Monday, October 19, 2015

Crimson Peak (2015)

When Martin Scorsese decided to make The Age of Innocence, a lot of people were baffled that a filmmaker so synonymous with violence would be making a costume picture. What they realized upon seeing the final film was, that despite the gorgeous d├ęcor and costumes, the elite of 1870’s New York could be just as (if not more) vicious than the mafia. And that film didn’t even bother to try addressing the savagery of unbridled Capitalism which was just coming into full bloom thanks to the Industrial Revolution. Fortunately Guillermo Del Toro exists to address that oversight with the blood red, Gothic Romance of Crimson Peak.

Through lush imagery like moths stained with the soot of factories, and a house that has bled the land so dry that it in turn is bleeding as well, Del Toro is able to make clear what took Charlie Chaplin a whole overwrought monologue to drive home in Monsieur Verdoux. There are few filmmakers working today so in command of purely visual storytelling. Guillermo Del Toro and his collaborators were able to take the inherent violence of capitalism and externalize it in the most sensuous and grisly manner possible. It’s not a ghost story, it’s a story with ghosts in it.

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