Let’s start off by saying that while Crimson Peak has been advertised as a ghost story, it’s not so much that as it is a story with a ghost in it.
We start out by meeting the lead Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), a woman who had unusual desires for a woman in the late 1800s. She wants to be a famous writer, rather than a wife. Her dad has other idea, wanting her to marry the local Dr. McMichael (Charlie Hunnam). However, Edith instead focuses on a poor, but aristocratic Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). She’s seduced by his dream of restarting the red clay mine of his family home. After her father’s mysterious death, Edith marries Thomas, only to start receiving mysterious warnings from her dead mother, about the place she’s gone to live, referred to as Crimson Peak.
There’s quite a bit to say about the acting in this film, as there’s not much action. The characters must be carried by nothing more than dialog or the occasionally nefarious look. In that Mia Wasikowska is great as a wide eyed girl. growing increasingly suspicious of her husband’s family. Thomas Sharpe, played by Tom Hiddleston, is equally good, playing the loving husband with a nefarious side as well. And Jessica Chastain, who got the rare opportunity to spread her wings as the nefarious sister, might have found her best role yet.
However, even the excellent acting fades away among the amazing visuals that are this film. It’s a gothic story, with an excellent, complex gothic atmosphere. Everything from the scenery and the small details of the gothic home, all the way to the score that plays in the background competes for your attention. It’s a thrilling, gorgeous film that is carried based on excellent direction and beautiful visuals.
Their story is a simple one. Girl looking to solve mystery. However, it’s simple because it needs to be. The characters themselves are so multifaceted, the background so rich, that if we were dealing with a complex story, it would feel like a messy mishmash. Instead, the balance is perfectly formed, ensuring that you can understand the plot while you enjoy the characters.
I do have to point out that this is not a scary horror flick. It’s less about monsters and spirits than it is the atmosphere. If you were a fan of The Others, then it’s likely you’d enjoy this. However, if you’re looking for something like Hellboy, this is not the flick for you. The conflict here is internally driven and much of the horror is purely cerebral.
Towards the end of the movie, the momentum slows a bit and some might find that it drags. In addition, the CGI effects for the ghosts were a bit underwhelming. However, the atmosphere and the characters carry this well enough. While it might not be heart pounding, it’s certainly an unsettling, darkly beautiful movie that viewers with tamer horror tastes will likely enjoy.
If that’s your kind of style, and The Others is among your favorites, than Crimson Peak is absolutely worth the watch.
WE GAVE IT: 3.5 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!
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