Crimson Peak

Don’t see this movie.  My apologies for the ambiguity.

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Reported on 21st of October, 2015

Editor’s Note: I got off my ass to this otherwise can’t be bothered film thanks to the exponential idiocy of Mr. Peter Bradwell (cf review of Crimson Peak here). His consistently baffling taste (taste seems too strong ‘aftertaste’? ‘GERD aftertaste’? And there we go), lack of even basic genre knowledge, when combined with his readership, makes Mr. Peter Bradwell my new Manola Darghis. He is justly hated in his home country (see ‘readership, how to gain by trolling’ above), which makes me want to love him. Unfortunately his incompetence has accumulated to the point of the unignorable, like the sesame seeds the CIA can see on your teeth through your laptop’s built-in camera.

Made you look. Well, made you turn off Skype anyway.

Enough, then, is ever so slightly in excess of enough. Crimson Peak is a truly terrible film, almost undebately, more pointedly in a year that includes the sleek Unfriended and the actual classic It Follows. We all need nemeses, and Ms. Dargis went the best way that could be hoped for our enemies: irrelevancy. I’d like to think that I had something to do with that. It’s my utter obscurity, you see. It’s contagious.

Made you look.



Crimson Peak

15 November 2015 @ The Gaumont Rennes


-$11.00 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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Not unlike A Winter’s Tale, the significantly more terrible Crimson Peak has an extremely detailed warning given by one character to another. To the best of my recollect, this is the actual dialog, word for word:

Bloody Ghost Mom: Remember that thing I told you about?

Our Heroine!: Eh….

Bloody Ghost Mom: I was very specific.

Our Heroine!: Stay on top of the heap.

Bloody Ghost Mom: ‘Stay’ was in there, so that’s good. But I was a ghost, so one would think this would stick…

Our Heroine!: With ghost boobies.

Bloody Ghost Mom: This you notice. Blood skeletons coming back from the dead, three times mind you, you’d think you’d remember what they said. Eyes up here!

Our Heroine!: What can I say? There are a lot of Œdipal themes squishing around. My husband seems to be having sex with his sister.

Bloody Ghost Mom: I noticed that. So what’s the twist?

Our Heroine!: What do you mean?

Bloody Ghost Mom: What’s the twist? It’s his mother, killing the brides to stay young? They’re ghosts too? The true nature of their relationship is never revealed only suggested, the way it would be in an actual old film, instead a modern film that thinks using iris fades exempts it from having to be competently written, filmed, acted, shot and edited.

Our Heroine!: Yeah…I got lost in all that forced editorializing. What were you asking?

Bloody Ghost Mom: What’s the twist?

Our Heroine!: They’re having sex. 

Bloody Ghost Mom: Huh.

Our Heroine!: It’s pretty obvious.

Bloody Ghost Mom: Like the incredibly creepy house.

Our Heroine!: And the warnings.

Bloody Ghost Mom: Like I’m trying to do now.

Our Heroine!: And father getting killed.

Bloody Ghost Mom: And signing over all your money.

Our Heroine!: Telegraphing in that case courtesy of the actual telegraph office.

Bloody Ghost Mom: Nice. But it’s not like you went into the creepy basement.

Our Heroine!: I did that too.

No cliché is left in a better place now on a farm with lots of other tropes to play with.

Bloody Ghost Mom: There’s a creepy basement. Huh. It’s like you teleported to the scary universe with a sign that said ‘Scary universe: Stay out’, landed on the planet full of acid vine creatures on fire, cursively spelling out, ‘Warning: we also take the shape of adorable kittens’, and went to the town in the country full of maniacs where they send the really crazy maniacs, with each step having an obvious reason to turn around. On a very rickety plane…

You’re not even listening.

Our Heroine!:What?

Bloody Ghost Mom: You’re thinking of Event Horizon, aren’t you? When I said ‘Scary universe.’ 

Our Heroine!: The S&M planet!

Bloody Ghost Mom: I know. I know. We all miss the S&M planet. 

Our Heroine!: How is it that Event Horizon seems good now?

Bloody Ghost Mom: (unseen shrug).

Our Heroine!: Plus there’s the flash forward, where they show the last shot of the film at the beginning and I’m bloody and stuff.

Bloody Ghost Mom: People have got to stop doing that.

Our Heroine!: So lazy.

Bloody Ghost Mom: You can’t create tension that way.

Our Heroine!: There’s just no justification for it.

Bloody Ghost Mom: Just awful.

Our Heroine!: Let’s agree, in my, its, and their defense, that foreshadowing is part of the horror genre.

