“Crimson Peak” shows audiences the true monsters
By Elaine Gerou
Duration: 119 minutes
Rating: 8 out of 10
Ghosts play a whole, new role in the American gothic romance film, “Crimson Peak,” which was directed by Guillermo del Toro and released on Oct. 16 to theaters nationwide.
The film begins with a beautiful, blonde woman, Edith Cushing played by Mia Wasikowska, saying, “Ghosts are real. This I know.” She stands in a white dress with a slash across her cheek and blood on her gown, leaving viewers wondering if the blood is connected to the ghosts she is referring to.
The film then flashbacks to her childhood when her mother’s ghost creepily entered her bedroom and one at a time wrapped her long, black fingers around her daughter’s shoulder, saying, “Beware of Crimson’s Peak.”
Unlike ghosts in other films, the ghosts in “Crimson Peak” appear real and not always transparent. This is because according to rogerebert.com, most of what was filmed was physical and not computer-generated.
The film takes place in the Victorian era, when electricity was rare and puffy, elaborate dresses were in. This setting provides great costumes and scenery for movie viewers, having candles light nearly everything.
Everything is going well for Edith, who lives in America with her father, Carter, played by Jim Beaver. She pursues her interest in writing of ghost stories, but is shot down for publishing because women should write of romance. One man named Thomas Sharpe from England, played by Tom Hiddleston, liked it though, saying, “Where I come from, ghosts are not taken lightly.”
Thomas is in town with his sister, Lucille, played by Jessica Chastain, begging for funding of his invention involving the transportation of clay. Carter is one of the many men listening to Thomas’ presentation, but immediately doesn’t like something about him, not being able to place a finger on what it is.
Over the course of a few days, Carter can see that Thomas and his daughter are falling in love, so he bribes Thomas with a check to break Edith’s heart and leave town the next day with his sister on a train.
Mysteriously though, the following morning Carter is murdered viciously in the community shower room, having his head smashed continuously into the sink until his skull breaks and his head is indented. The impact was so great the sink broke, so if you have a weak stomach, this film is not suitable for you.
A hole in the plot here though was that when Edith’s family friend looked at the crime scene, the sink was perfectly fine.
Because Edith is now out of blood relatives in town, she marries Thomas and wears the red ring that his sister had been wearing earlier. Lucille said, “We are buying something with it,” creepily when she handed it over to Thomas, asking if he was sure she (Edith) was the right one, making it sketchy.
The three move back to England to the brother and sister’s home they grew up in. The mansion is enormous and gorgeous, but has a huge hole in the roof allowing leaves, snow and cool air into the house, a floor that is sinking into the ground and the bathtub runs red at first due to the red clay the establishment lies on. Lucille also says the house is not safe everywhere and has a large set of keys she carries. It would be thought by many that this may not be a suitable living environment for a newlywed, but Edith says not a word.
In addition to that, Edith begins to see ghosts at night and eventually is told by Thomas he lives on Crimson Peak—the place her mother warned her of. This is where the real story begins.
Although the film can be slow at times, it helps intensifying other scenes, leaving viewers constantly on their toes. For anyone who loves anticipation and is not afraid of gore, this is the perfect movie. Give it a watch, because there is much to be seen.