Movie Review: Crimson Peak (2015)

Release: 9 October 2015

This is a horror film I have been waiting some time for, but living in Japan I’ve had to wait. Long ago I began to hear some rave reviews, that all said the same thing: It’s a good movie, but not scary. This is the perfect outlook for Guillermo Del Toro’s newest film. With this point of view the film won’t disappoint. It features a likable cast and an interesting story, the shocks are few and frankly not really shocking, but still watching the film was an enjoyable experience. The special effects are great and the design and theming are phenomenal. It doesn’t stand up to the likes of Pan’s Labyrinth, but it is good in its own right.

The story lacks uniqueness but builds on various cliches in a fresh way. I was never shocked, the story followed an expected pattern, but when working with a haunted house story, there is very little that hasn’t been done before. Guillermo Del Toro knows his audience and gives them precisely what they want. He doesn’t rely on sudden jumps and bumps, but builds an intriguing mystery the focuses on story as opposed to cheap thrills. Crimson Peak feels almost like an homage to classic horror films like the Haunting or the Shining. While it never quite reaches the same heights of dread and psychological tension, it is still fascinating.

The cast is great and well suited to their roles. There were rumors of Benedict Cumberbatch’s involvement but his replacement with Tom Hiddleston seems fitting. Jessica Chastain is cold and creepy and probably the highlight of the characters, while Mia Wasikowska presents an enjoyable point of view in which to experience the film through. The start presents them all as a bit stereotypical but the enjoyability of the characters builds as the story progresses.

Guillermo Del Toro doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but still manages to present an intriguing and fun horror film built on classic horror tropes. It is entertaining but a bit lacking in scares and thankfully devoid of quick jump moments. I recommend this as casual watch for any fan of classic horror films. It’s good, but not amazing. I’d give it 3 out 5 stars.


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