Review of Crimson Peak (2015)

Dir. Guillermo Del Toro; Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddlestoncrimson-peak-poster

I flew all the way to Philadelphia from Los Angeles to see Crimson Peak with Winters. I arrived at her apartment after 7
hours of travel, then we immediately (and excitedly) left for the movie theater. We’d been eagerly awaiting this movie since before I left for Los Angeles over a year ago, so we wasted no time.

And let me tell you: It was worth it.

What’s it about?

Crimson Peak follows Edith Cushing (Wasikowska), an aspiring writer who knows for a fact that ghosts exist because her deceased mother has visited her. Edith has trouble getting her story published because, as a woman, it is believed she should be writing a love story instead of a ghost story. While working at her father’s office, she catches the eye of Lord Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston) and they start a whirlwind romance, of which her father does not approve. After her father is killed, Edith marries Lord Sharpe and is swept away to Crimson Peak in England to live with her new husband and his sister Lucille (Chastain). She quickly discovers that there’s something strange about the house and her new family.

Here’s the trailer:

What did I think?

This movie was not only visually stunning, but it was also well written and captivating. While it does not follow many modern day horror conventions, to the dismay of many horror fans, Crimson Peak calls us back to a time when horror was as simple as finding out the dark secrets of an old family. Guillermo Del Toro pays homage to the horror movies of the 30s, 40s and 50s, before jump scares and complicated plots, which I appreciate immensely. Unlike with other horror movies I’ve seen, I was not scared that this particular story could happen to me; however, I was scared for Edith and filled with a sense of anxiety, which is what horror is really about.

Allerdale Hall, the official name of Crimson Peak, is beautifully dilapidated and stunning. The long, dark hallways and the constant stream of falling leaves and falling snow in the main room created the perfect, creepy atmosphere necessary to make this movie great. The special effects were amazing, albeit terrifying. I did not always agree with the aesthetic of Del Toro’s ghosts, but they were well done and did the job they needed to do.

The acting was superb, as can be expected with this cast. Mia Wasikowska’s Edith was delightfully determined to be successful in her own right, but also so young and naive, which she played very well (she broke every single rule, though, but we’re trying to forgive her for that). Tom Hiddleston is my celebrity crush, so you know I liked his performance. His Lord Sharpe was mysterious, charming and just the right level of disturbing for a movie as macabre as this one. Despite their performances, though, the best of them all was Jessica Chastain’s Lady Lucille Sharpe. Her character’s progression throughout the story is by far the most interesting and the most striking. I can’t say more for fear of giving away major plot points, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Do I recommend it?

Yes. Oh, my God, yes. I can’t say yes enough. This movie was amazing and you’re missing out if you don’t see it.

Let me know what you think in the comments!


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