Howdy ladies and gents, its review time once again, and today I’m gonna be talking about Crimson Peak, the latest film from Guillermo del Toro. Now I’ve been looking forward to this film since before there was any images or footage released, and even after the trailers came out I never watched them, I was going into this film pretty fresh which is almost impossible to do these days. So was the film good or not? Well read on and find out!
So the story can be summed up as the following:
“In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.”
Well the story certainly didn’t unfold the way I expected it to, even though this was a horror film there was also a romantic element to the film as well. This was a tale of love, family, deception, death, and the past coming back to haunt you. What I appreciated about this film was its tone and style. Too often these days horror films are filled with jump scares, excessive violence and gore and paranormal stuff. This film is consistent in its need to creep you out through its imagery but also through atmosphere, suspense and the actions of the characters. I will admit that there were certain plot points I guessed were coming and I was curious to know where the story was going around halfway through but by the third act things to became clearer. I think one of the key reasons I liked this film a lot is because unlike del Toro’s mainstream films like Pacific Rim and Hellboy and was closer in tone to Pan’s Labyrinth (one of my all-time favourite films) with the horror and disturbing nature of the plot.
Tom Hiddleston was as great as Sir Thomas Sharpe, obviously we all associate Hiddleston with his great performances as Loki from the Marvel films, but I know he’s great beyond those films as well and since not many people saw Only Lovers Left Alive, this film was the perfect place to illustrate how much he can bring to a film outside of the superhero genre. Hiddleston’s character was confident and charming, but also troubled and scared when it comes to certain aspects of his past and I loved his performance. But Jessica Chastain as Lady Lucille Sharpe, Sir Thomas’s sister. This character is like a hawk, always watching, she doesn’t say much but she say more with her eyes and body language, and when she does speak at first she’s nice yet withdrawn. It is only later when we start to see more of her personality and plans come into he light and then she becomes a much more aggressive and complicated character for sure. Chastain’s performance was reserved and full of intensity and drama, loved it. And then there’s Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing, and I didn’t save her for last out of the main trio because she’s terrible, but I don’t feel like ger performance was nearly as strong as the people I mentioned before. That being said this is my favourite performance from Wasikowska so far, her character was a lovely and bright individual who just happens to have her life changed forever in an unexpected way and she was someone you could connect and sympathize with as well. Also Charlie Hunnam was really good as Dr. Alan McMichael and Jim Beaver did well as Carter Cushing too.
The presentation was lovely. Visually the film was incredible and had that del Toro touch when it came to way the environment and ghosts looked and came across. I loved the use of colour and lighting, oh and the costume design is awesome in terms of the design and colour. As for the mansion at Allerdale Hall, I loved the way it looked, there was beauty to the decrepit house. Whether it be the design of staircase, the look of the attic, the fireplace, the open hole in the ceiling or the fact that the house oozes red clay that looks like tick blood, the mansion is just a sight to be hold and is very much a character of its own too. The apparitions were handled well too with them looking quite unique and disturbing, and when they’re in the background they slip around so swiftly with one even reminding me of moment from Signs (if you know the key scene I’m referencing). I also liked the use of violence with these being some pretty brutal attacks and deaths on display, the make-up and practical effects team should be commended for their work as its realistic and raw.
In conclusion Crimson Peak was a pretty damn good film and was a deeper and more personal tale than I thought it’d be. With gorgeous presentation, stellar performances from Chastain and Hiddleston, and a story that is both heartfelt and creepy, it succeeds in being another great film in del Toro’s filmography and I highly recommend it.
So have you seen Crimson Peak and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters!