01x05 - Pickman's Model

Episode transcripts for the TV show, "Guillermon del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities". Aired: October 25, 2022.
Bizarre nightmares unfold in eight tales of terror in a visually stunning, spine-tingling horror collection curated by Guillermo del Toro.
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01x05 - Pickman's Model

Post by bunniefuu »

"I paint what I see" is a painter's maxim,

and one that reveals to us
the many layers of our world.

Because behind everything beautiful
lies the dark.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
but what about the horror?

We ascribe these visions
to a feverish imagination.

A whim, a folly.

But what if they are not?

What if they are a careful record,

a warning,

or a family album?

Our tale tonight is "Pickman's Model,"

and its director, Keith Thomas.

How much longer
must I keep my neck like this?

You can't rush perfection.

And you wouldn't wanna end up
with one hill bigger than the other.

You wouldn't dare.

Thought you gave the girl the morning off.


Don't you dare.


Rebecca, where are you?

Up here, Papa!


Thurber, Thurber.

Thank God. Save me from these philistines.

Oh, come now.

We were just discussing
the Impressionists.

Smithfield here was busy
railing against Cézanne.

All I said is
I don't see what the fuss is about.

My father saw his exhibition
in Paris two summers ago.

He said it was rotten.

Do you see what I'm dealing with? Rotten?!

Places, gentlemen. You are on my time now.

Before we begin,
I have some announcements.

The deadline for this year's
student art prize approaches.

For those of you
unaware of its importance,

the work judged to be the best
by the committee

will be put on display at Arkham Gallery

to be seen by critics and patrons alike.

This kind of opportunity
can be the making of a young artist,

as I am sure
last year's winner can attest.

Mr. Thurber?

Quite, sir.


starting today,
we have a new addition to our class.

Mr. Pickman,

if you'll find an empty space.

If you are all ready.

Our 15 minutes begins...


Draw what you see.

Be aware of the empty space
near the bicep.

Remember your basic shapes.

Construct, don't shade.

Remember, the neck is a limb.

Four minutes remaining.

My time, Mr. Thurber.

Or have we finished already?

I just fail to see
what's so interesting about them.

That's because you lack imagination.

It's why Thurber here
keeps taking your money at cards.

Full house.

I'd say you fellas could use
a little of the new kid's imagination.

New kid?


That guy's got to be
at least 80 years old.

And from what I hear, he's a wet fish.

Old New England money.

- Not that you'd be able to tell.
- I heard his mother's from Arkham.


A friend has it that she d*ed
of a grizzly su1c1de when he was a boy.

His father went mad shortly after.

Thanks to his inheritance,

he's been rambling around Europe
for the past decade.


If his piece today was any indication,
he won't make it at Miskatonic.

I mean, the entire point of the class
is to draw what you see,

not rotting flesh.

- Perhaps that is what he saw.
- The man does draw in the cemetery.

Early in the evening to be grave-robbing.

It's Pickman, right?




what do you have there?

I think the rats got to her.

Well, something certainly did.


So do you do this kind of thing a lot?

Haunt cemeteries in the d*ad of night?

'Cause your imagination is...

I saw the piece
you did in Bosworth's class.

You're very good.

Well, I'm not sure he'd agree.

If there's one thing
Bosworth can't abide in his students,

it's talent.

He seems to like your work.

You thinking about entering the art prize?

You, uh... You really should. It's, uh...

quite the opportunity.

Oh, I'm not very interested in prizes.

Then what are you interested in, Dickie?

These are...


The darkness, the ugliness,

the corruption.

Suffering is living.

We cannot let sympathy

or altruism

shield us from finding
the truths of this world.

Oh, come on now.

Don't keep it a secret.

Where does one find these, uh,

elusive truths?

Where fear lives.

Ah, I see you're tardy as usual.

What, you're not submitting?

I decided to give the rest of you guys
a chance to impress.

- So how goes it?
- Oh, brutally of course.

