Visually stunning, but narratively predictable, this horror film relies more on building a feeling of suspense than actually trying to frighten you.
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Screenwriter: Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston
Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Runtime: 119 Minutes
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by: Pearl
After the death of her father, Edith marries Sir Thomas Sharpe, a penniless English aristocrat, and moves to his isolated mansion to live with him and his overbearing sister. She soon becomes uneasy in the house as she starts to see ghosts and uncover a series of mysteries surrounding the family. And when everything comes to light and the truth is revealed, it starts a violent and bloody campaign to keep their secrets safe from the rest of the world.
If I was able to award a film five stars based purely on the way it looked, this would be a run away five star view. This film is just stunning to look at. The sets are just beautiful, especially once we actually gat to Allerdale Hall and see it in all it’s dilapidated glory. And the visuals just get better once the snow arrives and we get those shots of the bright red against the bright white…just stunning!
And the costumes, good lord the costumes! Kate Hawley was in charge of costume design for this film and I would personally like to go up to her and kiss her feet. They are just…sumptuous! SO much material and ruffles and velvet and…it’s like a little girl went into a costume shop and just went crazy. Set against the backdrop of the crumbling mansion those costumes look amazingly decadent.
With a cast consisting of actors with this kind of talent, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam, there wasn’t really ever going to be a bad showing among them, but I do always bet a bit of a kick in seeing adorable, dimple cheeked Tom Hiddleston play a bad guy. And he always does it so well. Jessica Chastain also as the mentally unhinged Lucille is excellent. You know the entire time that there is something not quite right with her, but it isn’t until the full scale of her delusional behaviour is revealed at the end that it all starts to make sense.
What doesn’t make sense though it to make a film based entirely on it’s ability to build up nail biting suspense, when you telegraph the ending of the film so clearly from the very beginning. You know almost immediately what the plan is, and what is going to happen to Edith and it is still expected that you will be on the edge of your seat the entire time. The slight horror edge to the film, with the occasional slight jump scare helps to keep you feel unsettled, but I wouldn’t say that the atmosphere really did it’s job on me.
It’s a pretty good thriller in itself I suppose if you don’t expect too much of the story, but I recommend you watch it just to drool over the visuals.
Crimson Peak is available to stream on Netflix now!