For Writer/Director Guillermo del Toro horror and the supernatural go hand in hand with much of his work. From Pan’s Labyrinth” to The Strain, and “Hellboy” his unique mix of visuals and compelling characters have made him a darling of the genre.
In his new film “Crimson Peak”, the setting is the cold locales of Buffalo New York and Rural England during the late 1800s, and one where the weather both cold and wet play important parts in the look and plot of the film.
For Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), life is exciting as despite the loss of her mother, her wealthy and supportive father has arranged for her to see her potentially see her stories published. As an avid writer, Edith holds that she has seen the ghost of her mother a secret and uses this as central themes of her writing.
Naturally this does not go well with the times, and she is urged to focus on romantic stories instead. Undaunted, Edith soldiers on unaware that her sheltered and privileged world is going to be upended by the arrival of the dashing Thomas (Tom Hiddleston), and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain), who have come to America to secure funding for their business ventures.
Tom came from a wealthy background and has fallen on hard times which have forced him to look for backers abroad. Edith’s father takes a disliking to him and even more so when he begins to court his daughter.
When her father pays off Thomas to leave when parts of his past are uncovered, things become complicated when Edith’s father is brutally killed and it is passed off as an accident. Grief stricken Edith marries Thomas and relocates to his home in England with Lucille to await her inheritance.
Of course things are not as they seem, and the home in which she lives is filled with dark secrets and Edith must find a way to survive the nightmare to which she has become a part of.
The film has some great visuals and a strong cast, but does tend to plod along. It is less of a horror story and more of a drama as the Supernatural element is there mainly to support aspects of the story rather than be the driving point.
My biggest issue with the film aside from pacing was that I was able to figure out where the story was going, twists and all within the first 30 minutes so there were no real surprises for me as it unfolded.
That being said, it was a pleasant enough diversion, I just do not think it will deliver the thrills and chills that audiences are expecting as it is more of a turn of the century drama than a horror film.
3 stars out of 5