February 9, 2016

Blu-ray Review: Crimson Peak (2015)

"If you love Gothic Romance, then we incest that you see this movie."

(aka Family Matters.)
Release Date: October 1th, 2015.
Country: USA.
Rating: R.
Written by: Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins.
Directed by: Guillermo del Toro.
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam.

Even though we wanted more from it in the end, we really enjoyed Crimson Peak. Then again we're fans of Guillermo del Toro, so that was to be expected. We just totally dig what he has to offer as a storyteller, even if his narratives border on the sappy and sentimental from time to time.

When she was a little girl, Edith was visited by the ghost of her mother who warned her "beware of Crimson Peak!" 14 years later, Edith is all grown up, sexy, and is an aspiring author who would rather write ghost stories than romantic fluff. Seeing that it's 1901, she should be lucky she's writing anything at all, considering that most women didn't even have jobs back then. Sexism was everywhere!

When Edith meets Sir Thomas Sharpe, a sexy English business come to the new world to push his wares, she is immediately smitten. His cockney "Ow ya doin' there, Guvnah!" routine wears thin on her father though, and he tries to chase him off. Then her dad dies (rather mysteriously), and she marries Sir Thomas, and moves to England, to live in his broke-ass mansion, Crimson Peak. You know, the place her dead mother warned her to avoid 14 years earlier?

There was apparently good reason for he mother to warn her about the place though, as Edith sees all sorts of ghastly and horrifying ghosts walking the halls of Crimson Peak at night. Also, Sir Thomas' sister, Lucille, hates Edith and wants to kill her. Because incest. It's all really just a creepy, fancy soap opera. With ghosts.

Gothic Romance ensues.

Whether or not you like this movie is going to depend greatly on how you feel about Gothic Romance. This is a "Horror" movie to be sure, but it's far more of a haunted love story than it is anything else. The visuals are top-notch, as is the cast, and Guillermo del Toro knows how to tell a story, both on paper and visually, and Crimson Peak definitely delivers some amazing visuals, and plenty of emotional beats throughout.

The movie has got a few intense and "Scary" moments throughout as well, even if it needed far more of them.

The cast does an excellent job with the material given them. Mia Wasikowska is lovely (in all ways) in this one, and Jessica Chastain plays cold and hateful so well, that we're pretty sure that's how she must be in real life Tom Hiddleston is one of our favorite actors working today, and his full range is on display here. Even Charlie Hunnam, whose role is a relatively small one, did well. 

The problem with this movie is that like many of Guillermo del Toro's projects, there's just not enough Horror present. As good as del Toro is at his craft, and as much as he loves all things Horror & Fantasy, he sure has a problem with making his movies truly horrific. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with his movies because they lack gore and tawdry sex or anything, but I'm really getting tired of them ending on a sentimental note, instead of a shocking one.

Crimson Peak would have been an instant classic back in the 70's, where it would have fit in perfectly with the Gothic Hammer Films that ruled the day, but in this day and age, it often times felt like a biteless throwback that desperately wanted to be an instant classic, but couldn't figure out how to pull it off.

As with the sex scene between Thomas and Edith, the ending was a bit anticlimactic. For all of the build-up, when the big confrontation at the end happened, it was all over far too quickly, and it left us unsatisfied.

That's what I mean about del Toro's films; they do an excellent job of setting the stage for something grand, and then they just don't deliver. Not fully, anyhow.

Crimson Peak is a mostly bloodless affair, which we find odd considering the word crimson is in the title. To us, that title implies blood!

Nope. For a R-Rated movie, there's next to no nudity on display. There are some sex scenes, but none of them are explicit in the least. There is a pretty strong current of incest running throughout the movie though.

Crimson Peak is a Gothic Romance that is disguised as a Haunted House movie. It's a gorgeous piece of work, and under the talented and gifted eye of Guillermo del Toro, it delivers a few competent scares and a bit of gore towards the end, but it's definitely a romance at its core.

If you like del Toro's brand of sentimental ghost story, then you'll no doubt love this one too.


Crimson Peak is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.


Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain can climb our Crimson Peak any day.


  1. Loved the production design and costume design but the story seemed somewhat derivative. It's sad to say, but I didn't love it like I thought I would. The movie really did look beautiful though (the practical effects, enhanced with CGI looked quite good)!

  2. I had a problem with the house. From what was reportedly a huge chunk of the budget to build this elaborate set, it didn't feel as though it was explored enough. I didn't feel like I knew the house or all of it's apparently elaborate rooms, nooks and crannies. Not sure if this is the right word, but it felt rather "small" to me. I also didn't connect with the story and was pretty much bored throughout. I understand why people connected to it and am envious as I wish I had. All in all, it just wasn't for me.

  3. Crimson Peak wasn't the name of the house at all but about the red stuff on the snow.

    CGI was nice to look at and the acting was strong. Sadly it wasn't scary at all. I wished the dead wives had risen from their pits and rip the Very Bad Person appart.

  4. Enjoyed this film. Guess it's really more of a drama with ghosts in it and not really a ghost movie. Powerful portrayals.