The Yellow Wallpaper (film)

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The Yellow Wallpaper
TheYellowWallpapermovieposter.png
Directed byLogan Thomas
Written byLogan Thomas
Aric Cushing
Based onThe short story by
Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Produced byLogan Thomas
Aric Cushing
StarringAric Cushing
Juliet Landau
Alex Schemmer
Dale Dickey
Veronica Cartwright
Michael Moriarty
Raymond J. Barry
Jessi Case
Gena Kay
Joseph Williamson
Music byLogan Thomas
Release date
  • January 2011 (2011-01)
Running time
115 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

The Yellow Wallpaper is a 2011 Gothic thriller film directed by Logan Thomas.[1][2][3][4][5] It is based on the 1892 short story of the same name written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.[6]

Synopsis[edit]

The film The Yellow Wallpaper was directed by Logan Thomas in 2011 however the film is an origin story rather than a direct adaptation of the famous Charlotte Perkins Gilman story,[6] drawing from the original short story and a number of Gilman's other gothic works such as The Giant Wisteria and The Unwatched Door.[7] Therefore, the film is an original narrative of events that unfold around the actual writing of “The Yellow Wallpaper”.[8][9] The film's plot is greatly expanded from the bare bones of Gilman's often-anthologized short story.[10][11] It stars Juliet Landau as Charlotte and Aric Cushing (as her husband John), Golden Globe winner Michael Moriarty as Mr. Hendricks, Veronica Cartwright, Raymond J. Barry, and Independent Spirit Award winner Dale Dickey. The story surrounds Charlotte and John, who retreat to a countryside house in an attempt to start their life over after a devastating fire takes the life of their daughter.[12] Soon the spirit of the deceased Sarah and other spirits are haunting the place.[13]

Plot[edit]

Charlotte, a writer, and her husband John, a doctor, retreat to a countryside house with Charlottes well educated sister Jennie in an attempt to start their life over after a devastating fire takes the life of their daughter Sarah as well as all of their money and possessions. The house is full of dusty and rotten books, furniture, clothing, etc. John attempts to go into town to make money and runs into an older couple complaining of the rats in the town. John then checks the house for rats and finds some underneath the house. At night, Charlotte begins to go to the attic to write as the interesting wallpaper[14] sparks ideas. John awakes one night to find a man in the house. He attempts to find the man in the house but fails. The next night, Charlotte, John, and Jennie hear a man stomping on the roof. John goes outside to shoot him but instead finds a little girl on the roof. He tells Jennie and Charlotte that the fog got in his way and does not mention the girl. John tells his friend Jack about the fire and how he was feeling, Jack then tells both him and Charlotte that they should make another child. Charlotte begins to hear the voice of her daughter Sarah in the house, she runs inside to find her, and the doors shut John out. When John tries to open them, they shut on their own. Jennie says that they should move houses, but both John and Charlotte believe that Sarah is somehow in the house. After Jennie has dreams about the same little girl John had seen on roof, she digs a hole in the ground where the dream happened and discovered two coffins. Jennie moves back East and leaves Charlotte and John alone in the house. John and Charlotte begin to make their house a home, becoming closer to each other and spending more time together. They do activities together such as walking and dancing. Charlotte begins to write more. She writes The Yellow Wallpaper, a story about someone living in the yellow wallpaper in the attic. Jennie returns with Catherine, a psychic. Charlotte and John are upset because they are finally happy with their situation. Catherine says that there are spirits behind the wallpaper, including Sarah and many others. Charlotte asks if she can speak to Sarah and Charlotte says it's a bad idea. Catherine states that there's a spirit under the house calling for John. John goes under the house and his lantern goes out. John returns with Sarah in his arms. They bring Sarah inside and she states that she has been burning in Hell this entire time. The man that John had seen in the beginning appears and says that they will all burn in Hell and then both he and Sarah disappear. Charlotte breaks down and wants to find Sarah again, then suddenly becomes severely sick. Jennie, Charlotte, and John all leave the house. John tells the ladies to not go back into the house, then heads to town to get a carriage so they can all leave the house. John runs into a man who tells him to turn around. Charlotte and Jennie find a body in the previously opened coffins and feral dogs surround them as they look inside, and they run into the house for safety. When John returns to the house, he cannot find his wife or Jennie. He sees the spirits in the house, and they tell him he should've left a long time ago. After being struck by one of the spirits, he finds his dead wife. His friend Jack returns and tells John that Charlotte has now turned into a spirit. He tells John that the diseased house will keep her spirit alive as long as he can bring her souls that she can feed upon. If she is fed, she will live at night and be able to manipulate and control animals. John takes Charlotte and places her in the grave outside. The film cuts to modern time, the house is now slightly updated, and a vaguely older John is showing the house to a couple for rent, so he can continue the cycle of feeding his love.