Smithfield is proclaiming
he has it in the bag.

Any sign of Pickman?

He's in with them now.


It's the wrong audience for my work.


I'm beginning to doubt
these people truly have anything to teach.

We have a...

well, sort of a ritual,

me and some of the others,
after a brutal critique.

A little... fun.

- Would you...
- You should join us.

...like to see my paintings?

I would.

You, uh...

You never showed these.

Yeah. Come.

This work's a little stronger
than what you've seen.

My family have been
in New England for generations,

since before the witch trials.

My mother told me stories as a boy.

Family stories.

My great-grandmother's great-grandmother,


She was branded a hex.

A sorceress.

b*rned at the stake.

The family gossip claims

Lavinia k*lled her husband during a rite,

then served his still-warm flesh
to members of her coven.

Sometimes, when I'd wake in the night...

...I'd hear them through the floor.

Sounds of their party.

Do you hear that?

Do you hear them, Will?

- I...
- Beneath us, in the earth, my kin...

Tough night, Will?

You do realize it's afternoon?

Oh, shit.

Oh, sh... shit!

Excuse me.

So lovely to see you!

- The party's almost over.
- I know. I'm... I'm sorry.

I'm here now.

- Everything okay?
- Of course. Why?

Whiskey. Whatever you got.

What? I'm just
getting into the swing of it.

Come. We've been waiting.

Will, this is my aunt, Mrs. Creighton.

Aunt Lizzy, this is my friend
William Thurber.

My dear niece Rebecca
swears you're quite the artist.

Would you excuse me for a moment?
I'm just gonna go find Papa.

Of course.

She's a remarkable young woman.

So, William, tell me about your art.

Rebecca says you specialize in portraits,
which I happen to adore.

I've sat for many a portrait in my...

Oh. Are you all right?

Excuse me.

- Will.
- Ah! Uh...

I'm sor...


I'd... I'd like you
to meet my father Charles.

- Hello, William.
- Pleasure to meet you, sir.


Excuse me, sir.

- Steady on!
- Are you all right?



Will, stop!

- What is wrong?
- I just...


- What?
- That... That woman.

The woman with... with...
with your father, she...

No, see, she's not...

How di...

What is happening to me?

Last night, the... the painting...

I'm s... I'm sorry.

I'm... I'm... I'm so sorry.

Are you? I mean,

you knew how important this was to me.

- You show up drunk.
- I'm not...

That's my father! That's my father!

I know.

You should go.

Please. Please, please don't.

This was such a mistake.

I don't even recognize you anymore.



Joe, it undermines the very traditions
of European craftsmanship.

If you ask me, I think people
are rather tired of that crazy stuff.

What people is that?

You can't just decry the entire
Modernist movement as worthless.

Samuel's work, perhaps.

Tell me, what does
our resident tastemaker think?

I think the two of you enjoy
your arguments even more than your art.

And... you're both right.

Tradition is important.

It endures.

But what is art
in this modern world without truth?

A little risk?

Who's this?

Uh... Clown!

What's his name?

He doesn't have a name.

I think we need
to give them some names.

I think they deserve that.

- What should we call him?
- I don't know.

And this one, who's this?

He's Mr. Green Mouth.

Mr. Green Mouth?

- Why is he Mr. Green Mouth?
- That's why drew him with a green mouth.

Someone's up awfully late this evening.



- He wanted to show you his pictures.
- Did he?

I like this.

Very interesting use of color.

Tell you what, I will take all these
to my office so I can see them every day.

- Right?
- All right.


Time for bed. Go brush your teeth.

Papa will tuck you in.

Good boy.

Are you tired?


How exhausted?

Don't worry.

I'll be quick.


Excuse me. Hello?





- What's the matter?
- Nothing.

Nothing, sorry. I was just...

I couldn't sleep.

- You want some tea?
- Sure.

Sure, thank you.

Sweetheart, you didn't meet
whoever sent this, did you?

The man said you know him.

