“Crimson Peak” review

New del Toro movie ‘predictable’

By Joe Matthews, Staff Writer

Time to put your hands over your eyes, hide behind that popcorn and grab your man’s (or your lady’s) arm for comfort. At least that’s what most viewers might think going in to “Crimson Peak.” Trailers were a little misleading, and the time of year for the release might have thrown some people. With it being so close to All Hallows Eve and with trailers incorporating the “make you jump,” factor, Crimson Peak was a shoo-in for another great horror movie from Guillermo del Toro. Unfortunately for horror fans, “Crimson Peak” falls, quite poorly, into the gothic romance genre.

Starting off on the right foot, the film started by formally introducing us to Edith Cushing — played by Mia Wasikowska — a young writer who was pressured to write romance though she aspired to write ghost stories. Since she was a child she had been haunted by a ghost. The ghost always told her one thing: “Beware of Crimson Peak.”

Following was Sir Thomas Sharpe, played by Tom Hiddleston, who had come to town to try to convince Edith’s father to invest in a clay mining machine, and in the process caught Edith’s eye.

Without giving details, the first act concluded with Edith agreeing to marry Thomas and then being swept off to an old family estate in Northern England  where Thomas can mine for clay. He told Edith that the clay will make the ground red, thus giving the land the name “Crimson Peak.”

This is where the movie fell flat. It became extremely evident that this so-called love was based on deception. Once viewers began believing the love may have been fraudulent, the relationship got little viewer support. So for the last two-thirds of this two-hour movie viewers were asked to invest in a relationship no one particularly bought into in the first place.

Predictable – and at times downright stupid – the characters made the poor choices evident in most wannabe horror movies that leave viewers coming up with endless possibilities on how to avoid said situation.  When a terrifying ghost tells you numerous times to “beware of Crimson Peak,” it would probably be wise to oblige.  When unexplained deaths occur in your new house, you don’t stay there hoping it stops — you get the hell out. Again, stupidity occurs in most horror movies and even though this isn’t technically a horror movie, it still pertains.

Though the movie itself was a letdown, the visuals and costumes were a highpoint. The rundown family mansion was a sight to behold and the Old English attire was beautiful. Unfortunately, it takes more than costume and set design to have a good movie.

Predictability was the main downfall in this movie; if it wasn’t as blatantly obvious as to how it would conclude, it would have been a decent watch. Regrettably, viewers might get more entertainment from betting on what they think is going to happen next than actually following the story.

Take the movie’s advice: Beware of “Crimson Peak.”