Where I Watched It: Netflix
Audio Description Provided by: The Media Access Group
Narrated By: Adrienne Barbeaux
Even though I skipped this in theatres, i always knew at some point I would have to watch this film. i got there eventually, and despite being a Guillermo Del Toro fan, this is possibly my least favorite project of his.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure the film is gorgeous. Guillermo I always on point visually, and based on the exceptional description by Adrienne Barbeaux and her team at the Media Access Group, a very vivid and lush painting is laid out for us of a gothic nightmare created from the mind of Del Toro. Yes, the film has horror elements, but whether or not they all work is the question, and I was’t sure they did.
Crimson peak is a concept, a rather striking concept, that feels like Del Toro saw a painting that inspired a film. But the film within, which features a complex love story, a house full of ghosts, murder, betrayal, secrets, and Jessica Chastain, is a mixed bag. Separately, I love the top four actors in this film. Mia Wasikowska is a tremendous talent (who I feel like I haven’t seen in a hot minute), but I did’t think she had chemistry with… anyone. Tom hiddleston is an exceptional actor, as seen in everything he ever does, yet I felt he was somehow wasted as a potential love interest or ambiguous villain. Charlie hunnam is probably the most wasted as the Sons of Anarchy star shows up as the plot requires, and keeps him from feeling like he’s essential to the core story. And then, Jessica Chastain, who cannot possibly give a bad performance, probably just found her way into my least favorite performance of hers. I think she thought the film was more campy than it was, because her performance feels so different from her cast mates, like it came from another film.
This whole ting is just odd. I know people love it, and I’m even trying to give some assumption points here knowing that Guillermo is very much a visual storyteller, and aspects of his creations will sadly always bee lost a little on us, as there’s really only just so much the audio description can make up for.
But, as someone who loved Nightmare Alley when some others seemed to question its place in the Oscar race, it’s really fucking hard for me to admit that this is a Guillermo Del Toro project I didn’t care for. He’s one of my favorite directors, and i look forward to anything he directs, and most of what he produces, but this is just something that I think he really had a vision for when they started filming, I just don’t think that vision made it in the final product.
To be fair, many people love this film. So, I respect you for loving this, if you are that person. I’m just not.
Final Grade: C+