left. "The ring I got from Vivian Van Pelt? I dumped her in the river. That thing was worth 5-6 grand, easy." He then laughs at her for being so foolish into thinking he was going to marry her. Since Tiff is a very sensible woman with an even temper, she calls him a baby and puts him into a play pen that she locks up. Chucky tries to reason that he'll marry her, really. "Sorry, I'm not into short guys." Tiff then goes into how she's been a "prisoner of love" for him. "But now it's payback time." She goes into her room and plays Crazy by Kidney Thieves while letting herself cry over the heartbreak of ten wasted years, if not more.

The next morning, we see Tiff moving a footlocker with a lot of trouble. Jesse, her neighbor, is fortunately there to help out. Yes, the same Jesse who is Jade's boyfriend. She never flirts with him, but you can tell there's an underlying tease. "Oh yeah, it's heavy, but you can do it!" The footlocker contains the body of the dead BF from the night before. So Jesse helping Tiff out is a little funny as they talk about the contents. Tiff then gives Jesse some advice: "A woman spends all day slaving over a hot stove for a man, the least he can do is the dishes." This advice will be recurring throughout the film, so fair warning.

Tiff comes back with a Bride Doll for Chucky to "marry". Chucky clearly isn't happy with her taunts. While Tiff watches Bride of Frankenstein in her tub, Chucky breaks out and starts on his revenge. This leads to her electrocution as the TV falls in the water. Chucky puts her soul into the bride doll to complete his revenge, and to have a permanent sidekick to help him get a body. Tiff freaks out at first, but once there's a goal (an amulet on Chucky's body in New Jersey), she focuses and calms down.

After calling up Jesse and promising to pay him if he delivers some dolls for her, Tiff takes this time to "doll" herself up. "Barbie, eat your heart out." Can I say the puppetry is AMAZING? Cause it is! SHE HAS WORKING DIMPLES! AND KISSY LIPS. HE HAS EYEBROWS! Jesse picks up the dolls with money on the brain. He picks up Jade and shows her the cash. "Marry me. I can put a down payment on an apartment. I'll get a job." "I say I do." She runs off to pack so they can romantically elope.

Meanwhile, Chucky is making jerk-off motions and snide comments (some fatphobic). Tiff, on the other hand smacking Chucky for being rude and commenting on how romantic it is. How did these two get together again? Kincaid, who we thought wasn't at home, tries to break into Jesse's van to plant weed (ACAB). Jesse is smart and LOCKED his van, so Kincaid has to go get the Car Lockout Tool. This gives our lovable serial killers some time to prepare quite a lethal scare. Chucky and Tiffany stab Kincaid with airbag-powered nails and toss him into a convenient bench-seat-chest. Jesse and Jade drive off, none the wiser.

Unfortunately, it's not long until Kincaid's lackey pulls them over under Kincaid's earlier order. Jade begs him to let them go. "Is it part of your usual salary to follow us around, or does my uncle pay you extra?" "Extra." (Fuckin ACAB.) Jade takes a swing at Needlenose the Cop while Chucky gets high off the planted evidence baggie. While Needlenose goes through the van, Chucky throws the bag to distract him from looking at Kincaid's "hidey-hole". It works... unfortunately.

Chucky takes matters into his own hands, as usual, and blows up the cop-car with a shirt in the gastank and a lighter as a fuse. Needlenose goes out screaming soprano. Jesse and Jade book it out of there. Now comes the interesting part: no one knows who did it. Jade thinks it was Jesse. Jesse thinks it was Jade. David thinks it might be both of them. Or neither? The news is saying that Bailey's lighter was found at Needlenose's car. Hmmm! Jade and Jesse stop to get eloped, and Chucky and Tiff talk about how they plan to take over the couple's bodies. It's interrupted with Kincaid popping out of the chest, screaming at living dolls! Tiff screams for Chucky to kill it, like if he was a spider.

While Jade and Jesse try to figure out what kind of murders are going on and who is doing them, a random couple come in and aggressively assert themselves into their room. Turns out, they're a couple of con artists who Tiff finds stealing from Jesse. Not cool. Tiff whispers to Chucky that the female thief "doesn't deserve to wear that ring". Tiff has an odd black-and-white view of love and relationships that I feel is worth going into. Tiff is a romantic who believes in sex-only-with-love. No casual one-night stands in her book. These thieves seemed ready to sleep with strangers if they were prepared to swing that way. Not to mention they was messing with Tiff's ride. They are dead meat.

