By Marty Salman
“Beware of Crimson Peak,” Edith’s ghostly mother warns her, and it’s a warning best heeded. I had high expectations for this movie because of Pacific Rim, which was a fantastic sci-fi movie that I enjoyed thoroughly, leaving the theater excited for the option of a sequel.
Apparently you can’t make magic happen twice. Don’t get me wrong, Guillermo Del Toro’s cinematography is absolutely stunning in this movie, and his use of color is wonderful, something we didn’t get the chance to experience very much in Pacific Rim. The photography, however, is the only redeeming quality in this movie. Both interior and exterior shots are breathtaking, but much like a painting, I could only look at them for so long. Most of the time, the scenes dragged on for longer than necessary, leaving me with dwindling interest. In fact, the movie was moving so slowly that by the time they actually got to Allerdale Hall, I felt myself silently wishing that the movie was over. The plot wasn’t particularly engaging. In fact, it felt very predictable, even though this is only the second gothic romance style movie I’ve seen.
Gothic romance is a difficult genre to pull off, and it ends up relying heavily on its choice of color and location. The movie somehow managed to seem like I had seen it before, and I left the theatre amazed by just how little the movie stuck out to me as a whole. No scene really stood out to me as something I would remember. In fact, I was impressed at how bland and boring the entire film was. One thing I did like was that the film’s horror didn’t rely primarily on jump-scares, but on atmosphere, which was provided very well. The set design and costumes were very aesthetically pleasing, but the movie didn’t seem to have any other purpose other than to be eye-candy.
Overall, the movie was just like any average celebrity; pleasant to look at but shallow, boring, and predictable. If you’re dedicated to seeing this film, watch it in a theater, but make sure it’s for a cheap price. Any shred of engaging quality that still remained in this movie is just going to be compressed further if you watch it on a smaller screen with poorer sound. While Del Toro’s movie aspires to be a love letter to Pan’s Labyrinth and the gothic horror genre, it ends up being the bastard child of Shutter Island and Pride and Prejudice.
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