Imagine that Jane Eyre, the legend of Bluebeard, Paranormal Activity and all of Jane Austen’s novels had a baby. That is exactly what Guillermo del Toro’s newest film “Crimson Peak” is. The film continues the director’s trek through the dark fantasy genre, and though it does not quite reach the greatness that Pan’s Labyrinth achieved, it is still a pretty damn good film.
The film is a gothic romance with a touch of horror. While del Toro avoided classifying it as such, it definitely has horror elements to it. The walls of a decrepit estate bleed red through the cracks due to the red clay that surrounds the castle. Dilapidated and horrifying figures of ghosts are staggered across the course of the movie. It is creepy and scary, without the use of the typical “jump and shock” that most scary movies rely on.
What really drives the film, however, has little to do with the specters and touches of horror throughout the settings. It is the characters that are expertly portrayed by Mia Wasikowska (the heroine Edith), Tom Hiddleston (the penniless nobleman suitor Thomas Sharpe), Jessica Chastain (the scary sister-in-law) and Charlie Hunnam (the overlooked “nice guy”). At the beginning, Edith and Thomas Sharpe have the saccharine period romance that almost makes you sick. It’s too perfect and the lines seem cheesy, but it serves the purpose of the plot making Edith fall hopelessly in love with him and making leave her old life behind and go across the world to be his wife and live at his worn estate that is in need of major repairs, for which her dowry and inheritance can provide.
I won’t spoil much more of the plot, but it is probably one of the film’s few flaws. It can be called predictable, but I hardly noticed it due to the great cinematography, acting, costumes, special effects and superb direction. It is a visually stunning film that will probably win several times during the upcoming award season.
Speaking of awards, I think out of all the actors, Jessica Chastain has the best chance of blowing the competition away for Best Supporting Actress. I would go so far as to say that this is the highlight of her career, because it is like we have never seen her before. Gone are the stoic, hard characters that have become her stereotype thanks to Zero Dark Thirty. Chastain pulled out tricks from her acting bag that I have not seen her do before, and let me just say, she plays insane crazy well.
Now I will be moving on to what is arguably the most important part of the film, which is the great shot of Tom Hiddleston’s naked behind. It only lasted about five seconds, but those five seconds irrevocably changed my life. Before I saw this film, I just enjoyed Hiddleston for his acting ability, fantastic accent and how his hair somehow looks perpetually slimy. But after seeing his butt, I have garnered a new appreciation of him.
Ladies (and gentlemen), do yourself a favor and go see this film, even if it is just for a glorious derriere, a scrumptious rump and a muscular gluteus maximus. Five out of five butts. Would touch.