It’s the Halloween season, so all we need are Pumpkin Spice Lattes and a good horror film that makes us squirm. Crimson Peak pulls that off with Gothic splendour.
Crimson Peak is directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim) so right off the bat you know you’re going to get some amazing visuals. The cast certainly whets the appetite too with the likes of Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, and Charlie Hunnam all appearing.
The story starts in Buffalo, New York and centres around a woman named Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska). As a young girl she sees the ghost of her mother who warns her to “beware of the Crimson Peak.” Fourteen years later, Edith takes her supernatural experience and starts writing a fictitious story in hopes to become a great author.
A mysterious man from England named Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) arrives in Buffalo to convince Edith’s father to invest in a state of the art clay-digging contraption that can dig up red clay for construction purposes.
Instead of business, Thomas becomes the third spoke in Edith’s love triangle that also includes her good friend Alan (Charlie Hunnam). Without giving too much plot away, Edith eventually finds herself at Thomas’ dilapidated estate in Allerdale, England. There, she interacts with his unwelcoming sister Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain). Edith eventually uncovers some unsavoury truths about the creepy mansion and the family’s history.
As you watch the film you will quickly figure out the direction the story is heading. There are no surprises except for the things that go bump in the night. The story is rather simplistic but it’s the costumes, set design and Hiddleston’s performance that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
This is not your run-of-the mill horror flick; there aren’t constant screams and scares around every corner. Instead Del Toro paces the film nicely and this is certainly more of a dark Gothic romance than your typical horror film. However, there are scenes that will make you squirm, scream and even laugh; all of which make Crimson Peak the perfect Halloween affair.
Shot in Kingston, Ontario; the set design is outstanding and Del Toro doesn’t go crazy with CGI effects like we saw in Pacific Rim and some of his other films. The real kudos however goes to costume designer Kate Hawley who went all out when it came to the Victorian era fashion.
Overall this film looks great on the big screen and is the perfect Halloween date movie. There are some grotesque and violent moments that will make some of you turn away in agony. The acting is fantastic especially Tom Hidelston and Jessica Chastain. Charlie Hunnam has done better work and seems to be riding the coattails of better actors in this one.
Cinema factoid: Benedict Cumberbatch was originally cast as the male lead but left the project due to undisclosed reasons. He was replaced by Tom Hiddleston. They are both friends in real life and Hiddleston asked for Cumberbatch’s blessing to take on the role.
Crimson Peak is a solid film and gets a 3.5 raindrops out of 5. There are no big surprises with the story but it is a fun ride. It’s definitely worth checking out.
This film is rated R and opens on October 16th.