Crimson Peak, advertised as a period ghost story. Starring Mia Wasikowska, better known for Alice in Wonderland and Jane Eyre as Edith a young girl fighting for her dreams to be an author in a world where women are not seen good enough for anything apart from weddings and baby making. Her father brought her up to be a strong-willed independent woman, even getting her an interview to see if she can get her work published. unfortunately she is told that they are only hiring females who write love stories not the ghost stories she adores so much. Ghost stories she started to write after her mother died when she was a child and the ghost came back to warn her to beware of Crimson Peak.
The male lead Sir Thomas Sharpe is played by Tom Hiddleston, best known as Loki in the Marvel Avengers series. A charming, sweet talking gentleman looking for funding for his projects to mine red clay from a businessman who happens to be Edith's father. When he is refused, he starts a courtship with Edith leading towards a possible marriage. Taking her dancing, showering her in affection, talking to her about her writing. Being every inch the dark prince charming of the film.
Carter Cushing, her father is played by Jim Beaver, best known as Bobby Singer in the tv series Supernatural. He becomes suspicious of Sir Thomas and his attempts to gain funding in several other countries before coming to USA. Hiring a private investigator he discovers a huge secret behind Sir Thomas and his even more mysterious sister Lucille. Paying them off to leave and break Edith's heart. Thomas does so, but ooops Edith's father accidentally dies before he leaves town meaning there is nothing to stop the wedding or their 'love'.
When Edith moves in with Thomas back in England, to Crimson Peak is when the mystery really starts to unfold as we find out there is much more to Thomas's story then we first saw. Edith starts to see ghosts all over the old falling apart house. She soon becomes frightening, begging to leave. When not allowed she starts to explore the house, to unlock all of its secrets with the aid of the ghosts that haunt her.
This film is very much a Sherlock Holmes style murder mystery then the ghost story you are lead to think in the trailers. Be warned it is also very bloody when the murders take place, to the point where I am actually surprised it still snuck in under the 15 rating. The storyline is very good, if slightly predictable in places. The fact that Tom and Mia already starred together in Only Lover's Left Alive shows in the deep chemistry between the two here. A most enjoyable movie, even if it does skip into a little overly dark in places. Taking just over $63 million world-wide during the Halloween season, probably would have done better if cinemas were actually giving it better showing times. I found it extremely hard to locate a screening before 9pm. I find it disappointing that Tom's non marvel films seriously struggle to be given a chance at the box office. Only Lovers Left Alive for instance, I managed to get the valentine's day pre screening, and when it came out on official release was only on limited showings for around a week before it was pulled. How can great british talent and movies survive at such a box office limitation? Who wants to see 17 showings of one film a day, when everything else is being ignored at the cost?
I completely loved this dark period piece. 9/10. Try it for halloween!
Sarah Beth James