True Review

True Review Movie – English- Crimson Peak

True Review Movie – English- Crimson Peak

by Niharika Puri October 17 2015, 7:40 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 26 secs

Critics rating : 2.5 Stars

Cast :  Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver.

Direction : Guillermo del Toro. 

Produced : Guillermo del Toro, Callum Greene, Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull.

Written : Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins.

Genre : Horror.

Duration : 119 Mins

Ghosts are real, as horror writer Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) wants to convince us. She was a non-believer (or at least did not think on those lines) until she was 10 and saw her mother’s ghost, warning her to beware of Crimson Peak. For some reason, ghosts send out cryptic messages as if they have limited time to convey anything to the bereaved. Mrs. Cushing takes a lot of screentime to lurk before rasping about Crimson Peak, instead of being specific.

Do you then blame Edith for being smitten by the charming Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), despite being trailed by his eerie piano-playing sister Lady Lucille (a delightfully evil Jessica Chastain)? She marries him after the untimely death of her father and traverses the long journey from Buffalo, New York to his whimsical (and massively haunted) manor Allerdale Hall in England.

Things are certainly not what they seem there. The ground the derelict abode rests on red clay which seems to bleed onto the road. Some of the house’s lights and the apparitions that haunt our heroine are colour-coded to drive the point of the title home. The grand revelation can easily be overlooked by glaring plot holes.

If Edith’s father and her family friend Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam) were suspicious or had prior knowledge of the Sharpe siblings’ past, then how was Edith allowed to leave with Thomas in the first place? Why did nobody come to check on her for a long time after her arrival at Allerdale? And when someone does arrive, why is it without any back-up?

Crimson Peak pushes the envelope on ludicrous plotting but endeavours to distract with its own sleight of hand – the visuals. The ghosts are unintentionally more comic than terrifying but at least the costumes and homes are a splendid hark back to an opulent era.

Expect none of the visual wonders of Pan’s Labyrinth or Pacific Rim, much less the storytelling. Crimson Peak may strike a balance between the annoying jumpscares and the sun-bathed interiors of studios and living rooms, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Abandoning Edith’s passion for writing stories and Alan introducing Edith to a camera that captures ghosts seems like an opportunity lost for good sequences. A pre-climactic one featuring dramatic plot exposition via gramophone recordings is convenient and unconvincing.

A cinematic wallflower, Crimson Peak is a checklist of all the horror clichés without the rising tension or the raised stakes to make it a terrifying watch. You’re probably better off reading Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw.

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