Movie: Crimson Peak (2015)

Genre: Gothic Romance/Horror

Title: Crimson Peak

Release Date: 16 October 2015

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Summary: 

In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds – and remembers

What I Liked:

I remember being excited for this movie to be released in theaters, and then…I never got around to seeing it.  Lucky for me, I stumbled across it recently on HBO, and I enjoyed it every bit as much as I thought I would.

This is not a horror movie, which is why I don’t think this movie did as well in the theaters as it should have.  There are ghosts, a spooky house, and murder, but none of that is meant to be particularly scary.  Disturbing, yes, but the audience is not supposed to be screaming and jumping out of their seats.

Instead, this is a gothic romance.  It is lush and beautiful, dark and creepy, and it reveals some truths about the worst bits of human nature.  The plot twists are not altogether hard to figure out before hand, but the way things spiral into complete chaos in the third act feel surprising nonetheless.

The people are beautiful, as are the sets, costumes, and cinematography, and the acting’s pretty darn good as well.  Special props to Jessica Chastain for her role of Lucille Sharpe, because she’s just…yeah.  No spoilers!

What I Didn’t:

I wish the ghosts had been more practical effects and less CGI.  The design is really interesting and creepy, but the ghosts don’t blend into the house/environment quite as well as they should.  They don’t feel as real as everything else.

The pacing is a bit slow for the first half, especially until they get to England.  I wish that Edith was a bit less…naïve.  She seems pretty smart, but my goodness does it take a while for her to catch on that things are not right. Also, Charlie Hunnam’s character was kinda pointless.  He was super uninteresting and not really important to the plot at all.  I don’t think I ever even caught his name.  Dr. Love Interest?  Dr. Good Guy?  Dr. Boring?  The movie could have done without his “story.”  Edith could have saved herself just fine, thank you very much!

Overall:

This liked this movie a lot.  It has some issues with pacing and unnecessary characters (Dr. Useless?), but the set design, costumes, and cinematography is more than enough to distract from the movies flaws.  This is a dark, moody, and romantic movie that fits very well in to the Gothic Romance/Horror genre rather than being what modern audiences think of as horror.  Go into this movie thinking of Rebecca and Northanger Abbey and The Phantom of the Opera, not Paranormal Activity or Saw or The Ring.  Overall, I’m glad that I finally got to see this movie, and I’m rather disappointed in myself that I didn’t get to experience it on the big scree.

(Also, this movie contains Tom Hiddleston’s arse, if you’re interested in that kind of thing…)

My Rating: 3.5/5

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