Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver, Burn Gorman, Doug Jones
Synopsis: Edith falls in love with Sir Thomas Sharpe, returning to his estate after marriage, but everything is not what it seems.
Thoughts: Leave it to Hollywood executives to second guess a director like Guillermo del Toro. He has said many time that this is not a horror movie, but a romance that just happens to have a supernatural element to it. The studio tried to market it as one of the scariest movies of the year, likely driving off potential viewers that wanted to see a gothic romance and enticing some viewers that wanted to see a gory scarefest. In my opinion, this is what led to a very weak box office for Crimson Peak (27.7 million in North America and 61.9 million worldwide as of November 1st).
What you think of Crimson Peak largely depends on what you were looking for in the movie. It is, without a doubt, a beautiful film. The costumes, settings and SFX are amazing to behold. As he’s done before, del Toro has a penchant for showing gratuitous violence on the screen in a beautiful way. It’s amazing that the bathroom scene can make its way into a mainstream film!
While the movie is beautiful, it can be slow at times. The story is cliché and the plot is predictable. Some of the plot points take too long to play out, likely because there isn’t a lot of suspense for most viewers. Perhaps if the movie was a little shorter, that would’ve helped.
As far as the acting, there are some amazing performances here, but there are also a few I found to be a bit lacking. Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain were phenomenal as the Sharpe siblings. Hiddleston has become a force and chews scenery like no other, no matter the role he is in. Mia Wasikowska was alright as the lead, but her character always came across as a little flat to me. I was a huge fan of Charlie Hunnam in Sons of Anarchy, but it seems he brings that same character to all of his roles now. He seemed woefully out of place in this period piece.
There’s not a lot to say about del Toro. It seems you either love him, or hate him. I happen to love his work, but this movie is probably towards the bottom of the list of his movies for me. His eye and imagination are intoxicating for me to experience.
Crimson Peak is a beautiful, yet tragic gothic romance. It just happens to have a few scary moments with some ghosts as well as an overly violent scene or two to link it to the horror genre. It can be a tad slow at times, but del Toro throws enough eye candy out there to keep viewers engaged. This is a film I recommend checking out, but don’t fall for the Hollywood marketing machine and expect a scary movie, but be ready for a romantic drama that just happens to have a ghost or two in it.