We also get an odd look into the thieving couple as she bickers that he didn't take her to the right hotel where they could get better marks. A relationship where the man takes the woman for granted? That's another no-no in Tiff's book! Tiff kills them by throwing a glass bottle into the mirrored ceiling over their waterbed. As the waves of bloody water lap at his shoes, Chucky looks to Tiff and proclaims his love. He grabs the woman's ring and proposes right there. Tiff cries happy tears.

Tiff: "Wait, I'm crying! I wonder if all the plumbing works."
Chucky: "I don't know about you, but I'm starting to feel like Pinocchio over here. I am anatomically correct, ya know."
Tiff: "Oooh!"

Jade calls David to vent about her feelings. She's interrupted by Jesse calling David so he can do the same thing. They both believe the other is a murderer, but don't want to send for the cops. David finds this hilarious, I think. Jade and Jesse are woken by housekeeping screaming at finding the Dolls' handiwork. They still believe the other did it, to the point of trying to have the healthy conversation of "I love you, but this is breaching a limit". David interrupts with a jump-scare. David travels with them to explain that both Jade and Jesse have a terrible misunderstanding and NEITHER of them are murderers. In fact, David thinks that KINCAID is the murderer as he's only "missing" as far as anyone knows! Not a bad story!

Unfortunately, David finds Kincaid's body stashed in the very van they're riding in (Jade and Jesse don't know about this) and panics. He grabs Kincaid's gun and forces them to pull over. Now he believes they're both killers! However, the Dolls' pull out their own guns (from the thieves?) to reveal themselves. [cw: bury the gays trope] When David sees the two dolls come to life, he freaks out so hard, he steps into highway traffic. An 18-wheeler runs over him, taking him out of this movie for good. (I like to think he was rushed to the hospital and got a hot nurse boyfriend.)

The dolls take charge and evade any police on their tail. Jade and Jesse get monologued at about the whole plan to move into their bodies. Afterwards, they kill an old couple to steal their RV. The police are looking for the van, after all. We see Tiff moving around the RV, cooking and baking for Chucky while dressing Jade up in makeup that Tiff likes. Jesse, the current driver, sees how the dishes are piling up and gets a clever plan.

Chucky: "If I'd known that marriage was so great, I would've NEVER waited this long to tie the knot!"
Jesse: "Not much of a housekeeper."
Chucky: "Tiff! Those dishes aren't going to wash themselves."
Jade: "You were nice enough to cook. Least he can do is wash."

Tiff explodes like the goth bombshell I know her to be. Chucky explodes back and the screaming match begins. Jade and Jesse use this distraction to shove Chucky out the window and Tiff into the oven. They used no words to coordinate this. Give them a hand, guys!! Jesse crashes the RV (oops) where Jade is still tied up, and a blackened Tiff springs out of the oven to attack. Jesse comes to her rescue and manages to get everyone out before the RV goes up in a ball of gasoline-fueled fire.

We're not done yet, though. Jade and Chucky run off while Jesse grabs Tiff and follows after. Chucky makes Jade open Charles Lee Ray's casket to get the Voodoo Amulet that will help the Dolls'. Jesse calls him out and the two men make a hostage exchange. Chucky wounds Jesse and gets two guns! He ties Jade and Jesse up while Tiff watches. Something is telling her this isn't right. As Chucky chants, Tiff asks for a kiss. During the kiss, she takes a knife and stabs Chucky. "Don't you see, Chucky? We belong dead."

Jade frees herself and Jesse, then embraces him. Chucky didn't like the stab, so he fights with Tiff for a bit. It ends with him stabbing her chest and leaving her to die. That was enough for Jesse to swing a shovel at Chucky to put him in his own grave. A cool detail is how Chucky is grossed out by seeing his own rotten corpse. It has no reason to be there, but it is fun to watch him freak out and squirm at how unpleasant his own dead body is.

