Watching Tom Hiddelston's character ascend from creepster-with-an-evil-plan to a surprisingly empathetic and loving man; and likewise Jessica Chastain's character descend from cold, sardonic madness into pure passion-driven madness would be enough to entertain me WITHOUT a gaudy, gothic backdrop.
Add suspenseful mystery, a kickass (well, eventually kickass) Mia Wasikowski and, yes, ostentatious, ogle-worthy cinematography and color grading, and I can't help but leaving the theater in raptures.
That's precisely what I did; it was date night, I was with my girlfriend, and we came in separate cars. She called me while we were driving home and we chatted about what we just saw until we reached my driveway.
We did this for two reasons: she's more spiritually-inclined than I; I am more nerdy for cinematography and fine film technique than she. So after leaving a movie like this, we had much to pine over.
No, we weren't concerned about some plot holes, and no, we didn't mind that, once enough details were let out, much of the film became obvious. Literally every other element of the film was obvious: the set design, the symbolism, the stark and contrasty lighting. Why try to make a huge statement with a more dense plot? It had enough to sink teeth (or cleavers) into. And for fight-or-flight frantic filmgoers like me during any jumpscare, it had an admissible amount of truly disturbing moments, coupled with (perhaps even replaced by) truly disturbing levels of emotion.
Did I mention how gorgeous it was?
YmL (You may Like): Gaslight (1944), Sleepy Hollow (1999)