A Story With Ghosts in It
Yeeeeeahhhh.....this movie ain't for everyone. That's not to say it's bad, but just know if you became a fan of Del Toro from Hellboy, Pacific Rim, or The Strain, you're probably gonna leave a little disappointed. Crimson Peak is a movie about Edith Cushing ( played by Mia Wasikowska of Stoker, and In Treatment)a well to do young woman living in late 19th who aspires to be a writer....oh and she can see ghosts. Due to various circumstances she ends up married to Thomas Sharp (Tomas Hiddleston), a baronet falling on hard times, and living at his Family home 'Crimson Peak' with his sister Lucile (Jessica Chastain) and shit goes down.
the "ghost story"
Right off the bat your enjoyment of this movie depends on how willing you are to deal with a "ghost story" that isn't really a ghost story. I mean there are ghosts in it, ghost that look great due to top notch special effects and make up work, but they play more tool used too move the story along and unearth the movies central mystery.And that's the thing, the movie kinda would work with or without the supernatural element. This reminds me of Del Toro earlier work, in particular 'The Devil's Backbone', as in the supernatural elements play second banana to the story, as if it was spices to the chicken. Really the ghost barely effect the story except at the beginning and very end. But I'm not complaining. The Ghosts were cool and it fit the gothic tone. But don't expect what the trailers made this movie looked to be. the ghosts are there, but sporadic.
Dat Look tho'
Speaking of gothic tone, THE ART DIRECTION AND EFFECTS IN THIS MOVIE IS LITTTTTTTT. Crimson Peak itself is the single best thing in the movie. THE WALLS BLEED AND THE HOUSE CRIES FAM (they explain it in secular way which was really smart). And the attention to detail on the costume and sets was phenomenal. Frankly form an aesthetic and technical standpoint the movie is damn near flawless, except for one scene early on where it was obvious that they re-dubbed the lines, but couldn't quite match it up. Other than that the movie looks great. THE WALLS BLEEEEED. Oh, and this movie pushes it's R rating. Its nice to see del Toro back in R territory after P.R. and and Hellboy 2. The ghost look amazing, all covered in blood, skeletal, with portions of their body distorted and caved in, it looked great.
Not gonna lie, there are some kinda weird elements and plot holes in this movie. *Spoilers ahead* So the movie in the beginning tells you that ghost chose to appear at opportune times, and only really stay in a place when there are violent deaths. So Edith's father is murdered in a bathhouse for reasons i wont spoil but you should be able to gather in minutes, and Edith's childhood friend and secondary love interest, Alan McMichael ,(played by Charlie Hunnam of Son of Anarchy) goes there to investigate. Why didn't Edith's father appear to tell him what happened? Edith's mother appears at the beginning of the movie to warn her about the dangers Crimson Peak as a child (oh yeah, ghost can apparently see the future i guess). The movie is inconsistent with its own Mythos. Like apparently when you become a ghost, you turn into a horrible skeleton thing....except when they don't cause it's not convenient to the story or imagery. You REALLY have to suspend your belief at moment in this movie, ya know, beyond accepting ghosts. A character gets stabbed in the stomach and what I assume is in a lung, but survives forever. I may be being a little harsh, but come on.
Now none of the reasons i listed above are enough for me, and for a lot of people, not to enjoy this movie. Its well acted and looks great even if the story stumbles. While I'd say this is del Toro's weakest movie (at least that he's written) it still is a solid watch. I'd recommend it if your a fan of del Toro's work, or if you like anything gothic.