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crimsonI’m looking forward to catching CRIMSON PEAK this weekend, although the reviews I read seem to indicate that it’s a lavish and beautiful production that isn’t ultimately terribly scary. It appears to be less a horror movie as a paranormal romance of sorts. But with Guillermo del Toro directing, I feel obligated to check it out at the very least. He is a true artist-director. I respect his vision in any movie he makes. At the very least, it will be a beautiful movie. My hope is that it will be a scary one. I don’t get hung up on the horror/non-horror thing as much, where ghosts and haunted houses are concerned.

I recall people getting up in arms about THE WOMAN IN BLACK, which was a superlative ghost story originating from the great Susan Hill. People actually complained that it wasn’t a scary enough movie. But it absolutely was — the creeping dread and marvelous way they staged the ghost in that movie marks it as one of the all-time best ghost stories on the big screen.

So, when people sniff about CRIMSON PEAK not being scary, I’m willing to reserve judgment until I catch it. I like movies with a good bit of atmosphere, and trust del Toro to deliver it.

The other movie I’m considering catching is BRIDGE OF SPIES, if only because I enjoy a good spy story, even a no-doubt fantasized rendering of the U2 spy scandal in the hands of Spielberg. The proper history of the Cold War is unlikely to be written (let alone put into movie form) by any American — far too much money and political capital was invested in the Cold War for an honest, mainstream cinematic assessment of it. Still, Spielberg knows his moviemaking in his own manner, and I’ll probably enjoy it (we’ll see; I’ll review it, too, if I catch it).

So, there it is: ghosts and spooks, perfect “Red October” movie fare, right?

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