As soon as I saw the trailer for Crimson Peak, I immediately thought that it was too colourful and extravagant to be a horror film (which it was marketed as). As it turns out, I was absolutely right.
Crimson Peak is “horror” film starring Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing who marries Sir Thomas Sharpe (played by Tom Hiddleston) and is therefore then closely connected to his sister Lucille (played by Jessica Chastain). Edith then spends the rest of the film from then on exploring the Sharpe mansion and all of it’s ghosts and oddities and so-forth.
One major thing that annoyed me about Crimson Peak is that it isn’t a horror film. It’s a Midsomer Murders and Pride & Prejudice crossover episode that contains a ghost scene every 10 minutes. The base story is a mystery romance twist-fest that you’ve seen a hundred times before. Then you’ve got the repetitive ghost scenes which all follow the same structure…
Edith is in bed > Edith hears a noise > Edith gets out of bed > Edith explores the house > Edith gets jump-scared > Repeat
Take that basis story and throw in a scene that follows that same structure every now and then and you’ve got Crimson Peak.
Although what Crimson Peak lacks in story, it makes up for in design. Crimson Peak is a designer’s wet dream. The sets in Crimson Peak are stunning and the character design (the ghosts) look amazing. And the cinematography manages to bring out the maximum amount of colour in every single shot.
I think Guillermo del Toro literally went through his scrapbook from his gothic-phase of his teen-hood, wrote a quick murder story and thought “let’s make this a movie”. So I will give this movie props for being able to keep me interested on visuals alone against such a boring and repetitive story.
If you want to be a designer or an architect… see Crimson Peak.
If you want to see an entertaining and interesting film… see Bridge of Spies.
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