Crimson PeakThere are no words to describe how much I loved this film.


*tries again*

What’s it all about?

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.

Oh, but it’s so much more than that. Of course it is. It’s Gothic.

Why did I want to see it?

Ever since I saw Cronos yonks and yonks ago I have been a fan of Guillermo del Toro, even Mimic which lots of people hate but I thought was interesting even though it was about giant cockroach people which ewww (and also NOT a spoiler because that movie is nearly 20 years old, guys).

So when I read he was making a Gothic story with *gasp* Tom Hiddleston and regular Bride girl-crush Jessica Chastain there was no way I was going to miss seeing it asap, and when I saw the release date I made sure our annual holiday was arranged to make sure we were back the weekend it was released. Sad, I know. But true.

What did I think of it?

Like I said, loved it, loved it, loved it. It’s impossible to talk about Crimson Peak without harking back to what others who have also loved it have said, but I don’t really care because they are totally correct.

It’s not a horror film in what we’ve come to expect horror films to be in recent years, though of course there are horror elements to it. It’s not really a love story, though it is a huge sweeping Gothic romance with darkness and passion and the love that drives people to do extreme things. It’s a throwback to The Masque of the Red Death and The Fall of the House of Usher and all those tales of crumbling houses and families with secrets that just barely stay hidden, and it’s about the clash of the new world and the old. It’s designed within an inch of its life but to enhance, not get in the way of, the story. It has proper meaty roles for women who have agency and don’t rely on men to save them. It has plot points that you can see a mile off but it doesn’t matter because they make sense and are part of the Gothic tradition and you can quietly go squee who you are proved right.

It’s wonderfully cast and beautifully acted and I swooned at the whole experience and cannot wait to see it again. I was so glad that I saw it on IMAX as the format gave it a wonderful sense of scale, but it has also gone straight on my DVD to buy list and I think will work just as well on a smaller screen. After all, that’s how I watched Corman and Hammer as I was growing up.

It’s not going to be for everyone but it worked so, so well for me!