Posted Oct 28 2015

Crimson Peak - This Movie Rocks The Goth

Dir: Guillermo Del Toror

Starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam

Universal shouldn’t expect to make a penny back on Crimson Peak. Why? Certainly not because it’s bad. Far from it. But because it’s genuinely a “gothic romance” and not strictly the “horror movie” it’s being sold as (see misleading/don’t know how to market this trailer below.) Guillermo’s latest owes far more to Rebecca and Jayne Eyre than it does to anything Blumhouse and co have thrown our way in recent years (even with the CGI.) Yet, it stills knows how to tap into the fears that drove such horror classics as The Haunting and The Innocents (to which it tips several hats.) It is in many ways, for all the influences it wears proudly, something of an original. And Christ knows audiences don’t know what to do with those these days.

It moves from the Buffalo, NY of the early 1900s, where an impossibly charismatic Hiddleston (yes, he’s that dishy!) lures Wasikowska’s potential heiress back to your standard issue down on its uppers mansion in the north of England. Jessica Chastain’s seriously untrustworthy spinster of a sister is also on hand and the whole thing is production designed into a thing of great beauty.

And if there is a fault to Del Toro’s romance – and it certainly isn’t the three central performances, Wasikowska in particular – it’s his fondness for the visual over the character. Everyone here is recognisable, indeed all his themes and events are foreshadowed by the genre. And the man has a fondness for reference – Wasikowska’s Edith Cushing is surely a not well-hidden nod to Peter? So there is an argument to be made that if the man ever wants to move beyond his roots and influences and join his compadres Inarritu and Cuaron as the world-beaters they have become, he has to start to leave the monsters behind.

But, that said, whilst the monsters are so brilliantly subverted and utilised as they are here, and as the man’s vision is so beautifully made real – we don’t really want him to.

Crimson Peak – they don’t make ‘em like that anymore! (What? They Do? Cool!)


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