“Trick or treat, smell my feet, gimme something good to eat!”
Well, at least gimme something good to watch. Crimson Peak, written and directed by Guillermo del Torro, also stars Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, and Charlie Hunnam. Now, judging from the trailer, Crimson looks like a scary movie. I mean, ghosts are shown, there’s a creepy old mansion and the frantic pretty white lady is running from something…classic horror movie, right? Well, not exactly.
Hiddleston plays Sir Thomas Sharpe, an inventor looking for funding from Mr. Carter, a self-made industrialist. Thomas sees Mr. Carter’s daughter Edith (Wasikowska) and gets all googley-eyed. It turns into one of those forbidden love stories…with ghosts sprinkled in. I know you’re all like, “What are you talkin about?” Yeah, the trailer is very misleading.
Crimson Peak is more of a gothic romance than horror film. The ghosts are more of, shall I say, assistants. There are some scary moments, but the storyline really has nothing to do with spirits and things that go bump in the night. There is a sinister plot, however, and the humans are far more frightening than the monsters! This takes place in the late 19th century and the set design is immaculate! The cinematography is absolutely bew-tee-full! One of Guillermo del Torro’s trademarks is an outstanding visual and this movie doesn’t disappoint; I’ve never seen a scarier mansion in my life. Special effects aside, the actors in Crimson all do great jobs. The standouts are Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain, who plays Lady Lucille Sharpe, Thomas’ sister. Throughout the movie, it becomes apparent that this house is housing some dark secrets, and Lucille is just as mysterious. As I was watching this, I asked myself if the ghosts were needed. The answer is nope. I think the script would’ve worked without them. They do serve a purpose but with a little re-writing here and there, their presence wouldn’t have mattered.
I’m not saying Crimson Peak is bad, but this is NOT a horror movie. It’s full of suspense and surprises but scary…huh uh. “Crimson Peak” is about as scary as one of those Dateline NBC stories on Friday nights. The climax is very good as is the entire 3rd act. Overall, Crimson Peak is a Halloween day party; fun and entertaining with a few scary costumes thrown in to keep in with the theme so no one will say anything.
What did we learn from this review, boys and girls? Crimson Peak IS NOT a horror movie. It is a good film but it was misrepresented. I’d say it’s a Lifetime channel movie meets “To Catch a Predator” meets “Scooby Doo.” Graphic violence is what gave this film an R-rating, but there’s not a lot of it. I’m giving this a matinee co-sign, y’all. Well, I guess I’ll pop in a DVD of my all-time favorite horror movie; “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”