Friday, October 16, 2015

Crimson Peak

Beware of Crimson Peak. I would say that is the understatement of the day. The film is a gore filled, Gothic/Victorian romance, dripping with blood and fueled by ghosts. Crimson Peak is the new film by Guillermo Del Toro starring Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing, Jessica Chastain as Lucille Sharpe, Tom Hiddleston as Thomas Sharpe, and Charlie Hunnam as Dr. Alan McMichael. The film starts in the early 1900's in New York City and then hops over to Cumberland, England. Edith is a young girl, who has been able to see ghosts since she was 10 years old. These are by no means Casper the friendly ghost. These are horrible, tortured souls that come in all their terror to try and warn Edith about the future.

The ghosts are not the main focus of the film, they are merely a tool of story telling. To quote Edith in the film, "It's not a ghost story, it's a story with ghosts in  it." Crimson Peak is about the people and how dangerous we are without the help of the dead.

I'm debating back and forth whether to go spoiler free on this post. How about this....I won't give any major plot points away but I will give little details of what I liked. Seems fair...a review with a small dash of spoilers.

My favorite part of the movie was the cinematography and costuming. Del Toro did a sensational job of building the beautiful and yet terrifying house that we come to call Crimson Peak. It's massive, dark, and filled with deep blues, rustic greens and raven black. The manner was built on red clay that comes up from the ground. The clay leaves red markings in the snow and that's why the town calls it Crimson Peak. The Crimson of the clay stands out so vividly red that you have to let your eyes adjust.

If this movie does not get an Academy Award nomination for Best Costuming, I'm going to be mad! Mia's stunning blonde hair is like a mane flowing in the wind. Her yellow and white outfits contrast the darkness of the house. The details on the clothing are so stunning. Edith wears an amazing belt that is two hands holding. It seems so out of place but also exactly where it should be. During the New York scenes, Del Toro does a brilliant job with costuming with Lucile and Thomas. He places them in black or dark crimson. All of the other characters are in browns and whites. It portrays how much Lucile and Thomas do not belong to that culture or city. Little details are what makes this film brilliant.

One must also be impressed with the casting. Jessica Chastain is a chameleon in every film I have seen her in. She becomes the character and you forget that it's Jessica under all the make up and sensational acting. She brilliant, scary, mysterious, terrifying and tragic as Lucille. She's like a snake moving slowly around you. You are never sure what Lucile will do next.

Tom Hiddleston, the breaker and thief of hearts. This whole movie you are left trying to figure out who he is. Is he good? Is he bad? Is he a pawn or is he the chess player? Tom's acting is haunting as always. He can talk you into doing anything. His character is so charming and full of secrets. Is the secret filled with rage, shame or fear? I found myself lost in his character and wanting to know more. Tom has the ability to capture an audience with a single glance. The man can break you heart and seduce you with one look. Be careful Tom, with great power comes great responsibility.

Mia Wasikowska is so talented for such a young girl. She keeps you on the edge of your seat. You are terrified for her and just want her to find the truth of all the secrets in the film. She's stunning and wonderful as always. And then there's Charlie Freaking Hunnam. He plays a Doctor that has a very clear crush on Edith. He's charming and admires her for being an outspoken woman. He is one of the first to not trust the Sharpe family and is willing to dig a little deeper. Charlie really isn't in the film enough but he does very well in the scenes he is in.

Is Crimson Peak a scary movie? Yes and No. I say yes because I screamed and jumped a few times. The main focus of the movie is not to scare but to thrill and intrigue you. It's filled with more gore than terror. This movie is rated R for a reason....Blood Blood Blood. The ghosts are creepy and grotesque by horror movie standards. What got me was all the blood. Let me put it this way, I saw the movie an hour ago and I still have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. That's impressive to say the least.

Over all I really liked the movie. It was twisted and left me wanting to know more. I wanted to know more about the manner called Crimson Peak. I wanted to know more about the Sharpe family and I wanted to know more about Edith's ability to see the dead. I was impressed by the film and the acting. To be fair, Guillermo del Toro has never let me down. Brilliant piece of film making.

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