Crimson Peak

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Crimson Peak

A young American girl ( played by Mia Wasikowska ) is warned by her mother who comes as a ghost after her death that she should beware of something called 'crimson peak' . As she grows older , she falls in love with a Englishman ( played by Tom Hiddleston ) who is not at all approved of by her father . Her father discovers some really bad things about this man and bribes him to leave her life . The young man agrees to move out .

Now why does the father not simply tell his daughter about what he has found about this man , so that she will herself know the truth ?? The director has no explanation for this .
Predictably , the father gets murdered by you know who and the young englishman moves back in the heroine's life .

The direction has no subtlety and the englishman's sister ( played by Jessica Chastain ) openly talks of her and her brother's sinister intentions towards the american girl---some mumbo jumbo about the girl being a butterfly and them being black moths who eat butterflies . Can it get more crude than that ??

So after marriage the couple move in back to England to the all-too-predictable huge black haunted mansion whose every wall shrieks 'horror' !!!---except that I was getting bored and not to affected by the horror at all . Then follows the same old routine that happens in every horror film---creaking doors , strange sounds , and the leading lady following each new sound with candles in her hand down dark corridors . We are supposed to jump in our seats when the ghosts finally appear---and I almost did , to get out of theatre out of sheer boredom . But something ( the moolah I had spent on the movie , what else ) held me back .

The ghosts were neither scary nor was the haunted mansion . They were in fact warning the leading lady about the deadly brother sister combo . The situation of the ghosts was pathetic---they were victims . So just as I was thinking that I was going to see some done-to-death scenes of horror I realised that there is a new twist to the story .

So how dangerous are the brother sister ?? Is the leading lady ever going to get out of the haunted mansion alive ?? Not worth going to the theatre for the answers....the movie isn't that good .

Towards the end , there is less horror and more thriller / murder mystery kind of situation as the truth about the siblings is revealed . You simply don't get the doses of horror you expected . And when I don't get what I expected I walk out of the theatre an unhappy man....and that reflects in my review.....

However , the movie has some class . Watch the leading lady waltzing with the Englishman holding a candle in her hand never allowing the candle to extinguish during the dance . Watch the nineteenth century atmosphere created perfectly by the director , both in America as well as England . The clothes worn by everyone are perfect , so is their nineteenth century english . Sadly , the touch of class does not save the movie .

Verdict---Not good .

Crimson Peak isnít anything groundbreaking or new, but itís entertaining and has many good things going for it.

Crimson Peak is the story of Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), and her horrifying adventures to Allerdale Hall. I don't want to give away very much about the story, so I'm going to get right into this review.

The story of Crimson Peak isnít anything boldly new, but this isnít necessarily a bad thing. You see, this film is a sort of love letter to classic horror tales of the early 20th century. It shares all the themes and elements one would see in that sort of story. The young girl driven by love, the giant haunted house, the intrigue, the mystery: itís all there. All of these things work to create a feeling of nostalgia and makes the film truly feel like a classic gothic horror tale. These are the types of stories that del Toro loves, and he wanted to create such a story on his own. He did exactly that, and it shows that he is an expert on this genre. But, creating such a genre film has setbacks as well. There are moments of forced romanticism and overly dramatic scenes as well. These aspects certainly bring the film down, but at the same time, these things were part of the genre as well. Itís very possible that del Toro simply embraced the flaws in the genre and allowed them to stay. If you truly allow yourself to be immersed in the film and overlook these things, you can have a very rewarding experience. Just know that this film isnít trying to do something totally new, itís trying to hearken back to a genre that has long been forgotten. It feels good to watch something that feels like a classic ghost story.

Another thing I liked about the film is that it doesnít try and wrap everything up with a neat little bow. There are still questions left unanswered and mysteries to be solved. This seems to be the type of film that is more rewarding upon each viewing. There are a lot of things that you want to get a better look at the first time around, but canít because you have to focus on the main story. It seems as though there are plenty of hidden surprises waiting to be found in this film, and there certainly is a lot of symbolism. The moths, the butterflies, the red clay, just to mention a few, are all very interesting aspects of the film, and taking time to analyze each of these would be quite rewarding. While the main story sometimes falters, the context and little things surrounding that story are rich and compelling. Thereís so much to think about in the film that itís impossible to talk about it all, but I certainly want to revisit the film to get a closer look.

