Movies and Tea #17 – Crimson Peak

The next episode of Movies and Tea is here! This time, we talk about Crimson Peak as we near the end of this season with only one more movie in his current filmography left after this one. Crimson Peak is a lot of changes of direction for Guillermo Del Toro as he helms this gothic romance lead by Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston.

Head over to Movies and Tea to check out this new episode and give it a listen!

Movies and Tea

Having established his “Eye Protein” style while crafting love letters to giant monsters and the things which go bump in the night with “Crimson Peak” his intrest turned to the classic Hammer Horror films while drawing further inspiration from the likes of “House on Haunted Hill” and “The Shinning” to craft a Gothic love story hidden under the geise of a ghost story.

Released to middling fanfare the film remains much like his early films somthing of an underdissed entry in his filmography….until now.

Further Viewing

Dracula (1992)
Jane Eyre (2011)
The House on Haunted Hill (1959)
The Shining

Music on this episode

Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare
Fernando Velázquez – Edith’s Theme
Fernando Velázquez – Soft Hands

Listen to the Show

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Halloween Marathon: Crimson Peak (2015)

Its extremely rare that I head out to the theatres during Halloween season especially for horror movies.  Most of my friends aren’t huge on horror movies so it takes an immense amount of courage to head out to catch one.  But, I’ve missed a few of the must-sees on my movie list this year.  Crimson Peak is one of the later most anticipated movies.  It wasn’t on my original list earlier in the year but its super awesome with a director I admire and a cast that could sweep this thing away.  Its intriguing.  So, I picked up my courage, told myself to be brave and bought a ticket for myself and having a lovely date with myself to the theatres on a Friday night.

I haven’t seen a movie in a downtown theatre in so many years.  I think the last one was Thor 2. When was that released? Regardless, we had a rather chatty bunch.  The two girls sitting 5 seats down to me didn’t exactly master the art of whispering so I heard little psst psst psst sounds between words during the quiet parts of the movie. Then, some joker was in the back making stupid comments in a mocking voice.  The theatre visits, my friends, disappointing 80% of the time. Anyways, enough complaints…

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Crimson Peak (2015)

crimson peak

Director: Guillermo Del Toro

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver, Burn Gorman, Leslie Hope

In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds – and remembers.-IMDB

Right off the bat, Crimson Peak makes us know that this is Guillermo del Toro’s work.  How? The amazing visuals and his ability to instill fear just from a strong opening scene. Crimson Peak is a mesh of genres.  While the trailer wants to believe that its a horror and romance, Rotten Tomatoes and CinemaMontreal categorizes as solely horror and then we have IMDB which lists it as horror, fantasy and drama. Fact is, it is a little of all those things.  There’s romance and it gets dramatic, there’s horror bits scattered but when the mystery eventually breaks out, that is when its not all that horrific anymore. While it does have hints of fairy tale and a good premise behind it, the visuals as top-notch and even the cast and the acting are great but the execution has me holding back from feeling anything more than lukewarm.  Don’t get me wrong.  I got scared and nervous at the scenes where it was meant to put us at the edge of our seats but maybe its the lack of connecting with the characters or feeling like the mystery was mysterious that it made me think, it felt a little anticlimactic to be honest.  The story had laid out the clues so well that when the actual reveal confirmed the story and the twist (because we know there is one always), it didn’t feel that shocking.

Crimson Peak

Well, that’s my review up there pretty much.  Honestly, there was some awesome directing here. The visuals of the ghosts and the costumes and the settings was great.  The atmosphere worked perfect and the music was absolutely stunning.  There were piano pieces that would pull on a ton of different feelings to accentuate the mood we had to be in. That is the magic of Guillermo del Toro that we know.  He showed those skills in Pan’s Labyrinth and honestly, in a story like this one, it started reminding me of that same brilliance but not really hitting the mark as well as before.   The moment you see the main setting at Allerdale Hall, its literally a rundown mansion.  Every shot makes you shake your head and as a normal person, to refuse to live in there.

Crimson Peak

As for the cast, there is nothing but good words.  I personally think that Mia Wasikowska is a talented actress especially in these weird mysterious storylines.  I mean, she did Stoker and man, I love that movie.  It was her being in this movie that pushed me to go see this even without seeing the trailer.  However, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain are both fantastic actors as well.  They carried each of their roles as good as they could.  I know Tom Hiddleston from just being Loki and its sad that I haven’t made my way to watching more of his work.  However, seeing him as a inventor and romantic is a new feeling and one that I think he does quite well. There were some pretty steamy scenes.

Crimson Peak

The least known for me is Charlie Hunnam in the supporting role.  I know he’s from Sons of Anarchy which I know nothing about except for the gifs hanging around internet boasting how great he looks naked. Oh right, and there is Pacific Rim. So yeah, hard for me to imagine him here playing as a opthamologist that loves to play Sherlock Holmes? I told you. Weird stuff.  But it is always expected when you head into a Guillermo del Toro movie.

Crimson Peak

Overall, Crimson Peak is an average movie for the fact that it holds too many genres to decide where it wants to go.  While there is a strong cast, sweeping music, stunning visuals and outstanding visuals, it never quite decides where it wants to be and it makes us connect with the characters a little less and feel less involved.  There were parts that ended up feeling slow but when we reached the horror sequences, they were done perfectly.  Even the romance was rather believable.  Except, it didn’t really give us a chance to piece together the story ourselves making the final reveal not much of an impact. However, for its positives which is still rather abundant, Crimson Peak is worth a watch even if its in your living room on Blu-ray. I know that despite all my complaints, I’d watch it again.

Have you seen Crimson Peak? If not, do you intend on checking it out? If yes, did you like it?