Guillermo del Toro's newest visual stunner recently hit theaters with mixed reviews, the main complaint being that the banal plot doesn't justify the lush cinematic treatment and overall hype. Did Guillermo's past few releases set an insanely high standard, or is Crimson Peak just a flat out disappointment?
The I Love Halloween team argues the former. Yes, the plot has a rather surprising simplicity without some of the dramatic twists and turns that we've grown accustomed to, but the film moves deliberately, with a spaciousness that is refreshing, especially for a Hollywood ghost story. Yes, some aspects of the story line could have been more fleshed out, but there is one thing to be said- del Toro is not going to deprive his audience of their own imaginations. This is a movie that leaves you thinking, wondering, and filling in some of the blanks, a fact that makes the film more invasive than one might expect.
And what del Toro doesn't spell out for you, he shows you through symbols, achingly beautiful cinematography, vivid colors, and a creepy, somehow nostalgic atmosphere.
Without giving too much away... don't see this film for homicidal ghosts or demonic possessions. This is a decidedly human story, one in which the ghosts factor in as metaphors, premonitions, and regrets. Although the film does a beautiful job of creating paranormal suspense and some truly terrifying spectres, Crimson Peak deals more with obsession, romance and perversion on the Earthly plain.
Crimson Peak may not be as ingenious as del Toro's former cinematic ventures, but it's definitely worth a trip to your local theater.
Author: Nate Morgan