Crimson Peak 2015 ***

The thing about camp is that it can’t be too self-conscious; Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak is a camp classic, even if it seems to be trying to play straight. Attempting a Gothic melodrama, Crimson Peak ends up like Jane Eyre meets Resident Evil, and while it’s a failure as drama, it’s often a hoot to watch. Edith(Mia Wasikowska) is swept off her feet by debonair Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddlestone) and spirited away to his English mansion, where his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) is a threatening presence. In 2016’s funniest scene, Thomas attempts to allay Edith’s growing anxieties by promising to lift her spirits with a visit to ‘the post office’. It’s hard to imagine where del Toro’s understanding of a British post office comes from, but in Crimson Peak, post offices look like bordellos and customers can stay overnight. It takes great talent to make a good/bad movie, and Crimson’s Peak’s line to the effect ‘Darling, you seem upset, let me take you to the post office…’ is hard to beat for camp quality.


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