Hot Take: How could something so beautiful and technically stunning be so hard to watch? The imagery of Crimson Peak is impressive and wonderful. It’s how you’d hope every Gothic horror film would look. Unfortunately, it’s neither scary nor interesting relying completely on visuals to keep you engaged. And that only gets you so far.
Crimson Peak is eye candy. It has beautiful images. Even the frightful sights are masterfully crafted. The use of color, costume and score are impeccable. Guillermo Del Toro, known for his imagery, has done it again with this homage to classic horror… visually. Unfortunately, Crimson Peak lacks fear, mystery, compelling characters or anything captivating other than the images. At a smidge under 2 hours, even that gets old by the final act.
The story of Crimson Peak, in all it’s Gothic vision, lacks the teeth you’d hope from what the previews promise. Edith (Mia Wasikowska) is whisked away by intriguing stranger Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) after the brutal death of her father to live with Thomas and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) at their huge estate that has more life to it than any of the characters in the film. Although there’s a promise of a supernatural thriller from the film’s opening (and the trailer), the film never really delivers as the movie revolves around Edith’s isolation from the outside world, Thomas’ obsession with his invention and his sister’s obsession with Thomas. The synopsis is more mysterious than the movie itself as the twists are too predictable to deliver any real fear outside of the images of the supernatural beings hanging out in the film.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- You’ll Never Be Bored Visually
If it weren’t for such hollow performances and a story that lacks depth, this could be considered living art.
- Jessica Chastain
Chastain delivers a hauntingly beautiful performance as Lucille Sharpe. The rest of the acting is so stiff, Chastain’s performance might come across as over the top.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- The House Is Haunted But It’s Never Really Haunting
Maybe the imagery is too beautiful but there’s never really a cold, gripping fear. There’s a lot of snow and isolation so those deficiencies are even more glaring.
- Lengthy Scenes Equal Boredom Not Isolation
It feels like there’s an attempt to drag the audience into Edith’s isolation by stretching out every scene about 30 seconds longer than it needs to be (then again it might be more to show off the visual mastery) but all it accomplishes is boredom.
- Don’t Rely On Accents to Identify Character Origins
The characters of Crimson Peak aren’t identifiable by their accents as some are from America and some are from England but the accents aren’t noticeable or even consistent.