Crimson Peak (2015)

2:18 PM

Beware of Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak is written and directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim, Pan's Labyrinth). Age film stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, Stoker), Jessica Chastain (The Martian, Interstellar), Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim, Sons of Anarchy) and Tom Hiddleston (Thor, The Avengers). "In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds - and remembers". With an intriguing plot but underwhelming trailers - how much should we beware Crimson Peak?

What an interesting film! Crimson Peak was actually surprising - it wasn't as tame in terms of horror as the marketing suggested but it was also not very tame in the romantic area. Crimson Peak is a gothic romance with elements of horror - it has the pace of a film like The Great Gatsby but has enough interesting elements to just about keep your attention.

The story for Crimson Peak is actually quite good - it is more of a love story. However, the glimpses of horror throughout the film help to make Crimson Peak stand out from being just another romance. I did find the story very slow - the moments with action and horror definitely sped things up but when it was just developing the characters and romance - the film wasn't all that great. It is a shame because I think to make a good horror film in todays world - you have to have scares throughout and have a running length of 100 minutes maximum. Crimson Peak is 120 minutes long and I really didn't feel the romance that the film was trying to develop. This definitely isn't one of the worst films of the year - there is actually quite a lot of things I liked about it.

One of the best things about the film is the cinematography - the film is visually stunning. From the set to the costume - you really do believe that this world exists. I think Crimson Peak could earn itself some Oscar praise for costume and set. The actual house the film is set in was so eery and haunting - it gave the house in 'The Woman in Black' a run for its money. Guillermo del Toro really captured the chills of the film with such a great set. 

Another thing I thoroughly liked about the film was its acting. The standout performance for me came from Jessica Chastain who I thought was absolutely fantastic - her character was one of the most mysterious and chilling. I also found Chastains characters the most interesting - the twists and turns she was involved in were very good. I liked Mia Wasikowska as well - she held the film very well. Everyone seems to have loved Tom Hiddleston's performance - I found him not that great - he was good but his performance is definitely overrated - he didn't really have much depth and I didn't quite understand why his character did certain things once the twist occurred - his character was probably the most cheesy. 

So the horror - when the synopsis for the film was released before a trailer or poster or anything - it sounded like one of the scariest ideas! The film did start off being very scary and made me think, uh oh but then the romance development started and the horror was lost. The fear comes back as soon as we arrive at the large house. I think maybe 30-45% of the film is scary - it is quite a good film for people who don't usually enjoy horrors but like a little bit of adrenaline.

This paragraph may contain spoilers:
So the twist - as soon as I left the cinema, I thought 'why are twists in horror films so twisted' - Crimson Peak brings us....Incest and Gold diggers! I thought the twist was actually pretty effective and worked well. I really liked how much time the film spent explaining the twist as in some films, they just say the twist and then let the action happen but the twist is well explained in Crimson Peak. What kind of ruined all this action and shock is when the film became really cheesy with Hiddleston's ghost - this is only a small bruise though on a perfect body of horror. 

One final thing I didn't like in the film was the editing - I felt like it was edited using iMovie. The way scenes mostly ended were fades to blade with a circling effect - I didn't really quite get this and didn't like it. I don't know if it was just my cinema but I'm sure there were some lip dub issues in the first act of the film.

Crimson Peak is not the terrifying masterpiece we all wanted but it is definitely a solid movie. The film is wonderfully acted with a terrific performance from Chastain. Guillermo del Toro captures the mystery and chills of the set and characters very well. Crimson Peak is quite slow paced with a lot of development on the romance - however, this is saved with a killer twist that makes the final act very entertaining. 


3.5 STARS
B

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