French aspiring writer and interviewer. Pop culture and paranormal connoisseur. Overpowered by curiosity.
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Welcome to Crimson Peak…
In the run up to Halloween, the new highly-anticipated gothic horror film directed by Guillermo Del Toro has been released in France on 14 October. As a paranormal lover, I’ve been waiting for this film since the beginning of the year. Although it is far from being flawless, Crimson Peak has totally met my expectations.
Crimson Peak is a story of love with ghosts, as Tom Hiddleston mentioned in the premiere of the film in France. More than that, it is also a story of mystery, secret, madness and death.
The film follows Edith Cushing, an aspiring young author who lost her mother when she was still a child. She lives in Buffalo with a loving father who protects her and encourages her to become the independent woman she craves to be. While she tries to escape the phantoms of her past, she ventures herself into a sombre house that bleeds and remembers.
Guillermo Del Toro, who has always been associated with fairy tales and horror, offers to his audience a dark and delectable piece of jewelry. He imagined a fascinating universe, a dramatic romance interspersed with the fantastic.
The Mexican director relied on a rich blend of good actors to make his project come to life: Mia Wasikowska plays a naïve young bride who sees ghosts, Tom Hiddleston is an alluring and baffling suitor and finally, there is Jessica Chastain who embodies a cold and chilling pianist.
Undeniably, Crimson Peak is an artistic success. The entire world, the haunted house, the ostentatious gothic décor, the lights and colors create a superb painting that we admire for two hours and that we struggle to leave at the end.
The first part of the film introduces the protagonists and casts doubt in our minds about the real intentions of each one of them. It helps to create a gloomy and a troubling atmosphere for our young heroine.
When time finally comes to go for Crimson Peak, colors fade, nature disappears or even dies and Lucille Sharpe (Chastain) has changed from her sublime red dress into a dark blue one, that suits perfectly with the overall gloomy ambience of the place. The house is actually the ancestral home of the Sharpe family, located on the top a mountain of blood-red clay; hence its nickname, “Crimson Peak”.
The mansion in itself is a character that breathes, that suffers, that whispers and that communicates through the ghosts that inhabit it. This ghost story doesn’t copy the other films of the genre, every scene is cleverly introduced to give a whole new experience. In Crimson Peak, the ghosts are not hostile, they are metaphors of the past who forewarn the young Edith about her tragic fate should she decide to stay in the house.
Unfortunately, the story fails in captivating as much as the visual effects do. The entire film is predicable even if some scenes still manage to surprise and frighten us. The actors don’t stand out with the exception of Jessica Chastain who is marvelous as a manipulative and psychopath sister. The actress reveals another facet of her talent and the last minutes of the film are delightful.
To conclude, the real strength of Crimson Peak resides in its beauty and in all the work that Guillermo Del Toro has provided to create a unique world which is both poetic and dark.
If you have seen this film already, please share your opinion with me.
Elodie Cure is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow her on Twitter: @Elodie_Cure
Crimson Peak is the new gothic horror film from the visual genius Guillermo Del Toro. Featuring Mia Wasikowska , Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain.