Friday, October 16, 2015

Crimson Peak review

Kerry and I went to an early Thursday night showing of Guillermo del Toro's new movie, Crimson Peak. Ever since some of the first production stills came out in late spring 2014ish, I've been looking forward to this movie. I wasn't sure about the whole horror aspect with creepy shadow things, blood everywhere, and the sinister house only because I'm not big on that movie genre. BUT IT TOOK PLACE DURING THE VICTORIAN PERIOD! Instantly sold.
Crimson Peak 2015
Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre 2011) stars as the main lead, Edith Cushing, a young woman who finds herself drawn towards a young baronet visiting America from England. He seems great, but there's that lurking air of mystery that there's more to Thomas Sharpe's story than what he's revealing. After her father's mysterious death though, Edith finds herself heading off to Allerdale Hall with Thomas. Let's be honest though, where Tom Hiddleston is concerned, it's easy to completely lose our minds and follow him anywhere without any second thoughts.
We've only just met, but can I put MY hands around you?
Yes, Tom Hiddleston (swoon) of Avengers fame is in this film.
I'll just stand in the partial light and look sexy

At home across the pond at Allerdale home, Edith finds her baronet isn't all the good looks and charms seems. There's the decrepit mansion that creaks and moans, the blood red soil that said mansion sits on, the crazy skeletal ghosts in the bathtub, and did I mention the totally batsh*t psychotic sister-in-law?
B*tch please, I give resting b*tch face a whole new meaning.
Jessica Chastain (The Help) is glorious in the role of Lucille, the other half of the Sharpe siblings. From the outset, you know there's something up with her, and it's fun to watch the story unfold and see how her character is involved.

The script itself is wonderfully macabre and gothic in the Victorian sense of things. I may have even violently whispered at one point in the theater, "OH MY GAWD, IT'S A JANE EYRE REFERENCE!" Add a dash of Captain Bluebeard, mix with the genius that is del Toro, and you've got a great movie to lose yourself in.
Was I supposed to make a right or a left after passing the bloody ghost?
Okay so yes, some aspects of the story ended up being predictable. It wasn't quite the horror movie I was expecting it to be (that's okay too in my book), but there's still enough "jump" moments. The movie's set design and atmosphere are what really pull you in. It's dark, pretty peculiar, wonderfully detailed, and how about those costumes?
Don't mind the noises, dear. It's just everyone that's died.
Those costumes are originally what sold me. The detailing and design that Kate Hawley put into the pieces is so intricate and multi-layered that I'm glad I got to see it on the big screen, even if it was only to get a good view of the costumes. While not completely historically accurate, it's obvious Hawley did some homework on what she was working with.

Half a day to the nearest neighbor? On second thought...
Edith is mostly dressed in large leg-o'mutton blouses and coats with tailored skirts, reflecting the popular designs of the 1890s. There's definitely a fictional element though, with some of the pieces looking like gauzy Victorian/Fortuny dress crossovers. They work though. The costume designer even took color into consideration, dressing Edith in bright yellows and whites to contrast the dark atmosphere of Allerdale Hall and it's occupants.
"Listen Jessica, I don't care if your train is five feet long. You should be able to run like a homicidal maniac without tripping."
Lucille shuffles around in beautifully trained and pleated Natural Form dresses (1876-1882ish) of blacks, blues and other dark colors to match her lovely - excuse me - brooding personality and house. While the Natural Form seems like a weird pairing with the 1890s, Edith remarks at one point that Thomas' clothes are old and out of style. So are Lucille's. See, intentional design!

There's also a great interview with Kate Hawley here.
Just stand there and smolder me some more.
So yes, with a movie like this, I didn't expect complete accuracy in the historical department, but there were a few things I couldn't help but notice:

1) No proper woman - even an American one - would go to a social ball and dance a waltz without gloves.
2) No proper woman - even and American one - would appear downstairs, with her father, with a family friend, OR WITH A STRANGER, in her night dress and a robe!

Shame, shame, Edith!
But I like wandering the haunted mansion in my nightwear.
So long and short. Loved the costumes, loved the design, loved the story, loved Tom Hiddleston, loved the movie! No, it's not going to win an Oscar or any other major awards, but it will definitely suck you in for a couple hours and will be worth a rewatch on a dark night with the lights out and the wind howling outside.

Go see it!
Please come see my beautiful yellow embroidered silk dress! I've hidden it away under this cloak from the Internet so you HAVE to come see Crimson Peak to see it!

Overall review - 4.5 out of 5
Costumes - 4 out of 5

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