I love seeing horror movies, because it is quite difficult to make a good one. For every classic like The Shining or The Blair Witch Project, there seem to be several crappy Paranormal Activity sequels to get through. But finding a real gem is worth it. The thing about Crimson Peak is that you think you are getting a horror movie, but it is more like an eerie, Gothic romance. Much of the scenery in this Guilermo del Toro piece is moody and atmospheric, and though I can’t say I felt “scared” I was sufficiently weirded out to enjoy Crimson Peak.
Edith (Mia Wasikowska) is the belle about town in late 1800’s Buffalo, New York, living an upper class lifestyle with her burly father who looks like he might be really popular at a gay bear bar in San Francisco. Along comes Hiddles and his sister (Jessica Chastain in a black wig)—Hiddleston and Chastain are two mysterious and spooky visitors from England. We don’t know what’s up with Hiddles, cause he and his sister look pretty shifty. Edith swoons for Hiddles, and he seems determined to sweep her off her feet and take her back to England.
The creepiness comes in when Edith is visited by a variety of specters and ghosts all warning her not to “go to Crimson Peak.” I enjoyed this movie like I said, but the reason I don’t give it a #RingingEndorsement is I hate protagonists who are stupid. Here Edith has been warned time and time again (by the undead no less) not to go to Crimson Peak, and along comes Hiddles taking her to a creaky mansion with red mud, where they mine red clay, wearing a red necktie, and Jessica Chastain wearing some Moulin Rouge-worthy red couture (noticeably Chastain’s signature red locks are absent in this picture). You in danger, girl. If I had myriad spooks and poltergeists warning me not to go to the red place, I’d stay the Hell away from anything in the reddish spectrum. No red. No pink. No fuschia. No scarlet. NO RED! But all Edith needed was to hear Hiddles’ plummy British accent and stare in to his baby blues, and she’s off to shack up in THE MOST CRIMSON PLACE ON THE PLANET. Get a clue, woman.
I’m going to put it out there: I think gays and hetero women will enjoy this movie the most, because eye candy like Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam (or as I call him Charlie Yummum) are on board. I look past the dumb protagonist and other flaws with Charlie and Hiddles around.
Verdict: Great pic to see on Halloween night on IMAX. Remember Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth/Pacific Rim) does “big and splendiferous,” and some of the scenes included arresting visuals and beautiful costumes.
Can I Take the Kids?: There are some really gross things in this movie. Like really gross. Rated R.
Image courtesy Universal Pictures
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