2015, Movies

Crimson Peak (2015, Guillermo del Toro)

This is a series of set pieces in search of something more. It’s kind of mystifying how uninteresting – and specifically how unscary – the whole thing is given some of the reviews. This one is a big shoulder shrug from me.

We see the ghosts so early in this film, it’s exasperating. Yes, there’s some reason for it – is it a good one? – but I still don’t appreciate violating the fundamental rule of horror. (The explanation as to why he does so is a spoiler so I’ll refrain from saying why.) Needless to say, it put me in a mood.

But I just didn’t find the rest of it super compelling – these are old tropes: a daughter marrying a man her father didn’t approve of, a woman and man stuck in a sinful relationship in a haunted place, and so on. In fact, the film includes one of my least favourite tropes! But I won’t mention it because it’s a spoiler. (Though I already sort of spoiled that part but whatever.)

I guess it looks great: the buildings, the clothes, the obsession with red ooze – there are lots of pretty things to look at. (Can someone explain to me what’s the deal with the red ooze? Is it supposed to be creepy because it doesn’t really look like blood? I am very confused.) But it feels over-the-top to me, as if it’s trying to make up for the lack of story. The score is equally over-the-top at times and that’s fitting, I guess, but it doesn’t solve the problems with the lack of story or the fact that this horror movie is fundamentally unscary.

I’m just quite underwhelmed. I don’t really know why the film exists, except to show off some super gothic architecture and some gowns. If you liked the movie, can you tell me why?


PS Has it ever snowed that much in Cumberland?

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