A cop comes by, finding Jesse and Jade pointing a gun down a grave. When he looks down, he's very surprised at what he sees. Jade takes his gun and shoots all the bullets into Chucky's body. "I always come back! But dying is such a bitch." The cop on scene tells the two lovebirds to go home. He knows they didn't do it and will try to help them. He looks at Tiff, all burned and messy. When he tries to pick her up, she starts screaming! As she wails, her stomach bursts with blood and a small, sharp-toothed baby crawls out of her skirt, crying in anger! The End!

Holy Fuck, that ending is always so weird! Either way, that was a fun, comedic romp through a Chucky movie, and I was glad to be here! They knew how to use their Jennifer Tilly, let me tell ya! Great puppetry, great effects, great dialog, great everything! Worth a watch, indeed! 9/10, I didn't pull all the jokes in here, so you have something to look forward to when you watch it yourself!

Film Corner: The Silence & A Quiet Place

The Silence & A Quiet Place

[Previously on Twitter!] Dear Hollywood: Please stop casting hearing actors as Deaf characters. It takes me out of the movie so quickly when the Deaf character so clearly isn't, and it's almost always really easy to tell, so miss me with the whole "ANYBODY CAN ACT ANY PART" because that's not working.

We're watching The Silence on Netflix even though it has a hearing actress as a Deaf character AND the plot is bonkers-bread, because we thought it could at least be good ASL practice for me. IT IS NOT. Kissmate had to leave the room when they signed "sweetheart" (the endearment) as "sugary chest-muscle". Not the same thing! Not the same signs! It looks like they googled the sign for "sweet" and the sign for "heart" and stuck them together without realizing that "sweetheart" has its own unique sign.

Oh my god this movie is so bad? They've encountered the attracted-to-sound monsters (they look like little pink dragons) and they're sitting in their silent car trying to figure out what to do and they KEEP TALKING when they could be signing! They all supposedly know ASL!!

Setting: Monsters attracted to sound are killing everyone on earth.

Characters: Wholesome multi-generational family who all know ASL.


Why not just have them all sign and subtitle the signing the way you would subtitle any foreign language? Why are they talking out loud? Oh thank god, they finally did that: Stanley Tucci signed a sentence and they subtitled it. Thank you, Fictional Dad. (The fact that it took them THIS LONG to think of that is just!!) They're....they're randomly alternating between signing (good, quiet) and talking (bad, deadly) and it's....why would you do this thing, my friends. Why.

Dad (signing): "Listen. They can't see, only hear."

Daughter: (spoken) "Dad." (signing) "I know how to live in silence."

No? Honey? You don't? Like, Deaf reviewers have pointed out that Deaf people don't know how much sound they're making, because they can't hear it. It feels like they wanted her hearing-loss trauma to be, like, a special super ability and it is making me Uncomfortable. Several of you are telling me that The Quiet Place does this better and so I guess I need to watch that. (I had previously avoided it because of Pregnancy Trauma, but I can deal.)

They- They clearly wrote the words first and then tried to do literal sign-for-word translation. Instead of writing the sign language first and subtitling it with an appropriate spoken English translation. So, like, he just said "I know you may hate me for a long time" and did the sign for "long" and the sign for "time", but you wouldn't combine them like that. They did "time" as in a watch-time, not timeline-time. Kissmate says the signage here would be more natural to say something like "I KNOW YOU NOT-LIKE ME FUTURE" than to do the tapping-wrist sign for wristwatch time.

Mom and Gma are talking rather than signing, because... I don't know why, lolsob. There's some intrigue with grandma being on the verge of death due to mysterious cigarettes and an (asthma?) inhaler. They're very coy and unclear about it all. The family finds a house in the middle of nowhere that they hope to use to take shelter. The owner gets herself killed by dragon-bats so, hey, free house for our protagonists. They're still alternating signs and whispers. Mom nearly gets herself killed by dragon-bats, so Dad turns on a nearby woodchipper and the dragons fly accommodatingly into the chipper. What a convenient coincidence!

This is an extremely nice house they just inherited through contrived coincidence! Mom's wound looks bad. Gma announces that she needs antibiotics. I am wondering how you know it's bacterial and not, like, a toxin or venom or poison or whatever. Now they are signing WHILE talking even though the Deaf girl isn't in the same room, and there are bats outside, and I JUST.