Letís talk about the scare factor and suspense of Crimson Peak. I personally donít think this film is meant to be completely terrifying. The main focus of the film is to intrigue the audience member and pull them into the mystery, not scare them out of their wits. So, if youíre looking for a terrifying experience and to be scared for two hours then Crimson Peak isnít what youíre looking for. But if youíre looking for an intriguing supernatural mystery with a few scares along the way, then Crimson Peak is exactly what you want to watch. I personally didnít like how heavily del Toro relied on jump scares, but at the same time itís less jump scares then the typical horror movie so I was able to bear it. I was just hoping he wouldnít resort to the ďstartle factorĒ as much, but itís not a huge problem, so Iím able to overlook it. The filmís main scares come from Wasikowska walking down dark corridors late at night alone, which is enough to make viewers anxious and nervous. Iíll talk more about how the camerawork works to create suspense later on.

Letís talk about acting. The acting in Crimson Peak is good. Nothing that blew my mind, but I also never thought ďthis acting is awfulĒ. Wasikowska is good as the protagonist, and she has the audienceís sympathy throughout the film. We care about her as a character, and her bravery to investigate the house and investigate is what makes her most likable. Tom Hiddleston is quite good In this, especially when he has to make tough character decisions. Chastain is also good, the audience is never quite sure what to think of her character, and this is greatly in part to her performance. Charlie Hunnam is also good in the film. Itís safe to say that thereís no bad acting in this film, and the performances are solid all around.

Letís talk about visuals. Visually, Crimson Peak is a 10 out of 10. The costume design is fantastic, every outfit is gorgeous and reflects the time period. The set pieces are amazing, every environment in the film is different and yet beautiful. The giant mansion is particularly astounding. The special effects are awesome, especially when seen on the big screen. The cinematography is beautiful, whether it be the cold white landscape of Allerdale Hall, or the warm, sun drenched New York, the color of the film works perfectly to reflect mood. This certainly ranks among the most beautiful and visually stunning horror films I have ever seen. The camerawork is also detrimental to building suspense in the film. The camera will rotate around a character only showing us tiny bits of information about the surrounding environment. Or the camera will follow closely behind making us nervous every time someone turns a corner. The camerawork was basically perfect in this film, and I was glad that I got to see it on the big screen, because it was completely worth it. Iím sure this film will get snubbed of a cinematography Oscar, which truly is a shame. If for nothing else, see this film for the visuals, I am sure that you will not regret it.

The soundtrack to Crimson Peak is hit and miss. Sometimes itís great and adds a lot to the scene, while at other times it just seems unnecessary and overbearing. Sadly, not one of the stronger points of the film, though I will say there are some beautiful and sweeping moments in the score that are hard to overlook.

Overall, Crimson Peak is another solid film from Guillermo del Toro. The acting is solid, the visuals are outstanding, and the themes and context of the film are great to think about. I still had some problems with the film though. For one, sometimes the romantic scenes felt forced and clunky, especially in the case of one particular sex scene. Also, the story never really surprised me all that much, but at the same time I still found myself intrigued and wondering what it all meant. So basically, some aspects of the story work, and some donít. The story certainly wasnít bad enough to bring down the level of enjoyment for me. I enjoyed this film quite a lot, strangely, I seemed to enjoy it more AFTER I saw it. Thinking back on it, the things I didnít like about the film while watching it donít seem as bad afterwards. Crimson Peak is a good film, Iím confident enough to say that. If you are a fan of Guillermo del Toro or classic gothic horror tales, then I highly recommend you see Crimson Peak. Iím glad I did.

Through the darkness of future past
The magician longs to see
One chants out between two worlds:
Fire walk with me.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I hear the film is great to look at, but not much else really going for it. Seems like typical Del Toro.
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

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