Any movie with the name Guillermo Del Toro attached to it has the potential to amaze and hypnotize all who watch it. Crimson Peak is no different. The gothic horror fascinates as its visuals paint a familiar yet original picture that can only be recognized by experiencing it for yourself. Even with the astonishing wardrobe and decor, the story dimers the vibrancy and overall consistency of the film. The strong start is diluted by a telegraphed chain of events that most moviegoers will recognize almost instantly. Nonetheless, the film is spectacular in many other ways so let us explore more about Crimson Peak.
In the late 19th century, Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) is an aspiring author transfixed by the intellect and charms of Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). The two become further entangled after Cushing's father dies prematurely as Sharpe was to return to England. The invention needed to bring money back to the Sharpe name is connected to Thomas' crumbling mansion in Cumbria, England. After being married, the newly wedded relocate to the desolate mountain area where not everything is what it seems. Premonitions have warned Edith of this place and its mysteries begin to unravel as ghostly entities begin to transpire.
Wondrous visuals and attention to detail solidify the eerie atmosphere in Crimson Peak so desperately needed for a gothic horror. The unnerving soundtrack builds to the thrill and twistedness of the film that makes moviegoers inch towards the edge of their seats. The contrast of wardrobes between characters adds to the foreshadowing and depiction of characters. The scares of this film all come from the tension developed throughout Crimson Peak. The riveting take of the poltergeists haunting Edith can cause shivers up your spine, and their contortions cause your neck to tense up. If the visuals and cinematography were not to this level, Crimson Peak would be a mediocre film.
Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain played their characters to perfection. Charlie Hunnam and Jim Beaver also fit this time period with their terrific performances. The character interactions were believable as the time period never faltered to any of Crimson Peak's inconsistencies. The CGI and make-up delivered some startling moments where everything bloody or cringe worthy came off highly realistic. It is romantic and sensual at its core, so the creepiness makes it a perfect date night movie. Crimson Peak is a homage to classic gothic storytelling, and it truly was a beautiful experience overall.
Wasikowska's character was too naive regardless of her age. If it was not for her weakness as a character, the film would be much better. The story itself is simple and predictable, but it could have been forgiven if the protagonist was a stronger character. Even though she triumphs at the end, she is still just a damsel in distress that could not have succeeded on her own. There were so many clear signs of danger and questionable circumstances that happen yet only one character (Charlie Hunnam) recognizes it. Even though Edith carried the same wit as Thomas' intellect, she was completely baffled all throughout the film. The big revelation between the two siblings still had to be explained to Edith by the sister. Other than that, the dialogue was a bit overzealous at times as it seemed to tether between well-written to muddled on many occasions. The standard was set high at the beginning of the film, and it could not maintain this high level of intricacies when the mysteries began to unravel.
While the cinematography is awe-inspiring, a weak protagonist and predictable story takes away from a truly special film. There is a lot of love about Crimson Peak , and I still enjoyed the film even with its inconsistencies. There were volumes being spoken throughout the film and it had nothing to do with the dialogue. It was a simple story with masterful execution and this is why Crimson Peak is a homage to gothic horror and not its resurgence.