I’m easy to please and, if a movie features aliens, zombies, or ghosts, then I’m right there. Sitting in the back row of a theatre with my coat collar pulled up around my neck in case I needed to cover my eyes…or my screams, I anticipated being scared right out of my horror loving mind. The reviews for Guillermo Del Toro’s new gothic romance film, Crimson Peak tantalized the ghost investigator side of me. But, did the film live up to the hype? To find out, you’ll need to follow me to Allerdale Hall.
I’m a fan of Guillermo Del Toro’s work, with Pan’s Labyrinth being one of my favorites. Crimson Peak, a Legendary Pictures Production, is written by Del Toro and Matthew Robbins and directed by Del Toro. The film stars Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Huddleston, Charlie Hunnam and Jim Beaver.
Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) is introduced to her first ghost encounter soon after her mother’s death. It is a terrifying encounter with her mother’s spirit. The spirit gives a warning to her young child, but it is soon forgotten as the child grows into a smart young lady who is a budding author. She writes ghost stories. They always say to write what you know.
Edith’s father, Carter (Jim Beaver) is a wealthy self-made industrialist who dotes on his only daughter. Edith is beautiful and practical and she is admired from afar by her childhood friend, Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam).
Thomas (Tom Hiddleston) and Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain) are sibling aristocrats who are attempting to raise money to help repair the mine that extends from under their mansion and surrounding land. If Thomas can get the funding to build his machine, he can extract the red clay used in brick making and iron ore. His sister’s and his survival depend on them finding the funds at any cost.
Edith is seduced by Thomas and falls head over heels in love with him. Not everyone is happy with this love which is fueled by dark passions and darker secrets. The warnings from Edith’s ghostly mother come back to haunt her when Edith finally goes to live at Allerdale Hall with her husband. The house is in ruins, the hallways are dark and, the isolation is unbearable. Edith, alone in the world except for Thomas and Lucille, is exposed to terrors that overwhelm her and, scare the bejeebers out of us. When Edith begins to get sick, she learns that the house holds secrets… secrets that lead to murder most vile.
I went to see Crimson Peak expecting a good ghost story. It was a damn good story and more. I don’t want to tell you too much about the film. This is not a “Spoiler Alert” type of film. This is a story about ghosts, yes, but Crimson Peak is also a great love story that happens to take place in a gothic horror film.
Believe it or not, this was the first film I watched where Tom Hiddleston wasn’t hanging out with the Marvel Avengers as bad boy, Loki. It was a refreshing to see him in another type of role. He does romance quite handsomely.
The ghost scenes in Crimson Peak are perfectly horrifying, but isn’t this what we want? What we’ve paid for? Not too many ghost stories can pull it off, but I have to say that this one did. I’m fussy when it comes to ghost movies because I’ve been dealing with ghosts my whole life. I’m quite the expert.
I especially enjoyed the ghost scenes in Crimson Peak because it reaffirmed what I know to be true. When the dead speak to us, we would be wise to listen to them. Guillermo Del Toro is an artist who understands how to tell a good story. He also knows that the actors have to be believable in their fear. They are. Go see the film. It’s guaranteed by someone who knows all about ghosts.