Production[edit]

Most of the scenes in The Yellow Wallpaper were shot in Eatonton, Georgia, in and around an isolated Civil War-era house.[10][15] The farmhouse's location is undisclosed, meant to represent, as the director puts it, ' a space outside of space'.[16] Jessi Case recalled being a little frightened of the house where the film was shot. 'The stairs leading to the attic, where we filmed a lot of the scenes, were very narrow and it was very hot. They didn't want me to go outside because my hair would poof up'.[17]

After the shooting of the film, Michael Moriarty retired from acting, after an illustrious career in which he won a Tony award, numerous Emmy awards, and a Golden Globe award. It was his last feature film role.

The script was written in three months by Logan Thomas and Aric Cushing, and Cushing said his goal was to popularize Gilman's work.[18]

Director Thomas used the Digital Sony 950, and the film is the first ever period feature film to be shot with this digital format. Thomas is becoming known as a "visualist" director in the tradition of David Lynch and Ridley Scott.[19]

Juliet Landau, during an interview, compared her role to Nicole Kidman's role in "The Others".[20]

This was Kyla Kennedy's first role at the age of 3, before going on to work on shows such as The Walking Dead and Speechless.

The film is a seminal role for actor Aric Cushing and the last film role of actor Ted Manson, who also appeared in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt.

A companion book to the film was written, The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Gothic Stories,[21] by Aric Cushing. The book features two stories previously unpublished since their inception, and seemingly lost. The essay in the beginning of the book was written by Cushing entitled "Is the Yellow Wallpaper a Gothic Story?"[22]

Release[edit]

After the film's release, the film was picked up by Netflix, iTunes, and various distribution outlets in the United States and subsequently released on Amazon.[23]

Aric Cushing said of the release of the film: "In the 1990s the trend in acquisition, as well as public consumption, was independent films. You could write, produce, and distribute a movie and make money. Redbox and Amazon has now killed that almost completely."[24]

Upon the film's release, reviewers were polarized with such statements as "'Even as straight horror without any implications of living up to an established narrative, “Wallpaper” plays against some traditional horror conventions – and not in a good way.'"[25] and "the film is atmospheric but feels at times that it is too languid in its approach."[26] While other reviews commented, "'Luckily, the cliches are kept to a minimum, and as it turns out it's actually a rather unique take on the material, deftly blending psychological terror into the mix in a manner not unlike The Shining.'"[27] and "The idea of male dominance and male-dominated culture is a favorite issue of Gilman’s, as well as the idea of there being no escape.  That issue runs through most of her works, and “The Yellow Wallpaper” is no different.  The movie version may be tamer, but the underlying theme is indeed still there.  And while there are definitely similarities and differences between the two, when it comes down to it, in the end both women end up becoming the woman behind the wallpaper."[28] Cushing commented in the introduction to his book Lost Essays, the film was both loved and loathed.[29] The director Logan Thomas's comments on the film after the release were, "we never thought of it as a horror movie, more of a gothic mind bender"[30] and, commenting on his new feature film There's No Such Thing as Vampires, "I certainly didn't want to do another slow-burn movie that was a head puzzle like The Yellow Wallpaper".[31]

Cast[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Hischak, Thomas S. (2012). American Literature on Stage and Screen. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-6842-3.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins and Cushing, Aric. The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories: The Complete Gothic Collection. Ascent. ISBN 978-0-6155-6839-3.