Dad and Daughter have walked into a nearby town (how did they know where to go?) looking for antibiotics. A menacing man stands on a roof and stares at them. Surely he has better priorities than two drifters. OH MY GOD THE DRAGONS LAY EGGS IN PEOPLE'S TUMMIES. EW EW EW. The menacing man meets them outside and asks them to join his flock, "The Hushed". Daughter signs "he's weird" and I'm like...honey, he might be able to read that, you know.

Instead of wisely being like "yes, absolutely, we just need to drop off these meds first and then we'll come back to hear your sales pitch", Dad and Daughter blow him off so presumably he's going to swear vengeance and haunt them for the rest of the movie. Nobody in movies has any goddamn sense for how to manage an apocalypse except maybe Kurt Russell in THE THING.

Reverend Creepy has come to the house with 6 adults, so instead of inviting them inside (where they can surround and contain them) Dad goes outside all by his lonesome. I assume Dad will soon die. Cult Leader pressures Dad to "join us" and then adds "the girl is fertile". Kissmate is screaming. Dad walks back into the house. Me, I'd lie my ass off and be like "naw, her uterus was removed after a car crash" because fuck THAT. Dad comes back out with a shotgun that he can't use because, you know, there's dragon-bats. The cult silently mocks him and walk off into the evening.

Weird detail: The cult cuts peoples' tongues out, but... you can still make noise? So you're running the risk of infection or bleeding out, AND making it harder to eat, for NO benefit in terms of increased silence. At night during a thunderstorm, a little girl with a missing tongue (see: cult) shows up on their doorstep. Everyone tends to her while Daughter sleeps alone in her room. The girl has been booby-trapped with dozens of phones which start ringing. Meanwhile, a phone has been taped to Daughter's window. Chaos ensues and many phones meet an untimely end in a bucket of water.

If they care so much about fertile girls, why send a girl as the suicide-phone-vest victim? You'd think they'd send a little boy. Or a moderately large cat. I don't know. Whatever. Daughter gets kidnapped by cultists. Gma runs after them, manhandles the cultists to the ground, and screams to call the dragons to her. It's a very touching sacrifice, ruined by Daughter being re-kidnapped two seconds later. Violence ensues. The family stabs the cultists to death. Now they walk north because the dragons can't handle cold. Daughter's boyfriend texts her. She smiles.

Daughter voice-overs that "we know the vesps don't like the cold. But will they evolve and adapt as I did?" I- You- No. No. That was bad and it should feel bad. I won't watch A Quiet Place tonight, but I will soon, ok? It's sadly hilarious to me that after an ENTIRE THREAD about a movie being bad because the signing is balls and the Deaf character is clearly hearing, randos are still replying to me that "it's called ACTING! anyone can play ANY PART!" Clearly hearing actors cannot *act* Deaf, that's the problem!

Ok, I promised you all that I would watch A Quiet Place since it has a similar plot to The Silence but has an actual Deaf actress and not just hearing people pretending badly. Yes! Right off the bat, the first communication in the movie is ASL signed and subtitled. Correctly! Very pleased! Minor criticism so far: a lot of the camera work is close up on the faces so half the signs are lost, and therefore hard to follow. But they seem right? Righter than The Silence.

OH HOLY SHIT. WHAT THE FUCK. OH MY GOD. That monster was WAY CREEPIER than the little pink dragon-bats!!

Wow, they're really doing an amazing job establishing a family that DOES NOT TALK. Amazing.

Okay, um. I do feel a little like they're interweaving the tragedy of the apocalypse (real, valid) with the "tragedy" of the family not being able to talk to each other anymore, and I don't like that? I want MORE signs, if that makes sense, and less tragic silence. They... they aren't communicating a lot and I realize that some of that stems from the massive tragedy they've endured both in the general apocalyptic sense and in the personal sense, but it feels like *some* of that failure to communicate is because they tragically Cannot Talk, and I don't really like that. It makes me think of movies where disabled people hate their wheelchair because it's "constricting" when in real life most disabled people like our mobility aids because they let us *move*.

