By Will Tarashuk
Beware the Crimson Peak. More like beware a mediocre movie, am I right? Crimson Peak is directed by Guillermo Del Toro and stars Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, and Charlie Hunnam. The “horror” movie was very underwhelming and a little too long for my liking.
The plot to this film is quite simple. A woman falls for a man and moves away with him to a creepy house on a hill, leaving her past life behind. The actual story itself is fine for a horror movie. We have the creepy ghost warning or main character of the Crimson Peak and a lot of mythology and lore about the house and family that lives there. I was excited to see what Del Toro would bring to the table and needless to say he had a lot of strengths and weaknesses.
I like to start out with the positives so the movie looks absolutely stunning. Del Toro had a clear vision on how he wanted the film to look and he really delivered. The house looks creepy and old, which is important in a horror movie. The shots and angles he used were superb and the way he swayed the camera around a scene was impressive. The ghosts were some of the best I’ve seen on film but they were almost too good.
A movie with actual ghosts tormenting out characters can be tricky. If you don’t use CGI it can look campy and poorly made. If you use too much CGI the ghosts just don’t look real. This film falls on the ladder half. Every time a ghost comes on screen it has a lot of weird and odd movements and it is basically covered in blood. It felt like Del Toro was trying to impress the audience with his visuals more than he was trying to scare them. It was a brilliant site to see but it looked fake and not scary at all.
“It’s not a ghost story, it’s a story with ghosts in them.” That is a line said in the movie and it basically sums up Del Toro’s film. The movie really isn’t a horror movie. It is a dramatic romance with ghosts in them. I think the marketing for this film will really hurt it in the end. Audiences are going to expect to be scared but might leave a little disappointed. That being said, I have to complement Del Toro on the irony and appreciate that element of filmmaking.
Let’s movie onto the acting. There are two actors in this film that are famous for previous roles. Tom Hiddleston played the devious Loki in The Avengers franchise while Charlie Hunnam played the crafty Jax in Sons of Anarchy. One of them was able to avoid the typecast while the other just looked out of place.
Hiddleston is fantastic in this movie. His dialog can be a little cheesy and cliché but it works. You believe his romance story you feel for him as a character. Hunnam on the other hand just looked awkward and should not have been in the movie at all. He struggled through some of his lines and his scenes just weren’t that memorable.
Other notable performance is Chastain as the insane sister who cannot let go of the past. I thought the performance was good but sometimes a little over the top. If you ask me the best actor in the entire film was Jim Beaver. He played Edith’s father and he was fantastic. His only flaw was that he did not have more screen time.
Overall, Crimson Peak is not a bad movie. I can’t say I wasn’t entertained by the film itself I just don’t think it was memorable. It was visually stunning but underwhelming as a whole. The marketing was misleading and the storyline a little predictable. The runtime for the film is just over two hours and it probably could have been cut back. It was not Del Toro’s best work but it wasn’t his worst either. I would give it the good old fashioned Will Tarashuk recommendation.
Image by Imdb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2554274/)