Cushing, Aric and Thomas, Logan. The Yellow Wallpaper: The Official Motion Picture Screenplay. ISBN 978-0-6157-69639.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hadden, Christine (15 December 2011). "Fascination with Fear". www.fascinationwithfear.blogspot.com.
  2. ^ Glenn, Cheryl, Gray, Loretta (2013). The Hodges Harbrace Handbook. Boston, MA: Wadswoth Cengage Learning. p. 620. ISBN 978-1-111-34670-6.
  3. ^ Glenn, Cheryl, Gray, Loretta (2013). The Writer's Harbrace Handbook. Boston, MA: Wadswoth Cengage Learning. p. 239. ISBN 978-1-111-35429-9.
  4. ^ "Psychotronic Netflix: Volume 58: All the Colors of the Dark". www.dailygrindhouse.com. 19 July 2013.
  5. ^ Barron, Margie (8 May 2013). "Ultra-Creative LA Fear & Fantasy Film Festival". The Tolucan Times and Canyon Crier.
  6. ^ a b Rzadtki, Beate (2020), "Gilman, Charlotte Perkins: The Yellow Wallpaper", Kindlers Literatur Lexikon (KLL), Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler, pp. 1–2, ISBN 978-3-476-05728-0, retrieved 2022-10-08
  7. ^ Rodriguez, Sal (April 24, 2019). "A Look back at 2012's spooky suspense/thriller 'The Yellow Wallpaper'". The Tolucan Times and Canyon Crier. 75 (20): 10.
  8. ^ "The Yellow Wallpaper: Are We Already Dead?". letterboxd.com. 2011.
  9. '^ Gilman, Charlotte Perkins (July 2011). "'Why I wrote The Yellow Wallpaper?". Advances in Psychiatric Treatment. 17 (4): 265–265. doi:10.1192/apt.17.4.265. ISSN 1355-5146.
  10. ^ a b Chartrand, Harvey (Spring 2007). "The Yellow Wallpaper: A Horror Movie for Grownups". Pennyblood Magazine: 4–5.
  11. ^ Golden, Catherine (1989). "The Writing of "The Yellow Wallpaper": A Double Palimpsest". Studies in American Fiction. 17 (2): 193–201. doi:10.1353/saf.1989.0022. ISSN 2158-5806.
  12. ^ "Are there women hiding in The Yellow Wallpaper Trailer". www.quietearth.us. 1 December 2011.
  13. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. (2012). American Literature on Stage and Screen. United States: McFarland. pp. 277–278. ISBN 978-0-7864-6842-3.
  14. ^ Murphy, Karla J. (2004-04-01). "The Pedagogical Possibilities of Covering Gilman's Wallpaper". Pedagogy. 4 (2): 337–343. doi:10.1215/15314200-4-2-337. ISSN 1531-4200.
  15. ^ Chartrand, Harvey (7 August 2011). "Whatever Happened to Michael Moriarty". www.cinemaretro.com.
  16. ^ Rodriguez, Sal (April 24, 2019). "A look back at 2012's spooky suspense/thriller 'The Yellow Wallpaper'". The Tolucan Times and Canyon Crier. 75 (20): 10.
  17. ^ Boylan, Michael (6 June 2012). "Rising Starr student hopes to be a rising star". The Citizen. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  18. ^ Cushing, Aric (2014). Lost Essays. United States: Grand & Archer Publishing. pp. i–ii. ISBN 978-1-929730-00-1.
  19. ^ Chartrand, Harvey (Spring 2007). "The Yellow Wallpaper: A Horror Movie for Grownups". Pennyblood Magazine: 4.
  20. ^ Gencarelli, Mike (3 September 2011). "Interview with Juliet Landau". www.mediamikes.com. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  21. ^ Cushing, Aric, Gilman, Charlotte Perkins (2011). The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories. United States: AReleasing. ISBN 978-0-615-56839-3.
  22. ^ Donovan, Diane (February 2014). "The Yellow Wallpaper: The Complete Gothic Collection". Midwest Book Review. 13 (2).
  23. ^ Abrams, Jon (19 July 2013). "All the Colors of the Dark". www.dailygrindhouse.com. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  24. ^ Brittany, Michele (25 October 2018). "Interview Spotlight: Aric Cushing". www.horror.org. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  25. ^ Herring, Marcia (22 January 2013). "How The Yellow Wallpaper Fails in the Translation to the Screen". www.bitchflicks.com. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  26. ^ Taliesin (3 February 2013). "The Yellow Wallpaper - review". taliesinttlg.blogspot.com/. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  27. ^ "Horror Movie a Day: The Yellow Wallpaper". horror-movie-a-day.blogspot.com/. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  28. ^ Kelley, Caitlin (30 March 2013). "The American Gothic: Comparing Today's Hits with Yesterday's Favorites". www.gothicthenandnow.blogspot.com. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  29. ^ Cushing, Aric, Gilman, Charlotte Perkins (2014). Lost Essays. United States: Grand & Archer Publishing. pp. i. ISBN 978-1-929730-00-1.
  30. ^ Humphrey, Alex (August 25, 2020). "Five Frightfest Facts from Logan Thomas director of There's No Such Thing as Vampires". Love Horror: The Horror Movie Review Website. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  31. ^ Hughes, Kate (August 26, 2020). "Interview: Director Logan Thomas on There's No Such Thing as Vampires (Frightfest 2020)". The Hollywood News. Retrieved August 26, 2020.

External links[edit]