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Film Review: Crimson Peak

Film Review: Crimson Peak

Suitable for 15+!

Warning: Spoilers ahead!


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you’ve probably heard of the latest horror blockbuster – Crimson Peak. Directed by Guillermo del Toro (who also did Pacific Rim and produced the Kung Fu Panda films), it was set to be the scary movie of the year. Appropriately, it came out just before Halloween, which was handy. As an avid fan of the lead actor, Tom Hiddleston (and not scary movies), I went along to see it the day it came out. Let’s just say it was an experience.... but not necessarily one I’d want to have again.


The film centres upon an aspiring author, a beautiful young woman called Edith. Throughout her life she’s been haunted by ghosts, especially the ghost of her mother, who died of cholera. Her mother warns her of the dangers of “Crimson Peak”, which ten-year-old Edith won’t understand until it’s far too late to do anything about it. She marries a handsome man, who lives in a creepy house. Ghosts start to reappear in her life, and she discovers a terrible secret. And I mean really terrible – far beyond the ghosts and mysterious deaths in the movie.


The cast was totally stellar, really top-rate actors. Mia Wasikowsa played Edith, and she is very good at playing these sort of “damsel in distress” roles. Tom Hiddleston was very dashing, and convincing in his character as a mentally tortured, bankrupt aristocrat. The real star of the show, though, was Jessica Chastain. She was in the role of Tom Hiddleston’s sister, and was both terrifying yet strangely fascinating. The female characters were a little too reliant on stereotypes, though. They’re either psychopaths or dainty ladies, and both were annoying. Whilst the male characters were more in number and more complex, there were only two female characters. Neither were particularly believable.


The critics seem to have loved it, but I’m not sure audiences will. Prolific, famed horror writer Stephen King had very high praise for it. Though I’m no experienced horror fan, the film seemed a little predictable and frustrating at times. The special effects were good, but they never really explained why there was weird red gloop running down the walls of the house – it was supposed to be clay in the ground, but it seemed to be leaking from the first and second floors as well! The ghosts, although horrifyingly ugly, weren’t that horrifying in themselves. If you want a really scary movie, see the TV or stage adaptation of the Woman in Black – that’ll freak you out for weeks.


Should you go and see this movie? Well, yes, if you like the actors. If you’re curious about the hype surrounding the film, there’s not much I can do or say to persuade you to see something else instead! Sometimes going to see it is what’s needed to satisfy your curiosity. However, if you were only maybe thinking about seeing it, don’t bother. Watch a different film. I hear the Avengers is pretty good.


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