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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.
Crimson Peak looks gorgeous, but it's probably the weakest Guillermo del Toro film I've seen in a while, not that I'd usually commend his films - Pan's Labyrinth aside - for their plots. Though the trailer sells it as a horror story, it's really a Gothic romance with a supernatural element, and it mostly works as a throwback to that genre. I suppose my problem with it is that the last act falls back on thriller clichés and loses something of its magical qualities. It does hark back to Pan's Labyrinth in that it tries to layer in an ambiguous reality - how much of the story happened and how much was Edith's fiction? - but that puzzle, if you want to call it one, is slight, its impact on the film negligible. Similarly, if this were a true Gothic romance, the ghosts would be figments of the imagination, not real. The film tries to be ambiguous about this, but in the final analysis really isn't. That said, it is beautifully directed and designed, this story of aristocrats clinging to the literalized open wound of their sins as represented by their decaying house. Jane Eyre meets The Fall of the House of Usher, with Tom Hiddleston's butt for good measure.
Style over substance. And even the style was not impressive. Very weak plot, simple and boring. Nothing special…
If you're familiar with Bluebeard, The Bloody Chamber, Rebecca, Jane Eyre, etc., then you know where the film is going to go.
However that didn't prevent me from enjoying it. Jessica Chastain really makes the movie. 7/10
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