CRIMSON PEAK

PrintE-mail Written by Courtney Button

Guillermo Del Toro has firmly placed himself as a director of significant talent and imagination whose films alternate between a ‘one for them and one for me’ category; one half big budget popcorn movies like the Hellboy series and Blade 2 and the other more personal films such as The Devil’s Backbone and the seminal Pan’s Labyrinth. Crimson Peak, coming off the back of the robots vs monsters movie Pacific Rim, is a ghost film created in the Gothic tradition, which has its feet in both camps with del Toro exploring classic horror but with a larger budget and more well-known actors.

Edith Cushing (Wasikowska) is an aspiring writer and daughter to a wealthy businessman. She meets a mysterious British businessman Sir Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston) and his sister Lucille (Chastain) who are hoping to raise money from her father. Edith and Thomas fall in love and move back to his home. However, the house is haunted by ghosts and Thomas and Lucille’s home may not let Edith escape.

As you would assume from a del Toro film, the production design is wonderful with Allerdale Hall taking centre stage. A wonderfully intricate set, the house is a Gothic construction seeping red liquid through the walls and faucets. It has plenty of dark corridors and mysterious locked rooms where angry souls still linger. It’s a classic haunted house setting fitting perfectly into the Gothic tradition and calling back to the haunted house films from the early Hammer Horror eras. The ghosts in Crimson Peak are vividly red, rotting husks with wisps swirling off them. Their appearances are certainly unsettling but because they are rendered through CGI, to give them a transparent ghostlike quality, a menacing physicality is missing from them which is disappointing. But, as with many ghost stories, the true threat is not from the ghosts but from the humans that may have created them. Not the full on horror it was originally presented as, Crimson Peak instead seeks to enrapture the viewer rather than terrify, sucking them into its familiar tale.

Tom Hiddleston is a perfect fit for the refined and handsome Thomas Sharpe, a conflicted soul pulled between the good and evil aspects of his character. Jessica Chastain, with her classic Hollywood beauty, has an occasionally wobbly British accent but gives an ice cold performance filled with menace. Wasikowska slips in to the Gothic heroine role as a strong protagonist who is beset by spectres but is still brave and curious enough to investigate after them with a candelabra in her hand.

Del Toro takes his time setting up his film which ends up leaving it a little bloated with an almost two hour running time and an ending that does start to feel a little ludicrous. However, del Toro has, for the most part, managed to create an entertaining and spooky love letter to the Victorian Gothic.

Crimson Peak is an enjoyable if slightly overlong and occasionally overdone dark drama. Del Toro once again shows he is a master of imaginative creation and design with a beautiful looking film with some lovely aesthetic touches.

CRIMSON PEAK / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: GUILLERMO DEL TORO / SCREENPLAY: MATTHEW ROBBINS, GUILLERMO DEL TORO / STARRING: MIA WASIKOWSKA, JESSICA CHASTAIN, TOM HIDDLESTON, CHARLIE HUNNAM / RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 15TH


Suggested Articles:
Fabulous Films is giving cult ‘80s television the treatment it deserves. Having already restored t
In The Perfect Insider a programming genius is murdered in a locked room in her research base. Visit
Jamil Dehlavi’s Jinnah documents the trials and tribulations of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the man
With a tagline reading ‘Lies eventually catch up’, Malcolm Deegan’s sole feature outing as wri
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

MAGNUM P.I. - THE COMPLETE COLLECTION 07 December 2016

THE PERFECT INSIDER - COMPLETE SEASON COLLECTION 03 December 2016

JINNAH (1998) 02 December 2016

FRACTIONAL 02 December 2016

THE HIRED HAND (1971) 02 December 2016

IRONSIDE SEASON 4 02 December 2016

IRONSIDE SEASON 3 02 December 2016

STAR TREK: THE RODDENBERRY VAULT 02 December 2016

GHOST IN THE NOONDAY SUN 29 November 2016

AKIRA: THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION 29 November 2016

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

      
      
 
...
 
 
...
 
 
 
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144