As a Horror fan, the biggest problem I face is just finding someone to go to the theater with me. I'm one of those people who loves the genre, but has somehow surrounded themselves with others who just can't stand it. Whether they're too scared or the think scary movies are just stupid, I struggle to find someone else willing to part with ten bucks and sit through a horror flick with me. Little did I know, Guillermo Del Toro knew the problem I was facing and decided he should fix it with Crimson Peak. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying Crimson Peak is the best horror flick of the year (that title easily goes to It Follows). I'm saying this film is what we, as horror fans, needed to bridge the gap between horror and a casual movie-going experience.
First and foremost, this is as classic a ghost story as you're going to find. Instead of falling into the recent onslaught of demonic possession and deadly haunting tales, Del Toro used his ghosts to warn the main protagonist. Instead of making ghosts the bad guy, they were used as the perfect plot device to move the story along. Guillermo really found the balance in his human characters and their other-worldly counterparts, and that made the movie all the more significant.
It was really refreshing to see a horror movie bring in A-list actors and actually use them correctly. Many times we see big name actors come into a horror film to rake in the audience, but they're then asked to run and scream and perform poorly written dialogue. This causes the actor to underperform and, in turn, assist in the tanking of the film. What Crimson Peak did so beautifully was create characters that actually had intelligent dialogue and played to the strengths of the actors. This helped the fantasy-horror bring a much bigger bite than we're used to expecting. It's also a great tool to use when trying to invite your non-horror watching friends along. They see a movie with Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain, they might think twice before turning you down.
I think the final piece to this brilliant puzzle was its visual aesthetics. In full Del Toro style, this film was a visual masterpiece. His use of color schemes and scenery turned what could have been a dark and boring tale into a brilliant and colorful ghost story. The way the bright red clay bounced off of the pearly white snow, you got just as lost in the scene as you did in the beauty of the house.
No matter which way you slice it, Crimson Peak was a work of art. Whether you're in search of a great ghost story, phenomenal acting, or just something beautiful to look at, you won't leave Allerdale Hall disappointed.