The trailer for Crimson Peak piqued my curiosity enough to make me want to spend a few dollars on a cinema ticket. I’m not usually a fan of horror movies, I tend to avoid them like the plague.. Mainly because I get scared very easily, and my friends usually become the victims of my grabby hands. I’ve even managed to accidentally kick a popcorn bucket once (The Grudge, 2004).
With a stellar cast and the kind of director that can bring amazing visuals to life, Crimson Peak brought a lot of expectation to it. Come on! Tom Hiddleston! Mia Whatshername-who-played-Alice! And that intense chick from Zero Dark Thirty, Jessica Chastain! (Who I loved in The Help). I was hoping for a deep, dark mystery with an intense storyline that kept me on the edge of my seat, or rather, sinking into it as I hide from the freakish hauntings.
*Spoilers Start Now*
However, I was disappointed when it turned out to be a gothic thriller with a few ghosts thrown in. The way that it was sold, made you expect that this was the Halloween offering of the year.. that it would be the go to scare-fest, but aside from a few startling moments, it left me with more questions than answers.
Thin plotlines with holey allusions, and easily got conclusions. Yes, we got it early on that there was something funny going on between Lucille and Thomas Sharpe, and you can tell that they were schtupping quite early on in the movie, all due credit to those furtive uncomfortable glances and wicked acting by Hiddleston and especially Chastain. It’s such a shame that their awesome talent was just under-utilized and overcome by a slipshod plot. You really could see every twist coming, almost as if there was a giant red arrow flashing onscreen with “PLOT POINT AHEAD!”
I easily get bored when that happens, and I usually check out of the film-watch by playing with my phone, but I was still engaged by the beautiful sets and costumes. The whole Allerdale Hall mansion is just a visual treat. I think it would be an excellent haunted house tour, so many nooks and crannies, and so much to see. I was amazed by the fact that you could see so much of it and I wish that a lot more of the details could have gone onscreen, rather that putting the focus on dying insects. The mansion is just this excellent allegory of what is seemingly beautiful outside could be just rotten at its core, which is exactly what the Sharpe siblings are. The hole in the roof seemed a little bit crazy, in a practicality sense, but yet isn’t it just a fitting expression of how damaged Lucille is mentally? Girl does major damage in the head department (Edith’s father, head on sink action and also the Sharpe’s own mother who took a cleaver to the noggin..)
I have very little to say about Mia Wasikowska, maybe because I found little sympathy for the character, and barely paid enough attention to her. Edith, whom you presume to be intelligent and interesting by the virtue that she is an author (super thin plot point there!) is pale in the story. With rich and almost complex characters like the Sharpes, and the obvious hero-to-be Dr Alan fitting in his obvious trope, I don’t know what to make of the character that’s supposed to carry and drive the story. I need to point out it’s not so much Wasikowska’s fault as it is del Toro’s. I feel that there could have been more shades to the character, and in the end she just was not that big of a screen presence, but rather like game avatar for shit to happen on.
There were a few epic moments that just made the whole cinema gasp. Lucille stabbing Thomas in the face was definitely one, the other being when she grabs the knife, blade into palm, from Edith. Chastain just literally steals the screen from Wasikowska..
The questions : Okay, what are the fucking rules on the ghosts? Why are they depicted so rotten, and yet Thomas was this beige benevolent beacon of… whatever.. and yet we have Black Momma ghost and red Momma ghost and the other red Baby Momma ghost? What gives?
Did anyone else wish there was gonna be an all out Momma ghost fight happening? Red Vs Black, that would have been something to see, and a more interesting plot to the ghost story, like say, Momma Sharpe haunting Edith as part of an angry vengeful ghostly legacy, yet Momma Cushing also haunting cos she can’t believe Edith would be stupid enough to go forth with Thomas despite super vague crappy warnings.. then it’s an all out Sharpe Vs Cushing wars as the two Momma ghosts and the two daughters battle it out to see who makes it out alive.. er.. dead.. I mean.. Dead and Alive?
Also, was the baby really Lucille’s or was that a figment of her mad mind? Also.. why did she go crazy? And was Momma Sharpe really as evil as she was comically depicted in her Disney’s Haunted Mansion-esque portrait? SO. MANY.QUESTIONS.
Nutshell : Tom was sexy, Jessica was disturbing, Mia was pale, Guillermo was fail.
I give this a 2 out of 5. I would have given it another half if we got to see the sex scene, but it’s Brunei and they censor that sort of shit here. Will probably have to wait for the DVD release to see it.