“Of all ghosts, the ghosts of our old loves are the worst.”
– SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
From the master of the weird, the maestro of bizarre, Guillermo del Toro brings the world his latest trip to the land of extraordinarily abnormal, Crimson Peak.
This is not your typical horror film. Guillermo del Toro crafted this Gothic horror so expect the unexpected. Throw out your preconceived notions about what a ghost story is. As the main character states, this is not a ghost story, but rather a story with a ghost (or two) in it. Visually speaking del Toro is on a level all his own. From the creature creations to the cinematography he creates visual spectacle that is absolutely transfixing. It seems though that with all or most of the focus being on visuals that the character development and dialogue weren’t exactly priorities. The girl we meet in the beginning is the same one at the finale as she doesn’t seem to grow or learn from her horrifying experiences. Despite this however a talented cast is able to create something worthwhile enough to keep the attention of its audience. Their relationships are vile and engaging and with the entrancing visuals Crimson Peak is a great thrill if not a bit lacking in areas.
Mia Wasikowska leads a skilled cast featuring the gorgeous Jessica Chastain and leading men Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam. Mia’s character is put through the wringer facing the ghouls of yesterday and the monsters with blood still coursing through their cold veins. This is a dark tale of mistrust and betrayal. A fascinating detail among these characters is the more gruesome, less living ones tend to be more trustworthy. The handsome and beautiful are the true devils here. Using their attractive features and aptitude for deceit they lure innocence into a lair of unimaginable horrors for nothing more than their own personal gain. It takes the bravery of one girl willing to face her ghosts in hopes of avoiding becoming one herself.
If the character development had been of greater importance and the scares would have varied beyond the same sequence of a girl walking through a dark mansion with candles this could have been something amazing. Instead it’s a viable but ultimately forgettable adventure with fantastic visual storytelling. The cast manages to raise it up a bit more but there is nothing groundbreaking here. I would still recommend giving it a chance because despite its flaws it’s a fun and creepy experience.
I have to mention again that this is not an every day horror film. It is a slow burning Gothic romance that involves ghosts. I have to also give credit that no ridiculous empty jump scares can be found. There are very startling moments that aim to make you jump but the fear is justified as the culprit is a ghost or a villain with ill intent. It isn’t simply a loud noise that hack horror creators have deemed as a viable option over actual tension and scares. To sum it all up where this fails is not so much in what it does but what it lacks. With some character work and better dialogue this could have really been something more than just a fun movie. It could have been a classic.
Rated R For: bloody violence, some sexual content and brief strong language
Runtime: 119 minutes
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror
After Credits Scene: No
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 3.5/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 4.5/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 3.5 Nerdskulls
Check out the trailer below:
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