Auteur filmmaker Guillermo del Toro crafts a beautiful tribute to the gothic romance genre with Crimson Peak – a film that will unnerve audiences for all the right reasons.
Set in a crumbling mansion in a largely rural and mountainous region of northern England in the 19th century, young author Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) discovers that her charming new husband Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) is not who he appears to be.
Here’s five reasons to watch del Toro’s latest offering:
- Ghoulish Ghosts
While Crimson Peak may be grounded in the genre of gothic romance, it certainly doesn’t skimp on the scares, and there are plenty of ghostly moments that will send a shiver down the spines of audience members. Not long after its opening frame we are introduced to Guillermo’s benevolent spirits who have much to contribute to the evolving drama of Crimson Peak. Del Toro is clever in how he uses them to the film’s advantage, and combined with crisp, eerie sound design, the hauntings of Crimson Peak are disturbingly real.
- Tom Hiddleston, and Jessica Chastain: The Darkest of Siblings
Crimson Peak is a phenomenal movie to behold, thanks in large part to the casting of Tom Hiddleston, and Jessica Chastain as the menacing Sharpe siblings. Both performers excel in their respective roles, with Hiddleston owning the screen as the dapper and mysterious Sir Thomas Sharpe, while Chastain brings a venomous menace as his horrific sister Lady Lucille Sharpe. Hiddleston and Chastain are totally in command of their twisted and enigmatic characters, and the subtlety in which they reveal every character trait makes for a compelling watch. When all is finally revealed, a twisted sense of shock will come over audiences, and it’s all thanks to the stellar performances from these incredible thespians.
- Allerdale Hall: A Living Creature
While ghosts may lurk through its dark, haunted halls, the manor house of Allerdale Hall is without a doubt the creepiest character of all. This grand manor home is a living, breathing creature that howls in the dark, and whose rotting walls and hallways are filled with secrets that refuse to remain buried. The construction and attention to detail within Allerdale Hall is incredible, and del Toro and his skilled artisans have crafted a remarkable set. With shadows at every turn, it’s a place where one would be advised not to get lost.
- Mia Wasikowska: From Ingénue to Heroine
At the centre of Crimson Peak is the brilliant Mia Wasikowska who gives a compelling performance as the film’s heroine Edith Cushing. Designed as a thoroughly modern heroine in a bygone era, Edith is a determined novelist whose interests in ghosts and the macabre becomes all too real when she falls for Sir Thomas, and accepts his proposal. Wasikowska is so natural and involved as Edith that she loses herself within the part, and her journey from a slightly lovelorn ingénue to a feisty survivor, who is determined to end the horrors at the heart of Allerdale Hall, is an inspired cinematic journey.
- A Love Letter from Guillermo Del Toro
Above all else, Crimson Peak is a love letter to the genre of gothic romance from its director, the brilliantly creative and passionate Guillermo del Toro. Not only has he created a rich and layered film experience that audiences will lose themselves in, but del Toro has once again demonstrated his passion and flair for detail with every frame. Filling every scene with beautiful crisp colours and haunted architecture that feels aged, del Toro has also taken incredible care with every aspect of the story, which ultimately heightens the struggle of Edith Cushing. Crimson Peak is a touching love letter to the beautiful scares and intense drama of Grand Guignol horror, and del Toro has once again crafted a piece of cinema that will stick with audiences.
Image source: Paramount Films.