On Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to attend a screening of Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak and I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Here are five of my favorite things from the movie:
***WARNING: SPOILERS MAY ABOUND***
1. It's a female-centric story
When you read Gothic Fiction, the story is told from a woman point of view. However when the stories are brought to life on the big screen, the point of view is that of the men.
Not so in Crimson Peak. The story remains female-centric throughout the entire film. The story is told through the eyes of Edith Cushing (played by Mia Wasikowska), the main protagonist. I loved her progression as a character in which she evolves from a naive, studious girl to a mature lady that has battle scars.
At the beginning of the film, Edith doesn't have time nor believes in love, but at the end of her journey, she does. In speaking about Edith's evolution to the Wall Street Journal, del Toro said,
"At the end of the movie you see that she can still be in love with all the pain that true love has."
Early on, there's a quote by Edith that stood out and resonated with me as I watched. Responding to Dr. Alan McMichael's (Charlie Hunnam) mother (Leslie Hope) remark about Edith wanting to be Jane Eyre and die a spinster, Edith claps back with-and I'm paraphrasing here-"Actually I rather be Mary Shelly and die a widow."
And in the end that's exactly what she becomes.
Jessica Chastain's character Lucille Sharpe is another gem in the film. She's Sir Thomas Sharpe's (played by Tom Hiddleston) sister, and her and Edith couldn't be any more different than night and day.
She's cunning and ruthless, always wanting to be in control. Lucille always carries a set of keys for the many doors of the mansion. She's also very protective of her brother and she will and does anything to make sure they stay together.
Both Chastian and Wasikowska give excellent performances and it was exciting to watch these two actresses do their thing onscreen.
2. The Humor
From the get go, there's humor sprinkled throughout the film. It came in the forms of quips and facial expressions from the characters. There were a couple of moments where the audience laughed even near the very end.
The film's visuals are just stunning. Apparently, visually Guillermo del Toro wanted the film to look like a Mario Bava Technicolor movie, and I think he's accomplished that. The colors-particularly red-stand out beautifully and visually this is an exceptional piece of cinema to behold.
4. The Mansion
Much has been said about the huge mansion that was built from scratch. It is where most of the action takes place and it is the star of the film in its on right. The house has its own rhythm from the east wind that blows through and shakes it, to the bright crimson clay that is slowly sinking it, to the ghouls and dark secrets that reside within it.
Even the items within the mansion such as the chairs, fireplaces, artwork, etc. all have their own characteristics as they were each designed with extreme care. The house and film reminded me somewhat of The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe.
5. The Horror
First and foremost, there is no doubt that Crimson Peak is a Gothic Romance story, however, there are elements of horror throughout the film. From Edith's mother who appears to her twice as a black skeletal ghoul dressed in a black gothic dress, to the ghouls of the Sharpe mansion who reminded me a little bit of the Colassal Titan in their appearance, with their decaying skin and flesh.
In addition, there are scenes of violence and gore depicted throughout the film. There's a set piece near the very end in which Edith faces off against another character and it's just epic.
Overall, Crimson Peak is definitely an amazing film that you'll enjoy. The film arrives this Friday in theaters everywhere.