Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Movie review - Crimson Peak (R) - review by Gardner Reed

119 minutes

I got to be honest with you Folks. Director Guillermo Del Toro is back and more terrifying than ever. Crimson Peak displays more of Del Toro’s trademark unforgettable imagery and knack for jump scares that catch you off guard and leave your popcorn all over the floor. Imagine Age of Innocence and Downton Abbey meets Evil Dead and you get Crimson Peak. Given his past film works such as Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone, a horror period piece picture is something that Del Toro could create any day out of any materials you give him. 

The plot follows the main character of Edith Cushing played by Mia Wasikowska, who becomes infatuated with a charming yet mysterious Englishman named Sir Thomas Sharpe portrayed by Tom Hiddleston. After eloping with him, she goes to live with him and his peculiar sister played by Jessica Chastain at their family estate of the dilapidated Allerdale Mansion in Cumberland, England. 

Del Toro doesn’t shy away from making every aspect of the mansion a section of macabre terror and supplies a ripe amount of exhilarating and downright terrifying moments. The performances are noteworthy; especially on Hiddleston and Chastain who are able to pull of unnerving but believable performances that become more interesting as the film unfolds. 

Ever since I could remember, the horror film genre has been a main influence for me to pursue filmmaking and cement my love for movies. Seeing Crimson Peak reminds me that there still is hope for future horror films that don’t rely on cheap cliches, hackneyed dialogue, and overused teen horror appeal. 

Watching this movie was the most exhilarating and heart pounding experience I have had since I watched John Carpenter’s The Thing which was what sparked my horror film interest at a very young age. 

Guillermo Del Toro’s appreciation for classic horror tropes, a clear sense of originality, and a unique visual aesthetic makes this movie a near perfect experience for those craving a good ol’ fashioned horror film with intelligence and substance.

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