Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) has been seeing ghosts since she was a little girl, coming to her in the middle of the night and giving cryptic warnings about a place called Crimson Peak. She spent years trying to get the horrifying face of her dead mother out of her head. Little did she know that her real troubles would begin when a perfect – but ominous – stranger and his sister come to town. Edith falls in love, and is swept away to a decaying mansion atop a hill of vibrant red clay.
“Crimson Peak” is an original story, written and brought to life by Guillermo del Toro, and stars Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain. It’s one of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen.
Del Toro has been known for his stunning visuals and colors, and “Crimson Peak” carries on this tradition. Not only are the colors vibrant, but they serve as symbolism for the story’s themes. The makeup artists and CGI coordinators did an excellent job creating horrifying ghosts and amplifying the gothic setting. Del Toro completely sucks you in.
The characters are well-rounded and complex — especially Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston) and his sister Lucille (Chastain). With every line, they reveal deeper layers of themselves, and you’ll find that some layers should have stayed buried. They are detestable, desirable and lovable simultaneously. They keep you completely invested.
“Crimson Peak” wasn’t entirely what I expected. The previews made it seem like a gothic romance and a paranormal horror movie, but it turns out to be a murder mystery and gothic romance that happens to have terrifying ghosts in it. It might remind you of a Tim Burton movie and an Edgar Allan Poe story combined into one. Surprisingly, you find out very quickly that the ghosts are not the things to fear.
Despite this, the movie is thrilling. The ghosts are horrifying, the twists and turns in the story line keep you guessing and have you nervously chattering your teeth on your nails as the movie reaches its climax. The movie is mysterious and terrifying.
Although I loved the movie, there were some common horror/thriller movie clichés. Edith (Wasikowska) is smart, for the most part, but she makes some choices in the movie that would probably get you killed in real life. Her actions don’t entirely make sense. Also, some events in the movie seem so suspicious that you wonder how Edith could actually remain oblivious.
Despite some minor setbacks, this movie completely exceeded my expectations. You don’t get to see too many gothic ghost stories anymore, and it was refreshing to see one created the visionary Guillermo del Toro. IMDb gave it a seven out of 10 and Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 68 percent out of 100. For my rating, I give it a nine out of 10.