Crimson Peak, new movie by Guillermo del Toro (boxed spoilers)

Has anyone else seen Crimson Peak yet? I’d been looking forward to seeing it, and I finally saw it last night, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’d read that the advertising was misleading, and it’s not as much a horror movie as the ads suggested, that it’s more of a gothic romance with horror elements, but I don’t know if that’s quite right either. It’s a hard movie to classify, but I enjoyed it, and I’m very glad for any good original film to be made when so many films are remakes and reboots and such.

Jessica Chastain was amazing in it (and she’s having an awesome month after also being great in The Martian). Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston did well although their characters were a bit underwritten. I really liked seeing Jim Beaver in a small part as Wasikowska’s dad.

But the biggest thing about the movie is how gorgeous it is. The main house is amazing, both in idea and execution. I’m almost positive the movie will be getting Oscar nominations and maybe awards for the sets and the costumes.

There does feel like there’s something missing from the movie. I did really like it, but with all the elements it seems like something I should love, but I don’t. Maybe if the script was better? Or maybe if the chemistry was better? Wasikowska and Hiddleston didn’t have bad chemistry, but things between them still seemed a bit rushed.

The ghosts were really well designed, I really liked how they did them, but for one exception:

When Hiddleston showed up as a ghost at the end, it almost made me laugh. All the other ghosts looked really good, but they were bones and bloody and grossness, and also inside the dark house, so maybe that’s why they looked better. His ghosts reminded me of the princes in Stardust, where they’d be killed and immediately show back up as ghosts, but they were all supposed to be goofy.

This isn’t a movie that I would say is a must see, but if it holds any interest for you, it would be worth seeing it on the big screen. And if you are tired of sequels and remakes and reboots, it helps to support films that are original.

I saw it last night with my daughter, and I really enjoyed it. At the same time, it’s far from a perfect movie. For one thing, I was always very aware that I was watching a movie - I wasn’t really drawn in. (That didn’t prevent me jumping a few times and squawking once though!)

Now, it’s perfectly possible to watch a movie without suspending disbelief, and still appreciate it for the mood, sets, costumes, acting, and balls-to-the-wall gothic pastiche. And that’s exactly my experience.

The other thing is the plot is simultaneously utterly predictable, and also makes NO sense. It’s not even a case of fridge logic - this suffers from sitting-in-the-theater logic. But again, I kind of just went with it, assuming that wasn’t the point anyway.

It was fun trying to catalog all the references and inspirations. I’m boxing my list because it is incredibly spoiler-y, if you don’t guess the entire plot by 20 minutes in. But just off the top of my head:

The Fall of the House of Usher
Rosemary’s Baby
Jane Eyre
Sherlock Holmes (subverted)
and of course, dovetailing with the embrace of cheesy melodrama - Flowers in the Attic
Oh, and also, regarding plot issues, I have to say to Edith’s mom:“Don’t trust Thomas” has fewer syllables than “Beware Crimson Peak,” and would have been a lot more helpful!

How is Jim Beaver in it? Not a Doper, but he did post on this message board a couple times. He blogged about his experience making it over a year ago and it sounded like a great experience. He had a lot of positives to say about Tom Hiddleston.

I saw it last weekend. It was okay. It wasn’t what I expected, and I’m a bit disappointed that there was *so much *build up vs scary stuff that happened later in the movie. I didn’t like how the ghosts looked very much either - the ghost in El Espinazo del Diablo was much more stylish.

And of course, there are small but weird plot holes that don’t make a lot of sense

[spoiler]The dead leaves falling through the gaping hole in the roof are beautiful and make a lovely point - but there are almost no trees at all and certainly no trees near the house of a size that could shed the leaves.

How is Edith so easily able to walk on a broken leg? Did the writer forget that he had Alan tell Edith that he set her leg and never indicated that he was lying so Tom and Lucille would just think it was broken?[/spoiler]

I was a bit disappointed with it, too. It looked gorgeous but there wasn’t much there there.

There were plenty of little plot holes like:

how Jim Beaver knew that Count Incestuo had tried raising money in Milan, London, and Paris but didn’t hear that the dude had married into wealthy families in each place to raise money.

