Guillermo del Toro is essentially the George R. R. Martin of film. Not only are his films usually to die for, but they don’t come along all that often. His largest gap came between Pacific Rim (more on that later) and Hellboy 2 which was seven years. I’ve only been reading Martin for the past few years, so I’ve had ample time to catch up with the A Song of Ice and Fire series and its respective show, Game of Thrones. That doesn’t really give me any right to complain, but I want this story to be finished ASAP. We don’t want any Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time Series) shenanigans occurring.
Crimson Peak comes after a mere two year gap from Pacific Rim, which is a good time between films I believe. We were quite excited for this film if you recall. This was the only true “Horror Movie” I felt that would be released this October. I mean it had freaking Loki in it and the director of Pans Labyrinth! How could this fail? I’ll tell you how it did: it just wasn’t scary. It wasn’t a horror film at all.
The film was shot beautifully and looks gorgeous on an IMAX screen, but there just was a lack of scares here. Sure, there were plenty of terrifying looking ghosts with top of the line CGI, but they didn’t get beyond “creepy”. All of that is fine. I didn’t need to have my heart thumping in my chest at all times or watching for the next jump scare, but I was hoping for a little bit of goose-flesh.
The World Guillermo del Toro (GdT from here on out) presents is bleak, full of suspicious characters, motives and of course a wide-eyed female protagonist played by Mia Wasikowska, who has been missing from major cinema since Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. In both roles, she plays the intellectual type who is misunderstood by others. I was happy that she didn’t fall into all of the classic horror movie tropes, but again, this wasn’t a horror film, so I don’t know how much credit I can give to her.
Lastly Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain act as brother and sister in this tale. I’ve already sung the praises of Jessica Chastain for her role in The Martian, but Tom Hiddleston, that’s not fair to audiences. GdT and Loki? That’s just an audience trap. Hell, I imagine most people went to see this film just because Mr. Hiddleston’s name was attached to the project. It didn’t fool me as I know who I want:
Other than the actors gelling really well, Hiddleston with his charm, Chastain continuing to stretch her acting roles, along with Mia playing much the same part she did in Alice, there isn’t much meat on this film’s plot bones. Perhaps I expected too much and it didn’t meet my expectations, but I left with a shrug.
Some grievous mistakes GdT made in this film: where were the Jaegers? Seriously, there is nothing that can’t be solved with a Rocket Fist to the face or a good slicing from a seemingly forgotten about sword. If a ghost had taken down one of those bad boys, I sure as hell would have been more frightened.
While mentioning Pacific Rim and its glorious robot on monster action, I have to ask, where was Ron Perlman? How could you not find a single roll or line for him to deliver? I mean for goodness sake, you kept Charlie Hunnam as the “would be hero” but you couldn’t let Hellboy do what he does best and destroy the paranormal? I just think the film would have been elevated had it contained Giant Steampunk Mechs and Gentleman Hellboy.
Don’t get me wrong, it was well written, directed, and acted, but there was just so much false advertising here that I only feel comfortable calling this film “spooky”. When is the last time something “spooky” raised the hair on the back of your neck? Yeah, First Grade when someone yelled “Boo” at you…
Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:
This is not a scary movie no matter how the advertisers attempted to spin it. Sure, beautiful, creepy scenery, gore, talented actors and a usually superb director, but just nothing to rave about. Either Netflix, Hulu, or Redbox will be your best bet on this one. Lower your expectations and you might get something “creepy” instead of just “spooky”.