I guess another way to say what I'm saying is... The Silence had bad ASL (very very very bad) but they at least signed sentences. The people here, so far, are more...meaningful looks, nods, a word or two. Not full sentences or conversations like I'd expect. Hell, *I* use more ASL than they do, and I'm just learning. I love being able to use signs to communicate what I want when my stutter is acting up or we're in a situation where we can't talk. It feels *freeing*, not constricting, to be able to communicate your thoughts in more ways than one! Maybe the issue is just that this is occurring against a tragic apocalyptic backdrop. Maybe I need this in a romcom format.

Ok, they're signing a little bit more now, so I like that!

Madam, your water broke FIVE MINUTES AGO and now you have a baby, please explain.

Okay, see, The Silence had terrible ASL but it had some good ideas? They introduced the concept of "phone bomb" so now we're very curious why these folks haven't tried that. Set up a phone to go off, attract the monsters, and snipe them from a nest. Or dynamite. Or gasoline fire. We have IDEAS. This movie seems to be more about living with / coexisting alongside the monsters, and it feels a little like the humans accepted that and gave up a bit too quickly. ALSO, MAYBE CLOSE YOUR FUCKING FRONT DOOR SO THEY DON'T CRAWL INSIDE.

No, but all you needed to do was hold still and stay quiet!! How is that so hard!!

Ok, the ending was very boss, though.

Very good signing, extremely glad they had multiple ASL experts assisting, very pleased with the Deaf actress who was wonderful. Not sure what else to say so I'll just sign (ha!) off here.

Film Corner: Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak

We have a few hours until parents come, so it's time to watch Crimson Peak for the first time on Netflix. The live-action Alice in Wonderland actress starts off by telling us that ghosts are definitely real and she saw her first one when she was a 10 year old girl and it was her mom. I've been informed that this is a Ghost Movie I should be able to watch. We'll see.

OH THAT IS NOT OKAY WHAT THE FUCK. *coughs* Okay. Um. That was a well-done ghost scene. Terrifying without a jump-scare, which is hard to do and I respect! Ghost-Mom (who looks like a Femme Grim Reaper in a good way) snuggles up to her in bed and tells her to Beware Crimson Peak.

Kissmate: "Do I know that guy?" Me: "It's Channing Tatum, imagine him with space opera elf-ears." (Editor's Note: It is not Channing Tatum.) A group of catty women compare Alice to Jane Austen ("she died a spinster") and Alice says she'd rather be Mary Shelley ("she died a widow"). Kissmate: "She also lost her virginity on her mother's grave so go live that dream, girl!" Those mutton-chop Ariel sleeves on her dress, I die.

Her manuscript is read and dismissed by an older man who wants her to include a romance subplot because she's a woman. Stab him with a fountain pen, Alice! She's figured out that she needs a typewriter because her handwritten is too feminine and gives her away to the misogynistic reader looking for a reason to dismiss her. Then Loki's actor walks in. Kissmate is stammering. Tom Hiddleston immediately establishes chemistry with Alice because he likes her ghost story!

Tom is some kind of...clay baron? His clay makes the strongest bricks and tiles, but they've over-mined the area and have to dig deeper. Tom has a new clay machine that he wants to show off to...investors? The investors are dismissive jerks to him. "In America we bank on effort, not privilege." and I start screaming and laughing until I fall off the couch. Kissmate politely pauses the movie until I recover. American exceptionalism never stops being amusing.

AHHHHHHHH okay Alice's- sorry, *Edith* is her name, so I will endeavor to use that from here on. Edith's dead mother-ghost comes back to scream at her about Crimson Peak some more. A maid interrupts to say that Tom is here. Tom convinces Edith to go to a fancy dress party (that her father is at and that she didn't want to go to) with him in order to help him with all the Americans that he doesn't understand. Edith likes wounded puppies and men with sad faces, so she agrees.

The party-ladies are catty at Edith because they want to land Baronet Tom for themselves, but Tom only has eyes for Edith and asks her to dance. (Kissmate, gasping: "Is- Is this a Jane Austen novel now?" Me: "I'm pretty sure that (waltzing) candle has gone out a couple times." Kissmate: "It's a trick wick and let me have this.") This is great and we love it. The American girls are livid that Edith has snagged Baronet Tom with her blond and bookish wiles. I love the entire scene. It is so good.

