Crimson Peak

(2015)

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Title:
Crimson Peak
Release Date:
13th October 2015
Runtime:
119 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
Guillermo del Toro
Writers:
Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

Edith Cushing's mother died when she was young but watches over her. Brought up in the Victorian Era she strives to be more than just a woman of marriageable age. She becomes enamored with Thomas Sharpe, a mysterious stranger. After a series of meetings and incidents she marries Thomas and comes to live with him and his sister, Lady Lucille Sharpe, far away from everything she has known. The naive girl soon comes to realize not everything is as it appears as ghosts of the past quite literally come out of the woodwork. This movie is more about mystery and suspense than gore.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 56%
IMDb Rating 6.6

Casts

Charlie Hunnam as Dr. Alan McMichael
Jessica Chastain as Lucille Sharpe
Jim Beaver as Carter Cushing
Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing
Tom Hiddleston as Thomas Sharpe

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rivkasue 18th October, 2015

Visual treat

I only saw this film because I am a del Toro fan--Pan's Labyrinth is my favorite movie. While Crimson Peak does not come anywhere near the quality of Labyrinth in terms of the script, it still showcases del Toro's unique skill for beauty and suspense. The sets, costumes and general atmosphere are sumptuous in that signature del Toro way. The luxurious train on the heroine's robe that audibly thumps behind her as she sweeps down the staircase? Yes, please. There is a nod to all the images our minds ever conjured while reading fairy tales. The rich colors, the music, the textures all help draw us in to this world and settle us in for the story. The film is not without its flaws. There are a few glaring plot contrivances that had me groaning. There is a superficial quality to the scenes involving Thomas Sharpe's clay mining business. I was impressed with Jessica Chastain's talent for conveying two conflicting emotions at once, all playing out on her face, reminiscent of Gillian Anderson in Bleak House.

Reviewed by jorged-1 16th October, 2015

Beautiful visuals do not make a movie

I have just watched this movie and it was a terrible disappointment. I loved other Del Toro's movies, but this ones feels totally empty. The film is a visual feast. Gorgeous locations, wonderfully lit serve as the background for the tale. Fantastic shots and good acting would make you think that this is a good movie. But it is not. The plot is so cheap, that you can tell what is going to happen since the first frame. The evil characters are so cartoonish that you can see their next movements from miles away. The "good" character is so bland and pathetic that you never have a real connection with her. In fact, as you can see where the film goes from the beginning, this movie is a total bore. Do not waste your time and watch "The Devil's Backbone" instead.

Reviewed by Jennifer Lynx 16th October, 2015

Hauntingly Beautiful Gothic Romance

Guillermo del Toro is a director and artist whose films fall into two distinct categories: big budget English language blockbusters like "Hellboy" and "Pacific Rim" and lesser known, low budget Spanish language horror films like "Devil's Backbone" and "Pan's Labyrinth". His latest film, "Crimson Peak" is what happens when these two worlds collide, in other words, a big budget English language horror film. "Crimson Peak" is set in the late 19th century, first in New York, then in rural England. Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) is a young budding writer who is intelligent, beautiful, and strong willed, refusing to allow Victorian sensibilities dictate what she can and cannot do, and as a result butts heads with those around her. Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) is an English aristocrat and inventor who is in New York seeking financial backing for his mechanized clay mining business back home. When tragedy strikes, Thomas marries Edith and brings her to his home, Allerdale Hall in Cumberland, where his sister Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain) is waiting. As Edith tries to fit into her new surroundings, she discovers that secrets abound and nothing is as it seems. The visuals in "Crimson Peak" are so glorious, they are almost overwhelming. The sets are spectacular visions of beauty and decadence in decay; costumes are intricately detailed and gorgeous; the lighting and over saturated color bring depth and meaning; the ghosts are grotesquely beautiful; and, of course, the del Toro trademarks of insects and clockwork gracefully found their way into the story as well. Because "Crimson Peak" is a rather large studio production, it is being marketed to a large audience. I believe this accounts for some of the lackluster reviews I have been reading. If one is not familiar with del Toro's prior Spanish language films, they may not understand his unique cinematic perspective. For some, this will mark the beginning of a journey into del Toro's fantasy world, for others it will be a disappointment. For me, it was almost everything I wanted it to be.

