A bloody masterpiece.
From the weird and wonderful director of Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo Del Toro returns with a Victorian extravaganza that you simply do not want to miss! Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), wishes to pursue writing, of ghost stories in particular. Wait, not ghost stories, but stories that feature ghosts in them…Edith is only familiar with spirits herself, as she is visited by her mother who warns her: ‘Beware of Crimson Peak!’. This message has but no meaning until she falls madly in love with the charming Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), who whisks her off back to his home, Allerdale Hall to live with him and his bizarre sister (Jessica Chastain). But it looks like they aren’t the only souls wondering the halls…
Clearly, the greatest thing about this film is the actual look of it. There’s not a single shot that lets the film down. In addition, the costume design here is striking, to say the least, giving The Woman in Black a run for its money. Crimson Peak offers some breathtaking images including the juxtaposition of the recurring red theme within each scene. This deliberately echoes Jane Eyre! The cinematography is faultless, as is the score. It all adds up in striving to become a breathtaking film, which builds up the perfect Gothic atmosphere.
Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam, do a splendid job of portraying love interests. Though Hiddleston’s character is more developed and complex then Hunnam’s, Hunnam still holds his own with what little time he has. Mia Wasikowska delightfully portrays the blonde heroine in her white nightie, scurrying around the haunted house endlessly with her candle. Chastain once again gives a stand-out performance, taking ‘creepy’ to another level. One complaint however, is the lack of compassion the narrative held. Especially with the development of Edith and Thomas’s relationship, which only ended up feeling lost in the snow. While it may contain moments of gruesome violence and ghosts, Crimson Peak is far more of a Gothic-inspired drama than a horror film.
Even though it isn’t that terrifying, Crimson Peak is a visual treat to the eyes. Del Toro being no stranger to the genre, masterfully succeeds in displaying the subtleties of horror. However, it is a little predictable, making it a relatively speedy watch, with one scene in desperate attempt to interrupt the other. Nonetheless, it is solid entertainment – the ideal viewing for anyone looking for a detour from the supernatural horror that has lately dominated our screens.