I Saw Crimson Peak, or: Food Metaphors, Gothic Melodrama, and You
My favorite food is a good pasta bolognese: fettuccine al dente, with a sauce that’s been simmering for hours in red wine, every ingredient in its proper place, added at the right intervals, and stirred with true Italian vigor. I know it, I love it. This dish won’t surprise me, but that’s not what I want from pasta bolognese. What I want from pasta bolognese is the dinner time has shown me I’m wild for, prepared with skill, flair, and a love for the recipe.
Crimson Peak is THE pasta bolognese movie. It’s a lush Gothic Romance, complete with restless ghosts, fluttering ivory nightgowns, madness, slow poisoning, and a gorgeous decaying manor/metaphor house whose gables rise above the moors like snarling teeth. No movie has ever been less interested in reinventing the wheel, right down to the scene transitions: old-fashioned iris wipes. When the titled heir of a fallen family takes the hand of our unconventional heroine and leads her to the dance floor, the assembled ladies gasp. It knows, okay? It knows what it wants to be and knows that you want that too. There’s no irony, no winking, despite the fact that any audience worth its salt knows the narrative tricks inside out. That’s not what matters. What matters is that it’s bloody and frightening and twisted and mournful and achingly romantic.
I walked out of the theater effusive, a joyful little shiver in my stomach, still spooked and swooning. It was as if this movie reached out and cupped my fourteen-year-old self’s face in its hands and said, “isn’t it time you indulged in everything you ever wanted?”
Pure, undiluted gothic melodrama, masterfully made. A plate of pasta bolognese cooked by an expert chef, exactly the comfort food I crave, elevated to a thing of rare beauty. I can’t wait to have seconds.
This whole scene is Clarke telling Lexa to go float herself if she thinks that Clarke is going to just sit by and be okay if Lexa dies. You can see her try to pull herself together when Lexa says goodbye and Titus interrupts them to tell Heda it’s time. But did anyone catch the fact that Clarke is crying? She wasn’t just doing “what was right for her people”. She can’t stand the thought of Lexa dying.