I have to admit, it’s been quite some time since I’ve seen a movie directly after its release. But while it takes me some time, I always do eventually see the films I’m dying to see, and yesterday I finally watched Crimson Peak, the 2015 film directed by Guillermo Del Toro. I had high hopes for this film, and let me just say this now. It did not disappoint.
This movie’s reviews range from thrillingly brilliant to disappointingly overambitious, and just watching this with my parents, our living room was bursting with different opinions. I think perhaps the main reason for the film’s negative reviews is that many people expected it to be a horror, and were disappointed when the inevitable romance between Edith (Mia Wasikowska), and Thomas (Tom Hiddleston) budded and took the screen. A more fitting genre for this film is no doubt gothic romance, though it is without a question bursting at the seams with ghosts, gore, and intrigue. Though there were few jump scares, they were incredibly well-timed, and were therefore much more effective than say, one in every scene.
Del Toro is known for his gorgeous vision, and this film is no exception, absolutely oozing disturbing images that are so beautiful you simply can’t turn away. The gore in this film is quite honestly one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed, every inch a piece of art designed perfectly. And while the film’s twists are not unpredictable, they don’t quite feel obvious and are certainly not unenjoyable. Even seeing the twists coming, I was still able to appreciate fully just how beautifully, and hauntingly, they were crafted.
Wasikowska pulls on our heartstrings as our lead in this horrific, tragic love story, and we see so much from her eyes. Even seeing into the mystery of Sir Thomas while she is still blind to it, we cannot help but be as head over heels in love with him as she is. Hiddleston is a visionary as this romantic, horrifying and enchanting, dare I say it, antihero. While he flourishes, don’t let that fool you into thinking he steals any attention away from his bone-chilling sister, Lucille (Jessica Chastain). Particularly for the era of which the film is set, it really is thrilling in the best way to see strong (albeit, crazy) women standing in the spotlight.
From a dashing and mysterious stranger to horrifying and gory secrets, and even an adorable dog, Crimson Peak has something for everyone. It will leave you feeling exposed, vulnerable, and open to the possibility of ghosts, and more surprisingly, of the deepest love. Satisfying both the darker and lighter corners of your heart, I recommend this film to anyone who’s looking for a good fright, and warmth in their heart. For Del Toro shall give you both.