Wednesday, 21 October 2015

REVIEW: CRIMSON PEAK



I am a big fan of Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro. His work in the film industry has been critically acclaimed and even achieving some form of cult status. Some of his best directorial efforts include Hellboy, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, and Pacific Rim. My favourite film of his is Pan’s Labyrinth (2007) which some critics have proclaimed it one of the finest Spanish films ever made. A must-watch if you have not seen it. Therefore, I am quite excited to watch his latest directorial effort which I will be reviewing.

Del Toro latest film is called Crimson Peak. He shares screenwriting credits with regular collaborator Matthew Robbins. The film stars Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, and Charlie Hunnam. The film is produced by Legendary Pictures, the production company responsible for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, Godzilla, and many others.

Will one of my favourite directors strike a chord with the fan in me? Do read on…

The mansion nicknamed Crimsom Peak.
SYNOPSIS:
In the late 1800s, a young Edith Cushing is visited by her deceased mothers and warns her about a place called Crimson Peak. Baffled by this event, she shrugs it off over the years but still keeps that warning in mind. Now an adult, Edith (Mia Wasikowska) helps her entrepreneurial father in his business but longs to be a writer. One day, a charming aristocratic English gentleman Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) approaches Edith’s father for a business prospect but was rejected. During this time, the ghost of Edith’s mother appears again with the same warning Both Thomas and Edith develops a romantic relationship much to the dismay of Thomas’s sister Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain). After the death of Edith’s father, she marries Thomas and moves to England. Together with Lucille, both of them live in a mansion called Crimson Peak.

Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing
SCRIPT:
Original and scary. From the start, the film establishes itself that it will be a horror film with ghost and ghouls but it slowly became a period drama. The script was trying to combine a balance of horror, gore, romance, drama, and mystery but I feel this was not done well. Although the story can be easily understood, the script opened up to several plot holes which begs some questioning. I’ll explain more of this in the filming section later on. The four main characters were well established and can be relatable to the audience. The dialogue is a little over-the-top and fancy as the film is set in a certain time period.

Tom Hiddleston as Sir Thomas Sharpe
ACTING:
Very well acted by Wasikowska, Hiddleston, Chastain, and Hunnam. I was impressed at how they brought life to their roles. Mia Wasikowska burst onto the Hollywood scene as Alice in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010) and she is definitely a star to look out for in the future. I have always liked Jessica Chastain as an actress and she too performed well with Tom Hiddleston.

 
Jessica Chastain as Lucille Sharpe

FILMING:
As with all Guillermo Del Toro films, he will transport you into a world that is believable on screen. He pays close attention to art direction, production design, set decoration, visual effects, and many other things which forms the core essence of his film. Everything in the film looks beautiful and pleasant even though it is a horror film. The cinematography and choice of colours were really good. As I mentioned earlier, the script had several plot holes. However, Del Toro manages to make the audience overlook them and interjects practical effects and visual effects to raise the level of excitement. Speaking of effects, they too were really good.


Above: Director Guillermo Del Toro
Below: Del Toro on -set with Mia Wasikowska

PACING:
Started off good but became a little draggy as it progressed. Good climactic ending but I felt it could have been slightly better.

Charlie Hunnam as Dr. Alan McMichael

DOWNSIDE:
There are lots of dialogue and it is advised to be attentive. If you one doesn’t like a film with lots of dialogue talk, this movie may not be fun.

UPSIDE:
A beautiful film to look at. A beautiful film to appreciate. A beautiful film to admire its technical achievements.

Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain)

OVERALL: 
It may have been marketed as a horror drama but the film is more a heavy drama. It is not one of Guillermo Del Toro’s best work but he does it in his own trademark style. Del Toro fans should not miss this film.

 

RATING:
7.5 out of 10.0

 

 

 

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