Friday, October 16, 2015

'Crimson Peak' is a Spooky Good Film

Review of "Crimson Peak."
Mia Waskikowska stuck in haunted mansion. (Legendary Pictures)
MOVIES

Should a Christian watch a horror movie? Boy, isn’t that a loaded question. 

While many horror movies are nothing more than slasher flicks with a lot of gratuitous violence and have no redeeming value at all, some may surprise you. Guillermo Del Toro’s latest film, Crimson Peak, is one of those films. Del Toro is one of Hollywood’s most sought after directors who is a stickler for quality. In Crimson Peak, he not only directs the film, but he also wrote the story along with Matthew Robbins. And while the film does features some CGI effects, the director wanted as many practical effects and props as possible. For instance, Allerdale Hall is not some old mansion that they found. It was built specifically for this movie.


Set in 1901, the story’s main character is Edith Cushing who is played by Mia Wasikowska who also played Alice in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland a few years back. In a way, Edith is another “Alice” in a strange and less friendly “Wonderland.” Early in the film she explains that she believes in ghosts and shares a flashback of one that cautions her to “beware of Crimson Peak.” She doesn’t know what it means and we won’t either until much later on in the film.


Edith is an inspiring writer who is having a heck of time getting her story published. One publisher glances at a few pages of her manuscript and asks, “This is a ghost story?” to which she replies that it isn’t really a ghost story at all. A ghost is featured in her story, but it is really a metaphor in the story. As the film continues, audiences will notice that this movie too is full of metaphors including the color crimson used throughout. Butterflies and moths are used a lot too.


Edith soon finds herself torn between two men who both have an affection for her. First, there is Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam) who she has known her whole life. The other is Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), a foreigner visiting America with his sister Lady Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain) and seeking money from Edith’s father for his newest invention. After mysterious circumstances take her father away, Edith finds herself in Thomas’s arms looking for comfort. They marry and move to Allerdale Hall, a monstrously huge house that sits on top of a hill of red clay, known by some as Crimson Peak (Duh, duh, duh!) The place is beautiful as it worn. The place is freezing as there is a huge gaping hole in the ceiling. Oh, and Lucille lives there too. This house has been their home since childhood and neither have any intention of leaving.

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