Crimson Peak (Movie 2015)

4 Kernels

Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, and Charlie Hunnam

I hesitated for quite some time about seeing Crimson Peak.  With dreamy Tom Hiddleston dressed in period clothing, I felt drawn to this Gothic movie that had so much secrecy from pre-screening attendees about the plot. Frankly, I don’t like to see horror movies because of the lingering images it leaves in my brain.  On the other hand, I am a sucker for period drama of any kind.  So last night I gave in to the darker side and went to the show after work.

Beforehand, I had read quite a few reviews that contained no spoilers, stating how visually stunning the movie was on the big screen.  I will admit that the costumes and visuals were well done.  As far as the acting, it was top notch from Mia, Jessica, and Tom.  As far as the almost Christian Grey, Charlie Hunnam, he was merely a stick figure insert into a plot that needed him.  His character held no substance except to fill a space.  Thankfully, he dropped out of Fifty Shades because he would have never fit those shoes.

The movie begins in Buffalo, New York rather than England.  Enter Thomas and Lucille Sharpe, who are brothers and sisters.  Thomas has come to the states to raise capital for his mechanical invention to help mine red clay upon his land. He makes a pitch to investors, including Edith’s father, Mr. Cushing, but is turned down.

However, the Sharpe’s are not those type of people who take no for an answer.  Thomas turns his attention toward Cushing’s daughter and begins to woo her into falling in love with him.  It’s easily done by his dashing appearance, smooth English accent, dreamy eyes, enticingly kind voice, and the tenderness of his approach.  Even I would have been suckered into that love affair regardless of the red flags of caution waving all around me and the former ghostly warning to “beware of Crimson Peak.”

After Edith’s father dies a tragic death, she marries Sharpe and is taken back to England and the creepy home that breaths and is sinking into the red clay mucky ground.  Of course, here is where one must zipper their lips in reviews and not give away spoilers as to what is revealed in the story line.  As much as I would like to tell you, I won’t spoil it.  However, I will say that on the scare factor that I was so terrified to experience in this movie, I felt very little of it even through the ghostly special effects.  The movie is more of a Gothic tragic romance, if anything, with a bit of lunacy thrown in for stressful and suspenseful watching on the big screen.

Originally, Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as Thomas Sharpe and had to drop out of the role.  I’m glad that he did.  After seeing Hiddleston’s masterful performance, I don’t believe Benedict would have done great justice to the romancing between Thomas and Edith (as much as I like him in other things).  Jessica Chastain is as loony in the role as Rosamund Pike was in Gone Girl.  Mia does well in period pieces.  She did much better in Crimson Peak than her recent Madame Bovary, which I thought flat.

There are a few buggy things in the movie that prey on your realistic senses and don’t sit well.  One is the fact that leaves are always falling through a hole in the roof of the house when there isn’t a tree around for miles.  One individual lives through the violence of multiple stabbings that would surely have killed them in real life just from the blood loss.  A scary ghost warns and comforts her child after death.  Not exactly a visit from a loving mother, which I found strangely odd and out of place.

Is Crimson Peak worth the watch?  Yes, there is graphic violence, but you can close your eyes.  If you like period romances and don’t mind the color red, it’s a must-see.  You may not like the ugliness of ghosts wandering about, but the visuals and underlying story are a tragic tug upon your psyche.

If you haven’t listened to the soundtrack, it is now available on Amazon.  Absolutely love it.  The DVD can now be pre-ordered.  I am also reading the book version, which is really good.

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