Crimson Peak (2015)

December 13, 2015 - 4:05pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: Benedict Cumberbatch, Crimson Peak, ghosts, Guillermo del Toro, haunted house, haunting, Jessica Chastain, Legendary Pictures, Leslie Hope, Lucinda Coxon, Matthew Robbins, Mia Wasikowska

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Guillermo del Toro
Mia Wasikowska, Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Chastain, Jim Beaver, Tom Hiddleston, Leslie Hope

Crimson Peak is a project that writer/director Guillermo del Toro had reportedly been interested in doing ever since he wrote the first script after Pan's Labyrinth back in 2006 (which is an excellent movie, by the way). Being a fan of del Toro's work I had high hopes, especially since this was the filmmakers return to the supernatural after the masterful Devil's Backbone in 2002. Luckily the movie turned out to be pretty good, despite the misleading advertisements of it simply being a haunted house flick.

The story centers on a young woman named Edith (Mia Wasikowska) who recently lost her wealthy father to an "accidental death," which may or may not be linked to a couple mysterious British siblings named Thomas (Tom Hiddleston) and Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain) both of whom have conveniently entered Edith's life. Thomas gains the affection of Edith fast enough for her to marry him and move to their secluded decaying mansion home in England.

Edith immediately begins to see strange things upon moving into the broken down mansion, quickly leading her to believe that the place may be haunted (as the standard with old mansions). Meanwhile back in the states, the family physician (Charlie Hunnam) is piecing together clues about the suspicious death of the father and the real truth behind the strange siblings.

The film will likely disappoint some viewers that go in thinking it's just another haunted house period piece, because that's far from what it actually is, despite what the promos may have led you to believe. The pic is best described as a dark, gothic, romance, mystery with the ghosts staying more in the background instead of being the focus. It's specifically more about the mystery behind the siblings and what their true intentions are towards Edith and unless you're invested in these characters and discovering the truth, you'll probably lose interest (especially since it's a slow burn).

It's said that the movie is inspired by the classic haunted house efforts from the 60's, but with del Toro's own visionary style--a style which can be stunning at times. The use of colors along with the period designs and set decoration really helped make the mansion come to life and almost become its own character. And while the ghosts are primarily only featured in the first half of the film they are actually pretty creepy and have a very unique look to them, though there are occasions were all the CG used to bring them to the screen may take you out of the movie, which that and the story's predictable outcome are my only real complaints.

Crimson Peak is less of a haunted house movie and more of a slow burn, dark, gothic, period mystery with some romance and a dash of the supernatural. This may turn some people off, especially if they go in expecting just a straight forward haunting with a lot of ghosties and pop scares, because aside from a couple creepy bits it's not a very scary flick at all. If you're okay with all that then I'd definitely recommend giving this a look.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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