The other day I did a Podcast called ‘The Friendcast’ where we talked about movies for over an hour, and it really lit a fire under me to get back to this thing. I’ve seen a bunch of movies in the past few months and will write about some of the better ones soon, but today it’s all about Crimson Peak. Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak is a gothic romance (marketed as horror but not so much in actuality) set in the early 1900′s, revolving around the new marriage of Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) and Thomas Sharpe (Tumblr’s very own Tom Hiddleston). Through a tragic set of events, Edith moves across the pond to Thomas and his sister Lucille Sharpe’s estate, Allerdale Hall.
That is the gist of the narrative setup, and I really don’t want to talk too much more about it. This is a movie rich with little details, both narratively and visually. It is in fact Guillermo del Toro, after all. Del Toro has made some of my favorite movies, from the classic Pan’s Labyrinth to the massively underrated Hellboy 2. This ranks right up there with those two in his interesting, and unique catalog of features. Crimson Peak, however is his most visually striking and beautiful movie yet. Once the story moves to Allerdale hall, it’s difficult not to get distracted with the amazing attention to detail, as they did actually build the entire house from scratch. As my girlfriend Amy said after the movie, “every single shot of that movie was beautiful,” and she’s absolutely right.
To go along with the incredible visuals, del Toro crafted an entire atmosphere and mood to go along with it. The mysterious Sharpe siblings are perfectly acted by Hiddleston and Chastain (the latter doing some of the best work she’s ever done.) Hiddleston perfectly plays the charming and earnest love for his new wife, Edith, even as his intentions shift throughout the movie. I haven’t seen Wasikowska in anything that I really enjoyed her in yet, but she’s also perfectly cast in Crimson Peak as well. Her character is innocent, but strong. Sharp-whited, but kind to those around her. Hopefully this performance can really push her career forward.
I wrote before how this really isn’t a ‘horror’ movie, but more of a dark romance. Apparently, a lot of moviegoers and even critics are being thrown by how different the movie is from the marketing for it. I really hope they give it another shot after seeing it once, because I really think this is del Toro’s best movie since Pan’s Labyrinth. Don’t let that fool you though, because this is the guy who makes some of the weirdest, nastiest, and interesting monster designs in the business. Crimson Peak has no shortage of very creepy moments, they just aren’t what the movie is about. Edith puts it perfectly in the beginning of the movie; “This is not a ghost story, it’s a story with ghosts in it.”
That’s about it for Crimson Peak. I really hope you guys check it out, because it’s one of the most unique and gripping movies of the year. It also oozes with beautiful visuals and atmosphere like the red clay seeping into Allerdale hall from beneath the floorboards. Crimson Peak didn’t fare very well at the box office, but hopefully it can become some kind of a cult classic in the coming years, the more people talk about it. I’ll probably write up Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ soon, as well as ‘Steve Jobs’ if I catch that one this weekend. Thanks for reading!