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I do like del Toro’s movies in general, but I am not what you would call an unambiguous fanboy. While I loved Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, I stayed lukewarm on his Pacific Rim and Hellboy films.

Crimson Peak seeks to return to the style and narrative of the earlier efforts, manages to create a stunning visual setting and a pleasantly vulnerable damsel in distress, but never manages to sustain a feeling of threat, of fear or of horror. Neither does it seems to want to, it is not a horror film as such, more like a variation on a bad relatives thriller set in a haunted house. Between those motives, I could not quite engage, it was pleasant to watch, but never fully gripping. There is a bit of gore, a bit of almost camp evil, a bit of romantic love story and a bit of comic-style winter storm. The house is very nice though, even though it is not recommended as a cottage for your winter holiday. A little bit underwhelming, the whole thing, but at least it was fun to watch Jessica Chastain play an evil witch. Not sure whether arthouse Jessica enjoyed it too much, but I understand that working with this director is something you would do even if the script is not up there with his best.

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