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A “fascinating conundrum of a movie”: Gothic, Horror and Crimson Peak (2015)

Kamm, Frances. A (2019) A “fascinating conundrum of a movie”: Gothic, Horror and Crimson Peak (2015). The Revenant, . E-ISSN 2397-8791. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
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Abstract

When Crimson Peak was released in 2015, reviews of the film reflected upon the difficulty in categorizing Guillermo del Toro’s latest project, with one critic concluding that the film’s complex generic referencing made it a ‘fascinating conundrum of a movie’. Of particular significance is the film’s relationship to horror, a debate underlined by the director’s insistence that the film is ‘not a horror movie’ but, rather, a ‘Gothic romance’, the latter of which is anchored in del Toro’s contextualization of the film within the traditions of the Female Gothic. However, Crimson Peak’s evocation of the Female Gothic is, this paper will argue, particularly complex: in contrast to the clear distinction del Toro suggests exists between horror and the Gothic in relation to this film, I argue that Crimson Peak ambiguously combines both, complicating its own employment of Female Gothic tropes through the inclusion of ghosts and, most significantly, in coding these supernatural occurrences as moments of horror. This blending is evident on narrative and stylistic levels and has several consequences: in particular, the use of tactics more usually associated with horror re-defines the alignment between heroine and spectator central to a Female Gothic story; disgust and fear are aligned with other female characters; and the story’s depiction of the villainous male is ambiguously concluded. Through the close analysis of the film’s story, tone and visual address, this paper will illuminate some part of the ‘conundrum’ which is Crimson Peak – a mystery rooted in the film’s relationship to the Gothic.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts > Film
Depositing User: Frances Kamm
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2019 17:38 UTC
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2019 09:32 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/77073 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Kamm, Frances. A: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4792-9186
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