Bloody Ghost Mom: Foreshadowing works on the principle that the audience can see something the characters cannot, that they make an interpretation of the events that’s reasonable to them. This is how films like The Haunting and even The Night of the Living Dead and even more even The Mist work. We know the bugs is coming, but not only do we not expect the characters to think so, it would be weird if they did. It’s like a good con, that a character will do things in the end they would have laughed at you for even suggesting in the beginning. Here, you’re acting like an idiot from out of the gate.

Usually notes from chocolate, etc., but this kinda counts. The opening features an altered WB logo, which is hardly new. The Matrix made theirs all Matrix-y and I think Waterworld's Universal actually turned into Waterworld. Here, the logo is...red. No, that's it. They tinted it.

Usually notes from chocolate, etc., but this kinda counts. The opening features an altered WB logo, which is hardly new. The Matrix made theirs all Matrix-y and I think Waterworld‘s Universal actually turned into Waterworld. Here, the logo is…red. No, that’s it. They tinted it. It’s more sad than anything else.

Our Heroine!: So you’re wondering about my motive.

Bloody Ghost Mom: When it comes to falling for the man who played the least scary villain of all time, and doing everything he says, I am a little bit.

Our Heroine!:What can I say? I fell for him. He’s in the clay business.

Bloody Ghost Mom: It’s very glamorous.

Our Heroine!:You can make so many things with clay. Bricks.

Bloody Ghost Mom: And figurines of brickmakers.

Our Heroine!: Making miniature bricks! Is that what the warning was? ‘Lay the brick that’s hints and bleak’.

Bloody Ghost Mom: It’s depressing that utter nonsense makes a surprising amount of sense in this context, but no. One more time (increases size and in a unmistakably ghostly tone): Stay away from CRIMSON PEAK!!!!!

Our Heroine!: An inscrutable message from the dead!!!! Whatever shall I do?

Bloody Ghost Mom: (audible sigh).

Our Heroine!: How would that stage direction even work in this context?

And now, a message from our sponsor: Dogs.

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If anyone’s sponsor is dogs…

Look, I have The Road Warrior Rule: a dog may be killed in a movie, but those responsible will die horribly. It has served me well, and I stand by it. But let’s talk now of The Gift which I did not see, but whose first five minutes I did. Written and directed by Mr. Joel Edgerton, who was responsible for the thoroughly pedestrian The Rover, this was the story of a stalker, who did stuff or whatever. I didn’t watch it. I sort of knew in the first five minutes that I wasn’t going to. This is generally true, as you’re either good at your job or you suck the whole time, and your energy or entropy is evident from the beginning.

But the dog appears, and knowing what was in store, I saved myself possibly two more minutes and shut it off. Now I’m sure that after inevitably killing the dog, Stalker Dies To Preserve Family Despite Their Having Bland Secrets, as did Ms. Chastain does in CP. Hard to believe, but Crimson Peak is bad despite having the Road Warrior Rule intact. And killing Jessica Chastain.

No, it’s because I’m just tired of this trope. I get it. You want to create tension, and so you use the dog so you can raise the stakes without actually have to think of something difficult. You know, like giving the lead character kids so they’re automatically sympathetic, and having the aircat jump off the fridge for a quick scare, then, killing the aircat I guess.

Killing the dog in Crimson Peak is par for the course. No cliché is sent to a better place on a farm with lots of other tropes to play with. But here’s the reason the filmmaker should have reconsidered. You have made a crummy, bland, bloated film, and thus the dog stands out. He is only fun thing, running around like a nut. And I think that’s what we’ll leave with: this is a film that is considerably worse, and worse made, than the video of dogs running around and sniffing the camera that’s just been posted on the friend of your friend’s wall.

Hey, I’m over here! Read me!

Profits!
I love the fact that ‘Stay away from Crimson Peak!’ appears as actual dialog in the film…
$0.50
…three times. Oh, did you think I was kidding?
$1.00
I think this is a minor bonus. Subtle, yes, what will certainly the worst single line of dialog this year. Things private detective would never say: ‘I’m not often the bearer of bad news…” Still trying to wrap my head around that one.
$0.50
What can I say? I love Jim Beaver, the only good thing in it…
$1.00
Total Profits
$3.00
Losses!
…who, in the way of ultimately laziness, is dispatched. Only Justified has used him correctly. Hey look! It’s Jim Beaver! What going to happen to that character? Happens, in its loosest definition of course.
$1.00
Here’s something to remember: CGI IS NOT SCARY!
$2.00
All associated terribleness, outlined in excess above.
$10.00
And a final thought for those who do not heed the warning: where did the leaves come from? Go ahead and see it to find out what I’m talking about. It’s not like you had any advance notification to the contrary.
$1.00
Total Losses
$14.00

-$11.00

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