Gothic Horror is a genre that has substantially died down since the early 2000s. It has been ignored, and nearly wiped from existence. However, Guillermo Del Toro had something to say, when he created the film Crimson Peak back in 2015. The potential for Crimson Peak was immense, boasting a skilled director and the combined talents of Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain. Nevertheless, this great potential is not fully realized. Crimson Peak isn’t a bad film by any means, and yet it is frustratingly inconsistent considering the caliber of those involved in the production.
How to Download Crimson Peak
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. Check out also other films by Guillermo Del Toro, such as Hellboy, The Shape of Water, or Nightmare Alley.
The Movie Review
The existence of supernatural spirits is a fact known only to Edith Cushing, who has been aware of this reality since she was a child. Her mother’s ghost appeared to her and warned her about a mysterious place called Crimson Peak. Edith, now a young woman, aspires to publish her ghostly tale but faces bias due to her gender. Meanwhile, a titled Englishman, Thomas Sharpe, travels to America to obtain funding for his innovation, a clay-mining machine.
Edith’s father, Carter Cushing, is reluctant to trust the struggling nobleman and his sister, Lucille Sharpe. After uncovering damning evidence, Carter pays off Thomas to abandon Edith, who is hopelessly in love with him. Carter is murdered, and Edith marries Thomas. Hereafter, they relocate to England, to the castle above Crimson Peak where uncertain happenings will change Edith’s life.
The combination of supernatural horror and Gothic melodrama/romance had the potential to be captivating if executed properly. However, there is one issue here, the Gothic melodrama/romance takes center stage, it becomes the film’s main genre despite being marketed more as a horror film.
Combine that with a pacing that essentially broke the film down into many different bits and pieces, you had a recipe for mediocrity.
The first half of the movie sets up a strong backstory with a decent plot that oozes malice and intrigue. Considering that good horror films always provide plausible explanations for their supernatural elements, Crimson Peak appeared to be headed in that exact direction. Unfortunately, it’s not the case. In the end, it’s just another horror movie with a delectable coat of paint, with unremarkable revelations, and the ghosts are simply ghosts.
The majority of what this film has to offer is a sluggish pacing, a somewhat exciting premise that runs out of gas halfway through, and some of the weakest dialogue I have heard in a long time. This is quite weird considering Guillermo Del Toro was behind it, and it’s something you simply don’t expect from an auteur of his caliber. However, there are a lot of inconsistencies like that which hold this film back from being one of the better Gothic Horror films to ever come out.
This could have been such a phenomenal opportunity for the genre to strike true once more, and yet it fails quite considerably.
The acting performances in Crimson Peak are a mixed bag. Tom Hiddleston usually stands out in his roles, here however, he takes a backseat to the standout performance by the one and only, Jessica Chastain. Chastain commands every scene she’s in, even when she’s not the focus of the camera. Her performance is simply captivating. Mia Wasikowska is great in the film too, although not as much as she could have been depending on the writing of her character.
Jim Beaver is also there, he is just kind of there for most of his screen time, he doesn’t have a commanding screen presence. Chastain just takes all of the spotlight in this film though, and deservedly so.
Now to talk about the best parts of this film, the production values. Guillermo del Toro’s distinctive style is on full display, and fans of his previous work will undoubtedly recognize his signature visual flourishes. But what’s truly impressive about Crimson Peak is the way it manages to create a unique and haunting atmosphere that’s both beautiful and eerie.
The ghosts themselves are a testament to this, with their innovative design blending seamlessly into the overall aesthetic of the film. It’s a cinematic experience that’s best enjoyed on the big screen, where every intricate detail can be fully appreciated.
Fernando Velazquez’s musical score, including both piano and orchestral arrangements, is utilized to great effect throughout the film. This Victorian-era Gothic horror is a visual feast for the eyes, featuring stunning imagery that appears almost like a music video. The film’s soundtrack plays a crucial role in adding texture to the overall experience, and it’s the music that helps to enhance the film’s creepy tone. It’s clear that the film’s aesthetic flourishes due to the combination of its stunning visuals and haunting score.
Director Guillermo del Toro’s signature visual touches are on full display in Crimson Peak, as this film is a visual masterpiece and sonic masterpiece. However, while the film’s aesthetic is undeniably impressive, the same cannot be said for the storytelling.
The plot, while intriguing, is ultimately predictable, and the characters are not as interesting as they could have been. The acting is commendable, but nothing too extraordinary, and the climax of the film is way too ordinary in itself. In the end, Crimson Peak is a beautifully complex film that is definitely worth seeing for its visual spectacle alone, but falls short in terms of its storytelling and character development.
- Spectacular visuals and special effects
- Haunting musical score by Fernando Velazquez
- Incredible performance from Jessica Chastain, and solid acting from the rest of the cast
- Intriguing plot
- The characters aren't as interesting as they could have been
- Predictable plot twists
- Uneven pacing and execution
- Some of the acting is hit or miss
- Misleading marketing for those expecting an actual horror movie