Edith's Banker Dad doesn't have a good feel about Baronet Tom and his sister. He sends a private eye to check them out because "something doesn't feel right about them." Channing Tatum talks about latent images in photographs and thinks ghosts are a function of... impressions left in the earth and minerals. Or something? I am not following this technobabble well AT ALL.

Tom and Edith go to the park for a walk and his sister Lucille talks for a bit about how nature is just things dying and feeding on each other. It's utterly ludicrous and makes no sense and I love it? (Edith likes butterflies but Lucille says they only have moths where they live. The moths, she says, eat butterflies. But you just said you don't have butterflies?? Whatever, it's ominous and great.) Lucille and Tom have an Ominous Conversation about Edith being "too young" but Tom wants to go ahead with The Plan. We don't know what the plan is, of course.

At a dinner party, Tom seems about to propose to Edith but Banker Dad wants to talk to Tom and Lucille about the results from his Private Eye. Banker Dad says "that document" is why he doesn't like Tom. Dad explains no one else knows this, he's the only one, and if anything happens to him they'll get away scot-free. Oh, Dad, you're not very genre-savvy are you. He offers to bribe them to go away; surprisingly me utterly, Tom agrees. He breaks Edith's heart over dinner whilst announcing that he's leaving to return to England alone. For extra cruelty, he makes her cry by criticizing her manuscript overly-harshly.

Oh, there we go! Tom takes the next morning to murder Banker Dad in the baths. (Kissmate: "No, that's the sister!" I genuinely can't tell!) (Editor's Note: It was, indeed, the sister!) Meanwhile, I'm informed that's not actually Channing Tatum as the actor who is the Childhood Friend love interest, but they could be twins, my god. Tom wisely pretends to come clean with Edith, writing her a letter explaining that her father insisted that he "break her heart" and that he did so in order to prove to her father that he really loves her. Edith runs to his hotel room to find him. Edith has a brief moment of perfect happiness with Tom's confession of love before police show up to take her to the morgue to identify her father's deeply mangled corpse.

This morgue scene is troubling to me in ways I'm struggling to describe. Childhood Friend believes there may have been some foul play but Edith has an emotional breakdown and prevents him from examining the body further. Tom takes her under his sheltering wing. I can't quite get a handle on Edith's personality; she's wise yet childish, unfeminine yet overly sentimental, logical yet emotional. She doesn't like the gentry (calls them "parasites") but daydreams about the first Baronet she meets. I'm not saying there aren't people like this or that she's unrealistic, but it's hard for my autistic mind to get a...grip on. She's slippery in a way that doesn't feel familiar to me personally. I guess it's supposed to be innocence and inexperience coupled with trauma.

Edith returns to England with Tom as his bride, where the manor gates are rusted and the land is orange clay. The elderly servant who greets them reacts to Tom's announcement ("this is my wife") with "I know sir, you've been married a while." Ominous. A doggy shows up and Edith immediately imprints on it. LOL, I was *joking* when I said she likes wounded puppies!

THE MANSION HAS NO ROOF? No, no, no, I am staying at the local Motel 6. "The wood is rotting and the house is sinking." PLEASE DO NOT LIVE HERE. (Kissmate: "The house is literally breathing and bleeding.") Did... did he reveal all this to her first? Tom immediately runs up to his workshop, which is always a good sign in a young happy marriage.

Edith takes a moment to remove her hat, which gives her a glimpse into the local insect population dying in the corners and... a ghost in the mirror. The ghost takes an elevator up to a higher floor. Lucille shows up to say hi and is generally pretty frosty to Edith and refuses to give her a copy of the house keys. (Kissmate: "Is there incest going on? I think there's incest going on.")

THE PIPES BLEED. Lucille talks with Tom about the dog. It was "left out" to die and she draws a comparison to the scraps it lived on with the scraps they're surviving on. Edith sits in the bath and plays fetch with a ball the dog found. Did the dog come with, like, another bride in the past? And that's why it has a ball in the house? NO NO NO NO ABSOLUTELY NOT. A red ghost that seems very unsteady on her feet visits the bathroom to scream at Edith.

