A young woman is swept off her feet by a mysterious stranger, who
takes her to his estate that holds secrets dangerous enough to kill for.
Crimson Peak (2015)
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain,
Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver, Burn Gorman, Doug Jones
Crimson Peak is guilty of false advertising. The trailers made it out to be Guillermo del Toro's most frightening film ever, claiming it would revolutionize ghost movies forever. Instead, Crimson Peak is a bizarre thriller with a much more human threat and a serial killer story. The ghosts really played second fiddle to the dark misadventures of the Sharpe siblings, which was interesting in its own right but considerably less than what I was hoping for.
The performances in this film are top notch. Mia Wasikowska plays the naive Edith Cushing, who falls for the delightfully British Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). Wasikowska and Hiddleston have terrific chemistry and Hiddleston is slightly creepy, which helps make the film less Pride & Prejudice and more House on Haunted Hill. Jessica Chastain also delivered a powerful performance as Sharpe's sister Lucille, a sadistic creature with a seriously disturbing past. Overall, the actors performed well, but the script had quite a few glaring problems.
The script does not handle the use of ghosts in this film well. Once the secrets are revealed, the ghosts become inconsequential and you start to realize that they really don't need to be in the movie. The red clay from which the name 'Crimson Peak' comes from serves no true purpose except to make the house appear red at times. There were more than a few problems with the story that took me out of the film, which upset me because I know Guillermo can do much better. Hopefully, his next film is positively chilling, because Crimson Peak was much more style than substance.