This is a difficult one, as readers may have different expectations than me. I was not dissuaded by several negative reviews, and I expected more of a melodrama than a ghost story, but it does have sufficient ghostliness to sustain it.
But then there’s what Eddie Murphy had to say about it, thirty years ago…
Yes, why do white people stay in the house? I don’t know.
The film felt like an anachronism, something they don’t make anymore. It was also a bit too slick and overlit. They don’t let the shadows go black anymore, anywhere, ever. For some reason we’re supposed to have this trailing off toward darkness without the actual darkness. This irks me. It’s only the big budget Hollywood horror films that are obsessed with artfully lighting every corner of every dungeon. Cheap indie hacks have more sense sometimes.
I remember DESPISING Coppola’s butchery of the Dracula novel for similar reasons. God I hated that movie so much I could barely contain my loathing. They massacred Dracula, one of the scariest, most tense novels of all time. All they had to do was shoot what was already there. Instead we got invented red plastic armor dress up romance garbage. My blood is starting to boil again. Icing on the shit cake was him calling it “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” when he opened the thing with a completely made up subplot from hell. This is the guy who shot The Godfather? What the F!!!?
Where was I?
Crimson Peak did not get my blood boiling, nor did it feel like great cinema. It will go down as middle of the road mainstream horror fare, suitable for most and rather unexceptional. I can’t find much fault with it, nor do I desire to see it again.