Crimson Peak (2015)
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
Written By: Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 59 min
Crimson Peak is old school horror. Operating on the same level as a camp fire ghost story, all be it a superbly produced one. It’s got the requisite creepy house in the country, a damsel in distress clad in a white nightgown (really brings out the red in the blood), and of course, a twisted family secret and plenty of ghosts. It’s not especially scary, or unnerving, and actually quite predictable.
So yes, very stylish and slickly produced, but vapid. A gorgeous film attempting to hide a chemistry-less romance, and dress up a somewhat by the numbers plot that doesn’t stand up to too much scrutiny. Crimson Peak is a slow-moving tale that doesn’t hide its mysteries all that well, and may make you yearn for a fast-forward button to get to the good stuff. Only to find the ‘good stuff’ is actually not that surprising.
The thin character development is the single worst failing of this movie. Especially with Mia Wasikowska’s pivotal character, Edith Cushing. Who starts out the film as a confident modern woman who identifies with Mary Shelley rather than Jane Austin – but by the end of the film seems more like something out of a E. L. James novel. Love struck for no discernible reason beyond finding Tom Hiddleston dreamy, and slow-witted about the strangeness around her.
If old school ghost stories appeal to you, then you should enjoy this film. If you’re looking for real scares or an unnerving creepy atmosphere, this film isn’t going to satisfy. Crimson Peak is rated R for bloody violence and some mild sexual content.
This film is gorgeous! Superbly produced – from the detailed set design and dressing, to the period costumes. This movie will work best in the theaters. If you wait for the rental, a HD screening on a nice big TV is the best way to enjoy this film. Watching this on a laptop, tablet or phone sized screen would be a mistake.
The film’s production design and photography are first-rate. I wouldn’t be shocked to see some award attention for costume design and cinematography next year.