Edith wakes up and goes downstairs to talk to Lucille, who tells her about their childhood and their utterly terrifying mother. Lucille doesn't admit to killing mother, but her eyes tell us she has. Back in America, Childhood Friend sees that Banker Dad's last check in his checkbook was written to Tom. He broods moodily. Edith goes up to the workshop and like Tom's little toys, which causes Tom to kiss her passionately. Lucille interrupts in a very pointedly interrupty way. This is why we don't live with our incest-sister after marriage, Tom.

Edith wakes up in the middle of the night to find Tom missing. She goes out with a red candle to look for him so we know shit's going down- OH MY GOD NO FUCK OFF RED GHOST. NOT OKAY NOT COOL. Just- Just a red face trying to push its way out the door. Edith opens the door and finds wax cylinder recordin- NO NO NO NO. THERE IS A RED GHOST CRAWLING THROUGH THE FLOOR TOWARD HER AND KISSMATE AND I ARE SCREAMING IN UNISON.

EDITH GOT IN THE ELEVATOR BUT ACCIDENTALLY WENT DOWN INSTEAD OF UP AND THIS IS THE BAD PLACE. THERE IS SCREAMING. DO NOT LIKE. Edith finds an old travel case that says "E.S." and the name "Enola". Enola Sharpe? (Tom's surname is Sharpe.) Somehow we smash-cut to outside and Tom playing with his clay-digging machine. Edith runs to him and asks if anyone has died violently in the house. Tom puts her off without answers.

Tom muses for a bit then off-handedly drops that people 'round here call the place "Crimson Peak". Would've been nice to know that earlier! Or Ghost Mom could've been more specific!! Edith stands on the moor and sees a red ghost pointing into the distance. She wakes up coughing blood. WHAT. Is it the tea he keeps feeding her? THERE IS A RED GHOST IN MY BATHTUB. NO. NO.

Ok, look, I am not a superstitious person but if a ghost tells me to "leave here now" then I am GOING TO THE MOTEL 6. Tom and Lucille tell her that she can't leave the house (well, not permanently -- Tom is taking her on an outing to the post office) and secretly whisper "how does she know about Mother?"

The post office apparently doubles as the local Motel 6, and a storm keeps Tom and Edith there overnight. Meanwhile in America, Childhood Friend meets with the Private Eye. Private Eye has a newspaper clipping about a Lady Sharp being slain in the bathtub in 1879. If only I remembered what THIS date is supposed to be, lol. Mother? Previous wife? Gonna go with Mother. Ah, yes, there we go. Her own children were left motherless, et cetera.

There's also a civil document noting that Tom is already married, which is why Banker Dad wanted him to dump Edith and leave. The bride's name was Pamela Upton, 34 year old "Spinster", married to 20yo Thomas Sharpe. Lucille Sharp was a witness as was Benjamin Williams (the elderly servant who seemed confused?). The marriage cert is dated 1837? Wait, that can't be right. 1837 for the marriage but 1879 for the Mother's death? I must've read one of those wrong, sorry, hang on a moment. Ah, okay, the cert says 1836-1888. The witness signature is '87.

If he was 20 in '87, then he would've been 12 in '79 when his mother died. I think I did that right. One of the legal documents appears to be in Italian and Edith just got a mysterious letter from Milan. INTERESTING. Back at the post office, Edith asks if they couldn't leave the mansion forever please. She left *her* house, why can't he leave his? She names some pretty cities and he pauses meaningfully when she rattles off "Milan". INTERESTING.

Okay, I do not mean to be That Guy, but what does she SEE in this guy besides the wounded puppy eyes? Like, yes, Tom Hiddleston is very pretty, but what do they TALK about. ANYWAY, they have the Good Sex while Kissmate opines that the lesson of Rebecca and Crimson Peak is to know exactly who you're marrying before you marry them. They go back to the manor and there is SNOW ON THE FLOOR, I am sorry but MOTEL 6.

Lucille nearly has a breakdown at the two of them having slept at the post office and just about kills Edith with a hot pan. She recovers by claiming she was scared for the two of them being lost in the storm. Edith sees a key that says "Enola" on Lucille's key ring and swipes it. GOOD GIRL. I'm starting to think that these sorts of stories have to happen to young teenage / twenty-year-olds because at this point in my life I would out-bitch Lucille or Danvers or whoever you like. Like, bitch, get out of my FACE.

