crimson peak – did not peak at the box office

Crimson Peak is the latest film from Guillermo del Toro. Not only does del Toro direct this film but he co-writes it with Matthew Robbins. The movie is a gothic-romantic film about a young girl who dashes off to England with a tall, dark man who’s past is filled with dubious doings. The film stars; Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam and Jim Beaver.

The good; the sets are awesome. Our main character (Edith) goes off to England with Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston), and his house is Allerdale Hall, that thing is very creepy. Having the house set built gives that creepy factor a big boost. There’s something to be said about how the halls and the windows look, it’s a creepy old house that’s very imposing on the characters.
When someone draws a bath and the pipes moan due to the hot water flowing through them, you believe that those are real pipes adjusting to the temperature change.

The costuming has to be pointed out too. The look of the actors matches the sets perfectly. Such intricate details on the wardrobe, bravo.

The cast is great. It’s a mini reunion of Pacific Rim, but everyone else does a great job.

The bad; the story, it just wasn’t there. I know del Toro wanted to do something that wasn’t found footage and pay homage to the older horror classics, but Crimson Peak needed something else. I appreciate the throw back to an older era of horror but it feels like it missed the mark here.

This could be attributed to the use of CG ghosts and ghouls. When the apparitions show up they’re not terrifying. The atmosphere wasn’t quite there either, the sense of terror and looming danger was inconsistent through out… that’s as much as I can say without spoiling the plot.

The lighting in the movie felt off. Things looked very muted, I’m not sure if that’s attributed to the lighting or the color correction… or to the projection in the theatre… but something was off and nothing really popped.

I can’t quite place my finger on what else didn’t work, but I was able to figure out what was going on plot-wise quite early on in the film, I guess this is where my film literacy is a detriment to my ability to be entertained…

Overall, not my favorite del Toro film. I was hoping for a new take on the Gothic genre, similar to what he did with Cronos. There’s a nod to Peter Cushing here too… the character Edith Cushing. For those in the know.
Beautiful sets and wardrobe wasn’t enough to make a great horror movie in this case, I almost have to wonder if Universal saw the script and wanted to do something in the realm of their old horror classics? Kudos for trying, especially for not doing found footage, but Crimson Peak just missed the mark for me, and I really wanted to like it.

Fade out-
Eugene

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