I was also a bit bewildered by the end of the movie when

apparently neither of the Flowers in the Attic twins could see ghosts or perceived anything supernatural about their dump of a mansion. Why did they bother sticking around Crimson Peak since they had acquired quite a bit of money with each marriage? Good memories of splitting open Mum’s head? They loved their house with a sunroof? Surely there must be something supernatural keeping them around.

I did appreciate the paucity of jump scares, which I know is a personal preference but I find the modern horror movies overreliance on them very annoying.

I really liked him. He had a very down-to-earth part, but he played it well. It’s cool that he’s posted here!

That I thought was justified, and fit the gothic theme:It goes by kind of fast, but my read was the sister was older and from early on controlled her little brother. She went whackadoo from being shut up in the upper levels of the house her entire life, but as much as it made her crazy, it also knit Allerdale Hall into her identity. Her whole purpose in life was to keep the estate running, and control Thomas. Selling out and leaving was out of the question for her, and she wouldn’t allow Thomas to explore it.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, and I want to thank you all for using your spoiler boxes. I’m rather fond of Hiddleston and, wow!, del Toro usually brings it, so it’s on my list. However going to the theater is not in my budget right now. I appreciate how considerate you’ve been. :slight_smile:

Beaver was good in it! I’m used to thinking of him as Bobby from Supernatural, but he was good in the movie. I’ll have to look up his blog, I’d be interested in reading about his experience.

I agree on that it was missing something. I’m a sucker for visual spectacle movies, and I absolutely loved movies like The Fall, Sunshine, and Only Lovers Left Alive for their visuals despite the plots having holes. Maybe if del Toro just directed other people’s scripts he might be better.

And for your first spoiler:

[spoiler]Maybe I’m misremembering, but I thought Beaver knew but just didn’t tell Wasikowska. Charlie Hunnam found it out from the packet of information, but by then it was too late with Beaver dead and Wasikowska already married. Why Beaver didn’t tell her was dumb but made sense for his character, as patriarchal “I know what’s best for my daughter and I’ll protect her” rather than treating her like an adult and telling her.

The sister did say something about how they specifically chose girls without families, so no one would worry about them and come looking. But that doesn’t explain why they chose Wasikowska, since she did have a father, who they then had to murder.

Also, why was that other rich mother and daughter so interested in Hiddleston? That mother was not happy that he was more interested in Wasikowska than her own daughter. It seemed to be fairly well known that his family wasn’t rich any more, was it just that he had a title?[/spoiler]

I’d wondered about the ghosts too.

[spoiler]The ghosts weren’t malicious ghosts, or constantly wandering ghosts, so that would explain why the siblings hadn’t seen them. They were trying to warn Wasikowska, that’s why she saw them. But it did make me wonder if the ghosts had tried to warn the previous wives and been unsuccessful.

I do think more could have been done regarding why they stick around. Hiddleston’s character was interesting, in that he was an inventor, and he genuinely believed in his invention, and was hoping it would be successful.

I think a more interesting movie could have focused on the siblings. Show in childhood and how they decide they need to kill their mother. How they come back to the house and decide to restore it to its former glory to show that they can do better than their stupid father who wasted their money and their abusive mother. Show their murderous schemes to get money, and how it all falls apart when he meets Wasikowska. Of course that movie could never have been made for the big budget Crimson Peak was made with, but I think it could have been better if it was.[/spoiler]

If you like Hiddleston and del Toro, I’d definitely recommend it, you’ll probably enjoy it, maybe more than others who have seen it. I know that going to the theater isn’t in your budget, but if at all possible find a matinee or discount screening to see it at, because it’s definitely worth it to see it on the big screen.

Is it scary?

It’s got a few jump scares, but it’s mostly all in the atmosphere. It’s the kind of horror movie I generally like, compared to most of what’s released.

Definitely worth seeing on the big screen but
Having heard so much praise for the visuals, and having enjoyed Del Toro’s visual style in previous films, I opted to spend the extra money for the IMAX screening. Not necessary at all. Yes, it was a beautiful film but I would have appreciated it just as well on a standard screen.

I didn’t get the butterflies.

Also I thought that the ghosts and the red clay were a bit overdone… I guess I prefer my ghosts to be more subtle.