Reviewed by moviexclusive 14th October, 2015

The sumptuous production design is quintessential del Toro, but everything else feels too much like a slow retread over familiar territory

Do we need another Gothic horror from Guillermo del Toro after 'The Devil's Backbone' and 'Pan's Labyrinth'? Depending on your answer to that question, you may find yourself lapping up del Toro's latest or feeling blase about it. Aside from the fact that there is a romance at its core, 'Crimson Peak' feels very much a mishmash of over-familiar elements from del Toro's previous films and other Victorian-era fiction, including the very well-received Showtime drama series 'Penny Dreadful'. There is a mouldering manse, an aristocratic family hiding a dark and terrible past, and last but not least a young woman who enters both family and house for the first time to discover that all is not well within its crumbling walls. Because del Toro's idea of homage to the Hammer films of the 1950s and 1960s is not by way of revisionism, his Gothic horror/ romance feels less refreshing than conventional – and that is especially true of its story. Set at the turn of the last century, it tells of the American heiress Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) who aspires to be an author in the vein of Mary Shelley, much to the chagrin of her publisher as well as her self-made industrial magnate of a father (Jim Beaver). Though her father wishes for her to marry the childhood-friend- turned-handsome-optometrist Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam), Edith finds herself falling for the British baronet Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). Thomas is visiting with his older sister Lady Lucille (Jessica Chastain) to seek funding from Edith's father for his 'clay harvester', though the latter rebuffs both his invention as well as his Old World status of privilege. Del Toro, who scripted the film with veteran writer Matthew Robbins, takes his time letting Edith and Thomas fall in love with each other, but because the filmmaker is no specialist when it comes to affairs of the heart, the romance is largely stilted and bordering on cheese. It takes no less than an hour before we finally arrive at the titular haunted house, so named because the clay Thomas mines from the ground below the family property is blood-red and taints both the snow as well as the sunken floorboards. But the crimson is just one aspect of the gorgeous production design which we have come to expect no less of from the Spanish maestro; from the architecture to the stone pillars and arches to the moth-lined walls, del Toro's imagination and attention to detail is palpable in every frame. Sans two brief sequences in which Edith's late mother returns as a black wraith with an ominous warning, the rest of the haunting takes place within the creaky, creepy confines of Allerdale Hall. Maybe it is because the recent bumper crop of haunted house movies have steeled our nerves, but horror aficionados are unlikely to find the ghostly inhabitants that del Toro conjures jolting, notwithstanding his attempt to build genuine atmosphere through a mixture of quiet anticipation and sudden sound cues. Del Toro's tendencies towards the fantastical also mean that the apparitions are less terrifying than intriguing, consisting largely of skeletal ghouls drenched in some sticky red substance. Yet a more fundamental issue is the role that these supernatural entities play in the context of the story, which contrary to what you may expect, is much less substantial. Besides rousing Edith from her sleep in the middle of the night to lead her on a tour of the house's dark corridors and dank basement, these ghosts of Thomas' past are no more than sideshows to the central plot that has something to do with the sizeable family fortune Edith has been bequeathed following the sudden death of her father which Thomas and/or Lucille may have something to do with (and you probably already know the answer to that). Though it may seem at first that these spirits are trying to protect Edith, that assumption is pretty much laid to rest by the time Edith is in real peril, with the actual danger being (shall we say) more earthly. That shouldn't come as a surprise to those familiar with del Toro's works. If there is one thing we've learnt, it is that ghosts exist due to attachment to place or emotion, and while frightening in and of themselves, are really not the evil we should be afraid so; instead, what we should be afraid of is the evil which exists in the heart of man, be it greed, lust or envy, each one of which Edith comes to discover within the human companions in the haunted mansion. As admirable a philosophy that may be, it does mean that the story unfolds in largely predictable fashion, which isn't helped by a dearth of any supernatural presence in the third and final act. Indeed, there is no shaking off the feeling that there is something awfully generic about the story as well as the characters. In fact, the same can be said of most of the elements of 'Crimson Peak', which like we said at the start, seems as if it were cobbled from tropes and cliches of the Gothic horror romance genre – and the fact that del Toro has put them to more effective service in his earlier films doesn't help. The style is quintessential del Toro, lush and sumptuous in both mood and visuals, but there is something hollow about the substance within. Depending on how much you like a retread over familiar territory, you'll either love his latest or find it just a tad underwhelming.

Reviewed by cnycitylady 14th October, 2015

Sweet Gothic Horror

"Crimson Peak" has much to recommend it. Its cast is spot on, its costume design and set are beautiful and spooky. The story itself doesn't really go for the cheap thrills that most horror today goes for, and I appreciate that. Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston have a fantastic chemistry and you readily fall in love with the love story they present you, but the real jewel of the film is Jessica Chastain. As soon as she walks on screen you know something wicked this way comes. Her piercing glare and overall sense of distaste for the other characters really unease's you in the most fun way. You can see little to no sympathy in her face and you cannot wait to see just where she'll go with it. The story starts off as pleasantly as any period piece and you wonder what the ghouls and ghosts are up to, and whether they are in cahoots with Hiddleston and Chastain. Unfortunately by the second half, the movie looses some of its spook and becomes somewhat predictable in plot, but because of this you will be able to watch it over and over again without ever really getting bored. This is because the horror isn't the selling point of the story, the heart of the characters are. And each character has more heart than they could possibly know what to do with. The acting is superb and although this story has been told in one way or another, you still root for a positive outcome. Guillermo del Toro creates yet another masterpiece of film. I fully enjoyed it. 8/10