Crimson Peak is an effort to make a throwback movie with modern effects and modern sex scenes, but it can't contend with the modern gaze with which we're looking at it.
Del Toro builds a tight plot but never develops it; his frames are overdecorated with macabre clutter and smothered in shadow, but the atmosphere of dread never reaches ecstatic excesses.
All the carefully orchestrated color schemes and all the dark corridors and secret chambers and all the flowing red metaphors in the world can't accelerate the slow patches, or make us care about lead characters.
J. R. Jones
The real wonder is the sumptuous production design by Thomas E. Sanders, whose darkly colorful sets were inspired by Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.
Del Toro just goes for effect, and the effect he seems to be going for here is something like, "Ew, Guillermo, that's really gross."
Guillermo del Toro's latest dive into the darkness is a sumptuous, beautifully constructed tale that feels both archaic and inviting.
Guillermo del Toro doesn't merely direct movies. He paints them, dreams them, shapes them into private fantasies. Too much? Of course. But that's part of the fun.
Crimson Peak is a fascinating conundrum of a movie. I was close to hating it as I walked out of the theater, but images and moments from it have stayed with me.
Director Guillermo del Toro's unique visual style is on display but the story is predictable, the characters are flat, and the supernatural elements are red herrings.