Having seen nearly all of his films, I’ve been interested in the works of Guillermo Del Toro for quite some time now. So I was very excited to finally see his latest film in a cinema.
Avoiding spoilers Crimson Peak takes place in the late 19th Century where Edith (Mia Wasikowska), the daughter of a successful businessmen, marries Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and settles down in his old decaying English mansion with his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain).
After seeing numerous spirits throughout the house, Edith investigates the history of the building and tries to find what’s behind her husband and sister in law’s suspicious behaviour.
What she’ll discover is more twisted and real than any ghost story.
Since its set in the late 19th century Crimson Peak is partly a costume drama which I was a bit worried about due to the little interest I have in the genre.
However, despite the period dialogue the script clearly shows the characters’ desires and weaknesses which makes them very empathetic.
For example, in one scene we see Thomas Sharpe trying to convince Edith’s father (Jim Beaver) to invest in his clay mining invention. Her father rejects him, viciously criticising his privileged background.
From his meeting with Edith and the clear enthusiasm he shows in his pitch, we understand that Sharpe is a kind and passionate personality so we immediately feel for him when he gets turned down.
Crimson is full of moments like this which I wasn’t expecting in a period drama.
I know this may be an unpopular opinion but I think Crimson Peak is better than Pacific Rim.
Don’t get me wrong, the film had a beautifully constructed world but it spent a lot of time with the characters who, in my view, weren’t really interesting.
With a compelling mystery plot and good characters, Peak is also a pretty good horror film.
The ghosts, resembling skinned bodies, are terrifying. The suspense anticipating the ghosts’ appearing, is unnerving.
This is definitely one of Del Toro’s best films. If there had to be a list I’d put Crimson at number four, with Hellboy 2 at three, Devil’s Backbone at two and, of course, Pan’s Labyrinth at number one.
Crimson Peak earns a brilliant 9 out of 10.