Humans are the new monsters

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Guillermo Del Toro has done it again, bringing his latest movie to life. The house bleeds, the snow is crimson and a mystery is in need of solving.

“Crimson Peak” is a gothic romance that takes place in the early 20th century. The main character Edith (Mia Wasikowska) is a wealthy, young aspiring writer who is trying to get her work published.

As a little girl, Edith had encountered the ghost of her mother, warning her of the future: “Beware of Crimson Peak,” leaving her with an everlasting curiosity and inspiring to her writing ghost stories.

As a young woman, she finds herself falling in love with a dashing but creepy baronet from England, Mr. Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) who sweeps her off her feet. Once Edith marries Thomas and moves into his ancestral home with his sister, Lucille (Jessica Chastain), it is obvious something is not right. Soon after, Edith is visited by crimson ghosts lurking within the house, encouraging Edith to investigate the possible deaths and suspicious activity. Slowly it seems as if the house is coming to life due to the wind, creaking floorboards and fretful spirits.

In interviews, Del Toro has made it clear that this movie is a gothic romance, not a horror film. He does an impressive job with the picture, conveying just enough creepiness with the right amount of jumps, gore and romance. The jumps come with the music that classically hits the highest notes, similar to a haunted house.

If there is anything scary about this film it is the disturbing theme of incest you see between Thomas and his sister Lucille. Shock sweeps across the audience after the movie; it can be overheard from the audience that they saw the incest coming. The gore was more unexpected, and how violent the deaths were left people cringing the entire time. Such scenes are not for the faint of heart.

Despite taboo concepts, the actors are adorned with beautiful Victorian costumes that were difficult to look away from, painting the time period perfectly. Detail and character are Del Toro’s signature, drawing everyone in.

Chastain convincingly plays Lucille as a character that is undeniably mentally unstable. Hiddleston’s character, Sharpe, also reveals his true intentions later in the film. In the beginning, he comes off as a very charming yet naive business man, however the audience starts to see his darker side throughout the rest of the film.

Wasikowska embodies Edith as a strong young woman who breaks away from the role of damsel in distress- saving herself from evil.

By the end, it is obvious what the movie is truly about: The ghosts are not the monsters; it’s the humans who commit the atrocities.

 

Update: the article has been updated with the latest version available. 5:20 p.m. 11/1/2015