FILM REVIEW: Crimson Peak (15)

Crimson Peak
Crimson Peak

Haven High pupil Samuel Johnson reviews the rental release of gothic romance film Crimson Peak.

In a year where we were all returning to older, pre-existing franchises like Star Wars and Jurassic Park it wasn’t a surprise to see a return to an older pre-existing genre.

Guillermo Del Toro’s gothic romance Crimson Peak brings back the genre stated by authors such as Sheridan Le Fanue and Mary Shelly.

The film stars Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing - an aspiring writer who gets infatuated by a young entrepreneur called Thomas Sharpe (handsomely played by Tom Hiddlestone) who she then marries after a shocking act of violence.

Edith then moves in with Thomas and here she meets his sister, Lucille, Edith then starts to discover that the house may be home to more than just these three people as ghosts start to make an appearance.

This movie looks absolutely fantastic; Del Toro’s eye for brilliant looking films continues to strengthen. The costumes and set design combined with Dan Laustsen’s sumptuous cinematography create fantastic feast for the eyes. The film both metaphorically and literally is dripping with blood red, oozing itself through the walls and floor of a most impressive house built entirely from scratch.

This film is really quite violent with one very brutal scene featuring a sink and someone’s face and another of a flinchingly harsh attack below another’s eyeball.

Del Toro has brought himself back to more familiar territory after his last outing being the loud and big ‘Pacific Rim’, we see a lot richer plot this time harking back to his earlier films like ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, ‘Cronos’ and ‘The Devils Backbone’.

Most of the performances are good, the two mains were really great and added more richness to an already fantastic rich experience.

Charlie Hunnam just about manages to get by bu Jessica Chastain was sadly a bit of a dodgy casting.

Despite what the poster might tell you this is not a straight up horror film, it is a lot of a gothic romance with ghosts rather than a full blooded freight fest. Sadly the parts where I found the least amount of enjoyment were where Del Toro added fully orchestrated jump scares which in my mind would have been a lot better if they weren’t there because it started to feel a bit too much like a normal popular horror film, which it really isn’t. There are also some technical issues which you would probably only find if you’re looking for them but unfortunately I was. Some dialogue did not match words that were being mouthed and things along that line but they are only very minor quarrels.

Crimson Peak brings an older genre and makes it more watchable for modern day audiences and as long as you know what you are going in for you will enjoy it. The visual effects are fantastic and the ghost look great with a nice blend of practical and computer generated effects to make them look physical.

All in all Crimson Peak is a good watch and most likely a worthwhile buy.

Pros:

Looks fantastic

l Rich Storyline

l Really nice and intelligent use of CGI

l Best set and costume design of last year

Cons:

l Pacing starts to plod near the end

l Some sloppy performances

l Un-needed jump scares

7/5 stars.