CRIMSON PEAK (2015, US)
Starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam, and Jim Beaver
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins
Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak is a watchable gothic fantasy romance teeming with marvelous production design and a strikingly self-aware tale that laughs at its own tropes while making sure that every detail is highlighted even if put into the background.
The horror it creates is something that we have seen before: ghosts lurking in a haunted house, but the craft in making all these things more than what they appear is an aspect not to be taken out of consideration. Every shot and every movement are intricate as if there is no more breathing space for ad lib.
Crimson Peak tells the story of young Edith (played by the gorgeous Mia Wasikowska) as she marries the seductive aristocrat, Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), who brings her to his remote gothic mansion in the English hills. Also residing in the ancient house is his attractive sister, Lady Lucille (Jessica Chastain), who has the best kept secrets on the family’s roots. Edith has the power to communicate with the dead and so she attempts to uncover the mystery of her new home. She is able to see visions that points to the ghastly embodiment of the mansion itself.
Del Toro is able to showcase yet again the vibe of Pan’s Labyrinth–without the costumes and prosthetics–only this time it is more gruesome and more horrifying, all through a satisfying buildup that makes up for a large impact by the end. Having also directed Hellboy and Pacific Rim, there is much advancement to the creepiness that sinks in deep with every swift of the camera, which essentially makes Crimson Peak worth the ridiculous bloodbaths.
When the phrase “visually stunning” does not suffice for gore, we can all just refer to this alluring film.