Crimson Peak, directed by Guillermo Del Toro is a genre hopping delight. This is a film bustling with wonderful characters — stunning sets and locations, and some truly brilliant performances. So much of Crimson Peak is a joy for the senses and despite some minor hiccups – this is a film that stands tall above the current competition.
In Crimson Peak we follow Edith Cushing, played by Mia Wasikowska who falls for Thomas Sharpe, played by Tom Hiddleston, despite her father Carter Cushing, played by Jim Beaver forbidding Sharpe from carrying out any sort of relationship with his daughter. But after some suspicious activity — both Edith Cushing and Thomas Sharpe get married and move back to his dilapidated manor in England. It is at this point that some strange and spooky antics begin to plague Edith. Things are not helped by the fact that Thomas’ unstable sister Lucille Sharpe, played by Jessica Chastain, also lives in with them in the manor.
What I absolutely must talk about first is the intoxicating level of detail in this film. Del Toro is a master of bringing the surroundings to life, and his use of real practical sets, monsters etc is always some of the most enjoyable parts of his films — Crimson Peak is no different. The house in which the Sharpe family own is the crowning glory of this film — the first time the doors opened and the camera swooped into and up the main hall was a goose-bump inducing scene.
What also accompanied these beautiful sets/moments was some chilling sound design — The sound of the ghosts that haunt the halls of the manor — the moments when the house almost seems to breath, and of course the noises produced by the scared inhabitants of the manor. Everything so perfectly assists one another. Lovers of Del Toro’ attention to detail and ability to create some truly wonderful, yet unsettling imagery will not be disappointed with Crimson Peak.
Filling these incredible sets are some great performances by a talented group of actors. As you’d expect Tom Hiddleston is exceptional in the film. Utilising his expertise a stage performer – he commands his scenes effortlessly, and with the unique tone of the film projects so brilliantly in this spooky film. I only wish there was more of him in it.
Thankfully Hiddleston is also accompanied with a great leading performance from Mia Wasikowska. She delivers a commanding role as the spunky and different Edith Cushing — you really root for her, and when it’s all said and done is a character that you are completely invested in.
Last but not least is Jessica Chastain. Her performance is an interesting one because I wasn’t on board with it at the beginning of the film, it felt a little over the top. But once the film revealed fully what it was I was all in. She delivers something unsettling and exciting, and is perhaps her most outlandish performance yet as an actress.
Crimson Peak also comes packed with an interesting story, and one that I wasn’t first expecting (partly because of the poor marketing for the film, but I’ll get to that in a second). Yes Crimson Peak is a cross between a love story, a ghost story and a murder mystery. Now that sounds like it could get encumbering for the film but it actually works really well — all of these elements fold into one another perfectly and are what make the story so compelling. My only complaint is of how the revel is handled — that being that is done in that corny way of the bad guy revealing their entire plan just before they intend to kill the protagonist. This wasn’t necessary and did hamper the pace at the end — the only good thing about that point in particular is that the acting during it was brilliant.
However the biggest problem for Crimson Peak and to an extent its story is that the film has been so terribly marketed. When I first saw the trailer for this film I thought it was another dull, cheap jump scare flick. The trailers make it wholly look like that, and even my friends thought the same at first. It wasn’t until people who had seen the film that it started to become apparent that the film was much more than what it seemed to be. This may harm the film when it comes to people going to see it. Either they will avoid it because it looks like another cheap jump scare film, or they will go into it expecting a simple, by the numbers jump scare-athon — either way the films marketing has been terrible.
Crimson Peak is an unconventional treat — a film filled with so much to love, and love it I did. I went in not expecting much from this film — partly because I’m not the biggest Guillermo Del Toro fan, but also because the film seemed different from what I thought I was going to be seeing. In the end though I loved every moment I spent watching this film.
So now that it is all said and done I will be recommending Crimson Peak — a great film with a plethora of brilliances to offer.
Where you as surprised by Crimson Peak as I was? Let me know in the comments down below. If you want to keep up with the rest of my stuff then maybe give me a follow on Twitter,@GavinsTurtle. Last but not least have a great weekend.