Crimson Peak Movie Review: A Beautiful Tragedy

By: Chris Ridolphi


Recently the cult-favorite filmmaker, Guillermo del Toro, created another excitement inducing work titled Crimson Peak. Del Toro is known for his visually stunning cinematography that I previously enjoyed in his creepy, ominous film Pan’s Labyrinth, so I was anticipating his new “horror” film that I had the pleasure of viewing in IMAX. Contrary to what my friends and I were expecting, Crimson Peak turned out to be less of a horror and more of a fantasy love-story that felt like the equivalent of watching an hour and a half slideshow of beautiful scenes. The film takes place in a 19th century Gothic era that offers stunning scenery which del Toro definitely took advantage of, adding incredible effects that he is known for including a magnificent “haunted house.” However, it seemed as if he focused solely on the craftsmanship and filled it with a boring story that provided no substance, which was impossible to ignore.

The main character Edith is an aspiring writer who lives only with her wealthy father as her mother died when she was young. Still as a child, her mother appears to her as a ghost with a warning saying only, “beware of Crimson Peak!” The story then jumps forward to her as an adult where a mysterious man named Sir Thomas Sharpe along with his sister show up at their estate asking for her father to invest in a machine he invented that digs clay from the earth. Edith’s father denies his request as he immediately receives bad vibes. During his attempts he is impressed with Edith’s writing and she is very charmed by him, despite her father’s feelings. She suffers another tragedy when her father was murdered and she is left all alone. Sir Thomas Sharpe took advantage of this by marrying her and bringing her back to England with him, where he lives in a large run down mansion with his sister, Lucille.

Everything leading up to this point did a good job of getting you very intrigued, but this is where the story takes a turn for the worse. First, you never hear about her writing again and she gives up everything in her still pretty promising life to live with this very strange guy that leads to an uncomfortable relationship that seems very unbelievable. While at her new home, that she finds out is nicknamed Crimson Peak she feels ill and is visited again by multiple ghosts that try to reveal dark secrets of the Sharpe’s life and past, that she eventually figures out. Even after the visits from the ghost of her mother and the new ghosts, she doesn’t act on anything they are telling her making the ghosts seem pointless throughout the story other than the fact they look cool. The movie starts and ends with the same scene where Edith says “ghosts are real, that much I do know.” That really is all the ghosts offer in the movie; that they exist, and it left you with the feeling that nothing that happened throughout the movie mattered at all.


One thought on “Crimson Peak Movie Review: A Beautiful Tragedy

  1. I agree that it is a total let-down when you are expecting something great from a movie because of the director and then it is nothing like you expected. My question would be however, does every movie involving ghosts have to be a horror movie? I do not know much about this movie and how it was advertised but from what it sounds like it was meant to be a weird kind of romance movie that may have just had some creepy parts added in. As we talked about in class, ghosts aren’t always bad guys and so how could it be a horror movie without any obvious villain?

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