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22 October 2015 @ 02:01 am
Beauty in the shadows.  
Okay. So this is something that I've put off for a long time. I've always said since last year that I should be talking about more film related stuff since I've been doing so much of it for film classes in university. So, this is my first ever attempt at a film review of Crimson Peak, which I watched a few days ago. This is NOT spoiler-free so if any of you don't like spoilers, go watch the film first. And it'd just be a bit easier to understand some of the things I'll be talking about too. Or if you don't care, then you can read this anyways but it'll be filled with some clips from the movie.



So, the first thing I noticed during other people's reviews of this film was that they were disappointed that the film was marketed as a horror film when it's actually emphazied by the director, Guillermo Del Toro, as a gothic romance with just elements of horror. I don't know why the studio decided that promoting it as a horror film was the best idea when I don't think it would have been a problem promoting it as a gothic romance? It still fits the theme of Halloween if that's what they were going for in the first place.
It's a bit meta cause in the film, Edith, a writer, has written a novel which is mistaken as a ghost story but she describes it as a story merely with ghosts in it as a metaphor.

With Del Toro's films, like both the Hellboy films, Pan's Labyrinth and Pacific Rim, Del toro really gives his all when it comes to visually stunning aesthetics. The visuals in this films are magnificently beautiful. Especially the shots of the mansion during both in the day and night where everything is dark and creepy-looking, Del Toro really just captures the beauty in the things that one would normally view as scary. The colours are brilliant in adding to the atmosphere and mood of the scene as well. Even the scenes in the snow with the red grounds were pretty.




After watching some interviews, I loved that the set designs were real and not CGI. The ghosts, however were CGI but I liked that it wasn't too horrific and scary and were a bit fake-looking instead.
Costumes were really pretty as well in this period timeline of the story plot. Just beautiful, beautiful imagery all around.



I didn't notice until I saw people mentioning in tags of Crimson Peak graphics that although the leaves were falling through the hole in the roof, there actually weren't any trees tall enough near the mansion. And I did wonder how everyone could wear the clothes they had without freezing to death considering it was also snowing.
The transitions used in the films were really good as well and I even enjoyed the ending credits sequence. One thing that's not often seen in movies but was used in this film is the 'Iris' transition which was used prominently in the first half of the movie.



It did somewhat feel like a Twilight film as Thomas Sharpe is basically this dark stranger with a mysterious past (Edward) and Dr. Alan as that best friend with a one-sided unrequited love (Jacob). Edith's character reminded me very much of Wachikowska's character in another movie, Madam Bovary, (probably cause of the costumes and timeline) but I appreciated the way Edith's character was NOT written as a passive, unempowered woman as compared to the tragic situations Madam Bovary had to go through. Edith's was determined to make it as a writer that was not constrained by gender roles (It was suggested in the film that she wrote romance instead of horror). However, she didn't have much progress in her character development and it felt like she just ended up being the same as she was in the beginning of the film, maybe worse off because of the fright that she had to go through because of the Sharpe siblings.

I only saw Charlie Hunnam in Pacific Rim and I felt like his character was similar to that? Like I didn't really care for his character and I think the audience all knew that it wasn't going to end well with him and his love wouldn't be reciprocated.
Jessica Chastain was a really, really amazing villain in this film though. She creeped me out so much and it's because of her that you start to think that humans are actually scarier than ghosts. When she just LOST HER SHIT and started stabbing Thomas, and then lost her shit EVEN MORE by chasing Edith all of the entire mansion and screaming her head off, I was terrified.

I'm the type of person to read everything I can before I watch the film including the story plot so I knew (also because of the Hiddleston fandom on Tumblr) that there was going to be a sex scene in this film. But when I went to buy the tickets, I didn't know that the film got an 18+ rating and the girl at the counter was looking at me suspiciously when asking for my student ID. Haha. So, I thought that the rating was because the film had a sex scene. Instead, when it got to that scene, Thomas is kissing Edith and moving down her body, but when he goes to spread her legs ,it suddenly got cut away to the next scene so messy and abruptly that the audience in the cinema actually laughed. Which actually shoudn't have surprised me cause the censors here ALWAYS cut scenes in films. They used to cut kissing scenes in past years, that was funnier cause the editing would be so ugly. So, then I realized the 18+ rating was probably for the incest since that's always a controversial topic here.

Anyway, so the story plot did make me go o.O some of the time cause it was a bit draggy at parts and it didn't make much sense? (Maybe cause I was so invested in the cinematography and visuals in each sequence that I wasn't paying much attention to the story. XD) Like, I didn't understand why the ghost of Enola was holding the ghost(?) of the murdered baby if the baby was Lucille's baby. Also, the writing was a bit strange at some parts too. Maybe cause of the timeline so it was more poetic at that time but it ended up being cheesy in some scenes. There was that scene where Edith is so scared from seeing the ghosts that she demands to leave the mansion and Thomas says something like, "Why don't we head down to the post office? That'll help calm you down." And people around me burst out giggling cause it was so strange.




I also wished they somehow had gone about the incest thing differently. Some people said that it was predictable and I don't konw if that was the point? To make it obvious or not, I mean. I think it would probably have been creepier if Lucille was actually nice to Edith the whole time cause then it'd show that you really can't judge a book by its cover.

One thing that was a bit annoying was that for the first half an hour, the audio wasn't syncing with the film and when characters were speaking, the voice was either delayed or too early. It was pretty obvious and with a big Hollywood film like this, I'm surprised it got out of post-production without them fixing this.

Also, the climax felt very abrupt as we were suddenly thrown into this sudden last 20 minutes of bloody, bloody gore. Oh, there was that one scene earlier when Lucille was bashing Mr. Cushing's head onto the sink and that was horrible! I hate it when they do that cause it kinda becomes torture porn in a way and it's usually just for shock value. I don't know, maybe they wanted to display how evil Lucille could be but I coudn't stomach the scene and had to look away. But, in the climax, there was suddenly so much stabbing and blood. It just felt like a bit too much.

This goes in hand with the scene that showed Edith finding the documents and recordings which became this LONG LONG exposition scene which explained the Sharpe's siblings con act and their murders and all that. I felt that the story plot would have been more exciting and interesting if they had distributed this scene throughout the film instead of just this one big reveal near the end. It would have been cooler if they had left the finding out the mystery piece by piece to the audience instead of just spoon feeding it to us in the end? Cause then without actually confirming most of the evidence and mystery to the audience, parts of it could been left ambiguous and left to the audience to figure out and come up with their own interpretations and theories.


In the end, I still enjoyed the movie but there were some things that I didn't like about it as well.
Just my thoughts! I hope I didn't end up rambling and not making any sense. It feels like I've written parts of it like I would have written in a film essay. Haha.

Hope everyone has a lovely, lovely day! <3
 
 
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