The letter from Milan is addressed to "Lady E. Sharp" but it's for Enola, not Edith. Oh god. Edith has a useful flashback to Banker Dad regarding all the places Tom tried and failed to raise money in. Milan was one of them. THERE IS A BODY IN THE CLAY WELLS IN THE BASEMENT but Edith doesn't see it. Lucille notices the Enola key is gone. She tracks down Edith and conspicuously leaves her key ring for Edith to put the Enola key back. IT'S A TRAP.

Edith combines the wax cylinders and a gramophone that she found in Enola's luggage. Pamela's voice coaxes Tom to say she loves her. Tom hedges and recites childish rhymes instead. Pamela's voice explains on the cylinders that all "they" want is her money for their infernal clay machine. Edith sees pictures of the dog, the tea, and... a baby? "The poison is in the tea!" Edith is smart enough to run for the doors, but a snowstorm prevents her leaving. She collapses and wakes up in bed.

Lucille feeds her breakfast while Edith refuses to drink the tea. Tom shows up and takes the tea away, telling her never to drink it. Okay. He has brought her Mother's wheelchair. Tom and Lucille have a fight about their Murder Plot and Lucille kisses him and insists that he never leave her. Meanwhile, Childhood Friend is at the post office and on his way to the manor. Do British people have food that isn't tea and poisoned porridge? NO NO NO THERE IS A RED GHOST WITH A BABY.

Edith is gentle with the ghost and asks what Enola wants. The ghost points through a door. Edith walks through and hears Lucille singing. OH, that's an incest handjob. Lucille pushes Edith over a ledge and six whole inches of snow broke her fall. She wakes up with Childhood Friend binding her wounds. Not-Channing is thankfully smart enough to notice that the wedding ring has been ripped off Edith's finger and is on Lucille's hand now. Bless him.

Lucille and Tom corner him, so Not-Channing spills the beans. Their mom was murdered when Tom was 12 and Lucille was 14. Tom is married several times over and has been poisoning his wives. Lucille stabs him under the arm and he bleeds out, thus removing my favorite character from the movie. Goddammit. Tom takes the knife and asks the doctor "Show me where." To...make it quick? or to fake his death? I'm not sure. Apparently Not-Channing is fine despite two stab wounds. Well, bless him.

Meanwhile, Lucille burns Edith's writings while waiting for her to sign her fortune over. Why is Edith signing? I would sign "FUCK YOU BITCH" as many times over as I needed. Ah, Kissmate is happy that he was right about who murdered Banker Dad. It was the sister. That's enough of a revelation to make Edith pen-stab Lucille. Tom burns the Money Paper and offers to Lucille that they can leave the bleeding house. Lucille stabs him in the face and he dies while crying tears of blood.

Lucille barrels around screaming and waving a knife at Edith and see? THIS is why I don't like ghosts! Vampires and werewolves would be HELPFUL in this situation, but ghosts? They don't get involved when you really need them! Again, I feel like this is why gothic horror really requires *young* women because if Jessica Chastain ran at me with a hatchet while hissing, after all this shit, I would laugh and ENJOY cutting her to pieces with my little butter knife.

Just go in the house and lock the doors! She can die of exposure out here! Laugh at her from the upper floor windows! Throw a chamber pot at her! Do you have chamber pots? Edith kills Lucille via shovel and walks into the snowstorm with a surprisingly resilient Childhood Friend, who I'm pleased to see is still alive. I assume they will marry and have fat pretty babies.

I do appreciate that movie avoided cheap jump scares! And I did like that the ghosts were red like the clay, that was good. I will say that I am a HUGE baby about ghost movies and this was nice because all the ghost scenes were pretty well telegraphed, there were basically no "jump-scares" where they come at the screen, and the music didn't "BLARGH!" at you too loudly. Like, we still screamed! a lot! But it was manageable. I don't know what to do with the Incest Murder Baby part, that was weird. Uh, trigger warning for a barely-mentioned dead baby in the past?

Just a reminder that this is the best post ever written about this movie: Movie Yelling With Nicole.