CrimsonPeak

There was a recent article in Entertainment Weekly about how trailers are giving away major plot twists for the movies they are advertising. One example cited was Crimson Peak’s, which made it very clear that Lady Lucille (Jessica Chastain), sister of Sir Thomas (Tom Hiddleston), ends up a villain to Thomas’ new wife Edith (Mia Wasikowska). This reveal is not at all a spoiler. It is clear from Chastain’s first onscreen appearance (about 10 minutes in) that she is not trustworthy.

This lack of surprise is Crimson Peak’s entire m.o. Edith is warned multiple times to beware of the title location, among every other development that is foreshadowed in no uncertain terms. This is not necessarily a fault, as this is more or less the approach of gothic horror. When forgoing the element of surprise, a horror film must bring it thematically and aesthetically. On those counts, the story is fine, but nothing special. The acting is adequate, but mostly boring and straightforward; Wasikowska is really the only one who gets to show off complexity. The visuals at least are sumptuous, but even that area is not immune to the obviousness (what with an excessive use of iris fades).

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