Crimson Peak is luscious, extravagant, and terrible – a perfectly gothic Gothic Horror. Guillermo del Toro makes another entry into his visually stunning filmography, providing a richness and grotesqueness in both storytelling and cinematography.
I really appreciate that Crimson Peak is a classic Gothic Horror, with the storyline sticking closely to the standard tropes of the genre – isolation, bloody histories, unnatural relationships, menacing architecture, Victorians, obvious symbolism, endangered virgins, things that gibber and chitter in the night, etc. Del Toro makes references to the Hammer Horror aesthetic, appropriate for a movie with such an overstated sense of dramatic Victorian style (although, to be fair, the Victorians were really dramatic to begin with).
The plot is not complicated or particularly innovative, but the storytelling is superb and the style is to die for. Crimson Peak is perfectly dark and creepy, with Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, and Jessica Chastain delivering a wonderful combination of passion, tension, and insanity. Del Toro knows how to keep the audience horrified and engaged, and he continues to exercise his use of obscenely rich visuals.
I’d recommend Crimson Peak to anyone looking for Halloween movie. It’s not a slasher movie or a suspense drama, but it’s terribly good fun.