In this gothic romance set at the turn of the 20th century, a mysterious stranger named Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) woos young author Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) and brings her as his bride to his mansion atop a clay mountain in Cumbria, England. There, Edith meets Sharpe's strange and secretive sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain), and learns that her new home holds many disturbing secrets that will force her to fight for her sanity and her very life. Directed by Guillermo del Toro.~Erin Demers
Keys to deciphering Crimson Peak by Guillermo del Toro:
Beware of Crimson Peak
The light and dark of Crimson Peak
Feature commentary with co-writer/director Guillermo del Toro
When her heart is stolen by a seductive stranger, a young woman is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay— a place filled with secrets that will haunt her forever. Between desire and darkness, between mystery and madness, lies the truth behind Crimson Peak. From the imagination of director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) comes a gothic romance masterpiece starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam.
I was skeptical about purchasing this move. I'm so glad I did. It is a refreshing break from the Prequel and Sequel overloads that continue to be tossed out to movies goers. Don't want it with someone who jumps and screams a lot...
To preface this review: I'm not the biggest Guillermo del Toro fan. I like his stuff well enough, but I don't understand the fuss around him that has essentially made him a brand. It's easy to go back and say how much you enjoyed Cronos as it was an introduction to the director for many or how great Pan's Labyrinth was because it is in fact that (I still can't see del Toro ever hitting that kind of high again), but beyond his somewhat spotty resume what is there? I thought Pacific Rim was fine, but nowhere near great or even worth the excitement many a fanboy have lauded it with since the films release two years ago that have garnered it a sequel campaign for the ages (will it be made or not?!?!? Ahh who knows!!). With Crimson Peak though, I was intrigued from the moment gothic horror and del Toro's name were thrown together in the same sentence. It made perfect sense, but more it would be magnificent to see something of this genre made in the modern Hollywood system. If there were ever a chance for del Toro to return to the heights of Labyrinth it would certainly have to be in this type of film, right? It's as if the horror genre is ingrained in the way the director thinks-each piece of writing attempting to elicit the horror of whatever circumstances his characters find themselves in with a flourish of the fantastical thrown in to boot. As penned by Del Toro and Matthew Robbins (The Sugarland Express, Mimic) Crimson Peak is an amalgamation of something Edgar Allen Poe might have thought up conveyed in the style of the horror films of the fifties and sixties. It is easy to say that the film could easily fall into the "all style and no substance" category, but it's also easy to see there is a lot going on under the surface here even if the film I saw isn't exactly the one I expected. Given the title seemed to be referring to the colossal gothic mansion that the trio of main characters inhabit I imagined this would be a tale of a haunted family heirloom that held plenty of secrets for the innocent Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) to discover, but while this element certainly plays into the film, Crimson Peak is more about desire and how the nature of such emotion can consume every inch of our being.
"Crimson Peak" never fails to live up to the high visual standard set by director Guillermo Del Toro, and while C.P. may not bring the big scares that the dark subject material requires; this gothic tale is still worth a look. Part ghost story, part haunted house, part story of self discovery, C.P. places its main protagonist (Edith) at the center of what is to be a rocky ride as she delves deeper into the mystery at hand and consequently deeper into her own past. Strong performances from Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleson, and Jessica Chastain help to flesh out the storyline and keeps things moving along. For many horror fans C.P. may not deliver quite the experience that was expected as Del Toro's ghosts fit more into the monster/creature category (to which he excels) than that of spirits. But for fans of his visionary style this is a must see. Although not as strong as "Pan's Labyrinth" C.R. continues to demonstrate Del Toro's passion for the dark and the things that inhabit them.