Said his name is Pickman.
He's back in town again.

Mr. Thurber.

You're in early.

This is to be returned to the artist
along with the check.

- I'd like it gone today.
- Of course. Is there an address?

Just get it done!


Thurber, my boy, you look tired.

My, uh...

My son, he, uh... he isn't sleeping much.

Ah, yes.


Who are we waiting on?


Yes, yes, let's begin, shall we?
I call the committee to order.

Now, we have a few items
to get through today,

but first, Joe, you look positively
like the cat that ate the canary.

Would you care to enlighten us?

I've invited a special guest to join us.

I'd like the group to consider his work
for this year's exhibition.

Well, now I'm curious.


this is Richard Upton Pickman.

Richard and I were at Miskatonic together.

You remember William Thurber, of course.

Ah, of course.

Richard was a startling talent, even then,

and unlike the rest of us,
only seems to have gotten better with age.

Now, I'm aware it's out of the ordinary,

but I've asked for him
to bring along a few paintings.

If my fellow committee members
will indulge me,

I'll ask for you to head
through to the gallery for a viewing.

I trust you'll find it worth your while.

I suppose we can play along.

- Dr. Reid, I don't think this...
- You'll get your turn.

Joe. Joe!

This is not a good idea.

Aw, are you afraid
of a little competition, Thurber?

I know Pickman. I know his work.

You can't show it at an exhibition.

Huh. Funny.

I never thought of you as a bad sport.

from the most terrible...


Where have you been?

There are some things
I wanna talk to you about,

but I have a monstrous headache, so...

We have a guest.

I hope you don't mind my dropping in.

It's my business...

to catch the undertones of the soul.

You won't find those
on artificial streets,

on man-made lands.

If there are any ghosts round here,

they're the tame ghosts of a salt marsh

and a shallow cove.

My art...


My art...

...is about the ancient.


During university,
Will and I and the Miskatonic boys,

we had a little spiritualism phase.

We liked to hold séances.

We liked to call up the d*ad.

We were just playing games,
but... it was very thrilling.

It felt dangerous.

I truly doubt that Dickie
wants to hear these childish stories.

There was one night when it wasn't a game.

It got very quiet.

And dark.


couldn't see anything anymore.
I felt like...

I felt like I was... like I was blind.


the others, I mean...

I never told the others anything, but...

I felt like...

I felt like I was floating.

And then I have this...

this funny feeling in my head.
It's like a...

Sort of a... buzzing?


It was a thing.

All those years ago.

Tell me, Richard, you must be
so excited to debut the exhibition.

More than your lovely husband, I fear.

I worry he's grown
more sensitive with age.

Well, that's a word for it.

Well, on that note,
why don't we call it a night?

It's time for James to be put to bed.

Come to my house.

See the work.

Perhaps you should invite Minot.

Minot would never understand!

Just think on it.


Do thank your wife for dinner.

And tell James I enjoyed our chat.

He's a special boy.
Reminds me a little of myself.

You were rude tonight.

I was embarrassed.

You were embarrassed?

You were fawning over him
like a schoolgirl.

Richard is the only friend of yours
who's succeeded as an artist, and...

the way you treat him...

People are talking, Will.

At the gallery, at the committee.

You are acting strange,
and it's not just with me.

You're coming home late. You...

You're barely home anymore,
and when you are home...

it's like... it's like a...

I feel like...
I feel like you're disappearing from me.

I need to know if you're drinking again.


I have always

tried to look for the... the joy

and the beauty in everything.

But around this man and his work, I just...

The darkness has a way of... catching me.

Life can't always be beautiful.



No, no... Come...




Ah, ahh!

Ah! No!




No! No!


Their mouths... Their mouths...

Sh, sh, sh, sh.

Hey, buddy. You okay?

Will. This is a surprise.

What did you say to my son?

Answer me.

Is he unwell?

He woke screaming in terror.

I'm only gonna say this once.

You stay away from my family.

I thought we were friends.


