New Guillermo del Toro film Crimson Peak is a love letter to gothic romance.
“Beware of Crimson Peak” This is the warning Edith receives from her Mother’s ghost as a child and again as an adult and lays the foundation for this dark tale.
Mia Wasikowska is Edith Cushing, the daughter of a wealthy businessman and budding author. One day Englishman Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) walks into her life after he asks her father for a loan to help him with his clay-mining invention.
Thomas’ home Allerdale Hall sits ontop of a large clay pit and this particular clay is blood red. In the winter the clay bleeds through the snow hence the name ‘Crimson Peak’. Her father rejects his proposition but Edith is taken with the tall dark and handsome Thomas and he seems very taken with her.
Thomas hasn’t come to America alone, his formidable sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) accompanies him and she is the embodiment of repression and she practically seethes everytime she’s on screen.
Her austere attitude makes Edith wary but she’s desperately in love with Thomas so tries her best to get on with Lucille.
After the mysterious death of her father Edith married Thomas and moves to England to live with him and his sister in their broken down mansion.
Ghosts roam the halls and secrets unfold as Edith learns more about the family she’s married into.
Crimson Peak had all the wonderful texture and sumptous visuals you would expect from Del Toro. The film is dripping in Poe, Hitchcock and Hammer Horror. It’s delicious.
A lot of people seemed to be disappointed that the film wasn’t scarier but they are missing the point. This isn’t a horror, it’s gothic romance. The ghosts aren’t what scare you, it’s the people!
A Shared Madness