Gothic horror romance mystery starring fanboy favourite Tom Hiddleston from the director of Pacific Rim? What could possibly go wrong?!
Crimson Peak is the story of Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), an aspiring writer who, after suffering a personal tragedy is swept off her feet by a handsome English landowner, and relocates to his family home across the ocean. She can also see ghosts, who visit her with… various intentions.
The horror side of this film is what the majority of the marketing has focused on, even though it’s actually a very small part of the run time. The ghosts well realised, with a unique and creepy look, but they appear infrequently. That being said, the rest of the film helps add to these moments, and the design of the haunted house is by far the best part of the film.
It’s not just the house that looks great, however. Every aspect of the film’s design is wonderfully theatrical, but just believable enough to feel real. The costumes are also brilliant, and I can see these aspects of the film being recognised come awards season (or at least they should be). What makes this all better is that the sets are physical, which allows for some brilliant tracking shots of the characters walking through the house.
Something else I appreciated about the film is that it’s made for adults. There is some pretty graphic violence, and even though it sometimes feels a little bit unnecessary, I appreciated how committed to the adult aesthetic the whole thing was, in every aspect (you’ll have to see the film to understand what I’m referring to).
Let’s talk about Crimson Peak’s biggest weakness – Charlie Hunnam. Guillermo del Toro is clearly a big fan of him, having cast him in both this and Pacific Rim, but I’m not entirely sure why. His performance did stand out as being particularly poor, especially his accent, which was… American maybe? Other than this, there’s not a lot of negatives I can point to.
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