Guillermo Del Toro’s “Crimson Peak” is not your normal Hollywood horror movie, and that’s not a bad thing—not a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s not even technically a horror movie in the traditional sense. There are elements of horror but Del Toro insists the more appropriate genre for the movie is “Gothic Romance”. This movie stars Mia Wasikowska as a woman who has been able to see ghosts since childhood with Tom Hiddleston as her new husband, Jessica Chastain as his sister and both Charlie Hunnam and Jim Beaver in other principal roles.
The movie follows Wasikowska as a would-be writer who falls in love with the wrong man. Her new husband is a poverty-stricken Baronette who had been looking for a rich wife to help keep the family afloat, along with his ice queen of a sister. Upon arriving, Wasikowska discovers that the run-down castle is gradually sinking into the red clay below. Likewise, she starts to see various ghosts who had died violent deaths. As a result, she starts to discover various secrets about the siblings—about how their mother died, about their relationship to one another and about her husband’s three previous marriages (all of which ended in death).
Watching this movie, the most obvious things to notice would be the costume design and the set design. Both show a tremendous attention to period detail. Though besides that, it’s hard not to notice the various literary and film references with the relationship between the two siblings being reminiscent of “Flowers in the Attic.” Also, the plot of the movie parallels the greatest Gothic Romance of all (Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca”), with a good dose of supernatural horror added in (in a way that resembles the Pang Brothers “the Messengers”). So if you like either Gothic Romance or supernatural horror, I can’t recommend this movie enough.