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Crimson Peak

Coming Soon

Guillermo del Toro marches to the beat of his own drum and that’s a fact. The writer/director/producer enjoys being involved in all facets of his work, often leaving behind his stylistic fingerprint on all that he touches. More times than not “visually stunning” will be uttered at some point in reference to whatever he’s involved in. Crimson Peak is Guillermo del Toro’s latest work and if you’ve seen any of the commercials over the last few weeks you already realize that it “pops” visually. That’s all fine and good but what people really want to know is if it stops the heart.
Edith (Mia Wasikowska) lost her mother when she herself was only ten years old. At that pivotal time in Edith’s life was when she had her first experience with a ghost. The supernatural entity has an ominous warning for Edith that would eventually come to fruition many years later. One fateful day Edith crosses paths with a mysterious, yet charismatic individual who has arrived to town in the hopes of finding financial backers for a project of his. This eclectic individual, Thomas (Tom Hiddleston), becomes instantly enamored of Edith and, as it turns out, the feelings are mutually reciprocated. The two are drawn closer through tragedy which leads to a hasty marriage. Edith turns her back on all she once knew in the name of love, thus beginning her journey towards Crimson Peak.
When it comes to Mia Wasikowska and her romantic onscreen endeavors, it would seem that there always ends up being a salacious element involved. Using previous roles in Jane Eyre (2011), Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Stoker (2013) and Madame Bovary (2014) as examples, it’s difficult to dispute this fact. It should come as little surprise then that Crimson Peak takes this well-traveled path as well. This sordid tale twists and turns as it goes deeper into the rabbit hole. The other moving parts to this unconventional love story consist mostly of Lady Lucille (Jessica Chastain), and Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam). Lucille is the older sister to Thomas and she also acts as the matriarch of the Sharpe family. Alan is a long time friend of Edith and has always had her best interests in mind even though the two of them have never been an item romantically.
Guillermo del Toro is known to take things to weird places sometimes and Crimson Peak goes there for sure. Watching his latest will take some patience due to the slow unveiling of the big picture plans. The story is interesting early on but soon gets dull because most of everything that follows is rather predictable. Still though, there is a place in the world for this type of movie, it just won’t be for the mainstream masses. A Victorian era ghost story demands a specific type of audience that is willing immerse themselves completely into “old school” terror. Reassessing the situation after seeing the movie, it would have more a great book or graphic novel instead.
If you’re hoping for a solid scary movie to kick off your Halloween fun, prepare for some disappointment. Yes, there a couple of creepy moments, a few graphic scenes and some disturbing content scattered throughout. The problem is that there isn’t enough of any one good thing to make it recommendation worthy, at least not at today’s premium theater rates. Crimson Peak is a romantic movie with a dark side and that’s the way it should have been marked. The Gothic tale of ghosts, greed and love won’t haunt the box office top ten for long before fading away like the weak flame of a candle at the end of its wick.

Crimson Peak is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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