Title: Crimson Peak
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver
Plot: Nearing the end of the 18th century, aspiring author Edith Cushing (Wasikowska) meets a struggling inventor by the name of Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston). Quickly falling in love the pair move into Sharpe’s dilapidating mansion he shares with his sister Lucille (Chastain). Once there, Edith slowly realizes that not everything is what it seems and decides to dig deeper, in spite of the growing dangers.
Review: A gothic love story drapped in ghost story and mystery elements which ultimatly ended up being a wretched bore of a movie to get through.
Perhaps my distrain for the film can be linked to my lack of love for costume drama, an opinion I have always felt had alot to do with being a Brit and hence raised in a climate were this was our main dramatic output (alongside tepid crime dramas) so hence lacking any kind of astetic charm which is no doubt the reason I couldn’t get into Penny Dreadful either whose setting which I’m still conviced a large portion of the world still believe London to be like. More so when every mention of Britain on podcasts seems to be accompanied by either a posh or cockney accent.
Crimson Peak on the other hand see’s Del Toro attempting to tap into the classic Hammer Horror vibe, while channeling the likes of The House on Haunted Hill and The Shinning and certainly in terms of visuals and location he achives this goal as the film is unquestionably stunning if perhaps detracted from in some scenes by cheap CGI turning the snow read to enable the manor grounds to live up to thier name sake.
Plot wise the film frustratingly can never seem to make up it’s mind as to what it wants to be as Mia Wasikowska’s aspiring writer and heiress Edith is charmed away from the much more intresting setting of 1887 Boston to England by Tom Hiddleston’s Baronet (along with his unhinged sister Lucille in tow) were they return to their delapedated mansion which like it’s owners has it’s own share of secrets aswell as red ghosts to serve unheeded warnings and several rooms whose inclusion seems to be more down to Del Toro liking the visuals he can conjuour with thier presence such as the large tanks of melted blood red clay than any kind of justification for thier exsistance in the mansion.
The film continually bounces tonly around as it swerves from psychological abuse to suspenseful thriller all which just left me wishing it would decide what it wanted to be and just stick with it, more so when the trailer was selling the film as a ghost story which it really is in the vaguest sense as yes there are Ghosts but they arn’t the focus here.
Certainly the film could have been worse with Emma Watson originally cast to star possibly because of her being an English actor with some marquee presence or perhaps just being cheap who knows but we can be atleast thankful for this small mercy. But sure if your a fan of 18th century costuming or the classic Hammer movies that Del Toro clearly adores you might get somthing out of this but for myself it just left me cold.