Crimson Peak is a Victorian Romance Fever Dream
And I loved every minute of it.
In case you haven’t heard, Crimson Peak is a recently released Gothic film directed and written by Guillermo del Toro, the dude behind Pan’s Labyrinth.
This movie has been (incorrectly) marketed as a horror film. It’s not a horror film. As the director himself said, it’s a romance. A seriously twisted and messed up romance, but a romance none the less. I was thrilled when I heard del Toro say this, because from the trailers, it wasn’t clear how scary this movie was going to be.
Now, I logically understand the appeal of horror- how excitement and fear can so easily co-mingle- but I usually find myself too much of a wimp to enjoy full-on horror films. However, one of my favorite (under-represented) corners of film and media is that perfect apex of stories that are creepy-without-being-scary while simultaneously delighting in their own ridiculousness. American Horror Story used to fill this niche, but then, honestly, it got too frightening for me.
This film suited me perfectly. There were jump scares and frequent bumps in the night- so much so that at one point I nearly jumped out of my chair when a character turned around a corner quickly. (To be fair, there had been a lot of ghost stuff before that moment.)
If you’re anything like me, you will love this film. It’s crazy, perverse, (weirdly?) romantic, and it’s honestly so much more fun than most movies. I highly recommend it.
Unless of course you somehow end up marrying a suspicious man who takes you away to live in his dilapidated creepy mansion. Then this movie might scare the living daylights out of you, and I couldn’t recommend it. I’d recommend a lawyer.