Guillermo del Toro's CRIMSON PEAK
A movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
I love this movie for its excessive production values, its overblown dramatic Gothic horror themes, its casting, and its color palette.
At times the director seems to be channeling Edward Gorey.
For the most part he succeeds in presenting a story that is both unique and familiar. We have ghosts, a crumbling mansion, a Damsel In Distress who knows how to take care of herself, and Secrets in the Basement. We’ve seen all of these elements before yet here they seem fresh and original. How is that possible?
Partly it’s the story’s matter-of-fact-yet-elegantly-presented elements. Del Toro doesn’t try to artificially modernize things. The lurking secrets and character backstories are presented unapologetically. They are what they are and that’s refreshing, even when the phrase “It was a dark and stormy night” comes to mind.
When the heroine listens to recordings on wax cylinders that explain a lot of what is going on we’re not really surprised and it’s hard to escape the realization that, despite the story taking place in the early 1900s, what she’s doing could be repeated at any age with any type of recorded media.
The story is aided immensely by an excellent cast. I can’t single anyone out but it is fun to see some carryovers from Pacific Rim.
The production and look of the film are gorgeous. I especially like the overwhelmingly green tint of the whole thing. Green, green, green. Not putrid sick green but bright, electric green—even in dark ominous places where its main job seems to be contrasting with the occasional splashes of red (blood).
What a fun gorgeous movie!
Review copyright (c) 2016 by Dennis D. McDonald