Friday, October 16, 2015

Grand Designs and Flat Characters

If you're at all interested in horror or thriller movies chances are you're aware of the brimming box office success of director Guillermo Del Toro's (spelled his name right first try) newest film "Crimson Peak". Crimson peaks follows the story of a wealthy american heiress, played by Mia Wasikowska, who finds herself wed to struggling English inventor, played by Tom Hiddleston.

Mia is whisked by her new lover from the comfort of the streets of buffalo New York to a grand and desolate mansion in the heart of  the English countryside. After a few nights it becomes both clear to Mia and the audience that something ghostly is a foot, but for the sake of spoilers I'll spare you all the details of the rest of the plot.

Overall the film is gorgeous, I really found myself being sucked into the frame by the wealth of period details. Perhaps the only fumble on the part of the production design was in layering on too many heavy handed metaphors throughout. Early on in the film is compared to a butterfly and from that point forward there is distinct insect iconography in almost every scene. 

On the topic of butterflies, it's strange to me that Mia's character is compared to one so often despite the fact that she undergoes no character metamorphosis what so ever. Her character lacks any sort of motivation ; even when she's hit over the head with plot details that would leave any other person paralyzed with fear, she doesn't bat so much as an eyelash.

The film as a whole just felt a little bit too fast, like someone cranked up the speed on the haunted mansion ride at disney. There are a few scary parts, but the film jumps to the next scene so fast that you never get to seep yourself in the horror of the protagonists situation. I'd definitely recommend it to those of you looking to go into production design, but if you're looking for a truly gripping thriller you could do a whole lot better than Crimson Peak.

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