As far as I'm concerned,
the balance of our friendship is paid.

I'm sorry you feel that way,

but it was never about the money.

I value your judgment.

I always have.

Please, Will, you've come all this way.

I know you want to see my new paintings.

The finest I done.

I need you to see 'em.


No, Dickie.

And if... if I was to agree
to stay away from your family?

And also to offer
to pull out of the exhibition,

to destroy my paintings,
should you still think them unsuitable,

and stay out of your life forever?

You would do that?

If you come to my house now.

It must be shocking
to see the state of things here.

But, uh...

my work, Will,

it is paramount.

Electricity went out several months back.

This way.

Welcome to my work.

Do you feel it, Will?

The fear.

Cursed rats.

The hill's infested with them.

Deus knows what they eat.

They must've run short.

One moment.



No! He's my friend.

No, get down!





- Will.
- Somebody has to stop you, Dickie!

If I'm the one, I have to stop you!
Your paintings infect my mind.

It's only art.

No. No!

No, see, see, I thought that it was me.

That I was... I was drunk or...
or delirious,

shell-shocked and... and... and broken,
but it was these, these paintings.

This whole time it was the paintings!

What... What you make, it... it...

crawls behind the eyes,
and it... it ma... it makes you crazy.

Dickie, Dickie, it causes madness, and I...

It's the world that's mad, Will.

That's what breeds fear.

Knowing what lurks in the darkness.

- Stop it, stop it, stop it.
- Knowing where fear...

- Stop it, stop it!
- ...lives. Here.

- Let me show you.
- Stop it, stop it, stop it.

Make it stop please!

Stop, Dickie!

Dickie, you stop it! What are you doing?!

Dickie, I swear to God!

Paint what you see,

what is familiar to you.

These entities

are real.

Close to me.

Family portraits.

The paintings don't come from my head.

They come from my life.

Now it's time
for you to meet them.

Time to see what awaits us all...

in the darkness.


Dickie, I'm...

Dear God.

It's all in your mind.

It's extraordinary, Will.

Reid did much of the heavy lifting
before I stepped in.

Go, explore.

I want you to be the first to see it.

- Come on.
- That's my good boy.

You seen Joe?
He was supposed to be here this morning.

Uh, Mr. Minot came in last night,

uh, saying he had
some final adjustments to make.

I think he's still here.

You're sure?




I watched that painting burn, Joe. How d...



- Joe.
- Y'ai'ng'ngah...




It's me.

What have you done, Joe?

He is coming from the other side.

It's okay. It's okay. I'm g... I'm gonna...

He is coming for the feast.

He is coming from the darkness
to show us all the beauty...

- Gabriel!
- ...of fear!


Hey, you all right?
Why don't you go see Gabriel?

- Are you all right?
- Yes.

- You sure?
- Of course I'm fine. What...

There's been an accident. It's... It's Joe.

- An accident?
- I need you to take James home right now.

- What kind of...
- Now, Rebecca.

- Joe's hurt.
- What?

I'm gonna go get him help.

I want you to take
all of Pickman's works out immediately.

Do you understand?

- Take them? Where? What's happening?
- Just get them out of here. Destroy them.

And, Gabriel...

Do not look at them.

You burn them!

Joe, look away!

It smells delicious.

I, uh...

I want to apologize to you, my love,

for how I've been.

I want you to know
that it's... it's all over now.

Everything is gonna be...

it's gonna be better. I'm...

I'm going to be better.

I promise you.

It's all over.

It's... It's over.

I know where it lives, Will.


Where what lives, sweetheart?

I know where fear lives.

No. No.

Please, please, please, God!

No, no, not...

Not you!

I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Please.

Please. I... I... I tried. I did try.


You'll spoil the meal.

Where is James?


Where's... Where's James?
Where... Where is our son?

Where's our son?!

Soon we will feast.

And it will be glorious, my love.

You'll see.










Now it's time.

Time to see what awaits us all

in the darkness.
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