Crimson Peak

No spoilers until halfway. I'll let you know.

Do you like victorian drama? Do you like gothic themes? Do you like predictability? Do you think Tom Hiddleston is sexy? If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of the above, this film is for you!

Crimson Peak, directed by Guillermo del Toro, is freaky yet predictable–but you don’t mind at all watching it. Usually a predictable film will put me off, no matter how great everything else is. This wasn’t the best film I’d ever seen and it’s not going to get crazy praise from me, but I liked it when I didn’t think I would which is more than can be said for many films.

The monsters created for this film were spectacularly made and well-explained. They were beautiful and shocking and off-putting and pitiful: a commendable feat. I applaud the visual effects team.

The actors’ performances were superb, and I know that’s not a word I normally use but if you watch the film you’ll know why I used it. There were a few overly-dramatic bits that made me giggle (nothing new) but in the context of the film, it all fit.

The special effects were vomit-inducing, and that’s as high a compliment as I can give a SFX team without actually throwing up. Bravo!

The costumes and set seemed to be made for each other. They went together so well, working in what’s supposed to or not supposed to be there, or rather, who. The makeup was good, too, but nothing special. They did their jobs well enough that there’s nothing to complain about.

More on the sets, I can only imagine the amount of work put in to plan and build such a complicated and interactive structure as the one at the forefront of the film. Kudos to the director for allowing it to be seen at every angle, with every detail, in every action sequence, in all it’s grandeur, allowing the audience to admire and fear the mansion on a hill.

Where this film fails me most, in spite of all the above, is the story. I’m a writer. I like stories. I especially like good stories. I like complicated, unpredictable stories. Crimson Peak, though complicated, is predictable, and as I said before, predictable works in this instance. But even though it works, it’s not my thing. That being said, being predictable doesn’t keep the story from being interesting or even unnerving.

LIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD.

I found the ghost at the beginning annoying. She didn’t make sense. How would her mother know about Crimson Peak? All the rest knew because that’s how they had died, but this ghost warned her over a decade before the fact.

I’m somewhat unsusceptible to horror films. I never jumped at jump scares except for one time, and that was more because of how loud the sound was than surprise or fear. I never cowered from a scene except in disgust, and if I’m honest, it was more for the benefit of the friend I saw the film with (sorry, Pat). I know I’m not the best person to judge whether a film is scary enough or not, because I find scary to be boring. So keep these in mind when I state my opinions.

Was it scary? Not particularly, but it didn’t need to be. It was suspenseful and dramatic, and that was good enough. Was it boring? Well, it had its boring moments like any film. Waiting for a jump scare and the jump scare itself just felt like a waste of time. I wanted to skip right to it and ask the ghosts, ‘What? What is it? What are you here to say? Just spit it out and we can move on!’. There were also few make-out scenes and sex scenes. Those that actually furthered the story (I counted one) were fine. The rest were boring, and one was plainly inserted simply because Tom Hiddleston’s bum has it’s own fan club. There is no full-on nudity, thus achieving a rating lower than R (aka 18+), so if you’re wondering whether you should allow your teenaged offspring to go and watch it…well let’s be honest. If they want to watch it, you won’t have much of a say.

So it was good. It won’t go down in history as one of those films everyone watches on Hallow’s Eve, but it won’t be one of those films that people don’t remember the name of either. Whether it’s worth the price of a movie ticket, I’ll let you decide.

This movie is what you would get if you mixed Phantom of the Opera with Bluebeard. Have you seen it? Tell me what you thought of it below! Did you agree or disagree with my points? If you haven’t seen it, are you planning to? Why or why not?

Thanks for reading!

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