I saw Crimson Peak last week. I had high hopes. Guillermo Del Toro, Victorian ghost story, what could go wrong? The movie was beautiful and the actors did a good job, but it just didn't work for me. Here's my attempt to learn from the experience.
1) Don't show your monster from the beginning. What we don't see is scarier than what we do. (I wasn't a fan of the red skeletons. They felt more splatter horror than classy Victoriana.)
2) Go easy on the melodrama. Sometimes the movie went too far, even for me. It can feel unintentionally comical at times.
3) Be subtle with your metaphors. The butterfly/moth thing felt a bit too obvious to me, for example.
4) If you're doing a Victorian ghost story, or something else that's been done many times, give it a little twist. Crimson Peak felt a bit too predictable to me at times.
5) Watch your tone. The over-the-top violence just felt like it belonged in a different movie.
So, that's my two coppers.
What did you think?