Crimson Peak

Film, Horror
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
Crimson Peak

Guillermo del Toro's latest is a fun but predictable Gothic ghost story starring Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska

Mexican director Guillermo del Toro has built a reputation on his imagination: films like ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and ‘Hellboy II’ are crammed with eyeless demons and flesh-eating fairies, tangling fantasy and horror in intoxicating fashion. So it’s a surprise – and a shame – to report that his new film ‘Crimson Peak’, while often entertaining, feels like a mish-mash of overfamiliar elements, falling way short in the wild, weird, what-the-fuck-was-that department.

Mia Wasikowska plays Edith Cushing (yes, we see what you did there, Guillermo), an independent young writer in turn-of-the-century New England who allows herself to be wooed and won by Tom Hiddleston’s dashing but down-at-heel English aristocrat Thomas Sharpe. Returning with him to his crumbling Lakeland mansion, Edith must face not only Sharpe’s grasping, possibly incestuous sister (Jessica Chastain) but also a lurking supernatural presence.

The elements are in place for an old-school gothic shocker in the finest Hammer tradition – but ‘Crimson Peak’ feels more like something Tim Burton might cook up, and not in a good way. Del Toro wraps his intricate sets in a super-saturated CGI sheen: what should’ve been grimy and solid feels slippery and not-quite-there. It doesn’t help that the Canadian locations feel absolutely nothing like Cumbria – the local post office looks like a Wild West staging post. All three actors work hard – Hiddleston and Chastain’s sibling relationship is deliciously grotesque – and when the melodrama hits fever pitch, 'Crimson Peak' lurches into life. But overall this lacks weight and intensity: a Brontë-esque bauble smeared in twenty-first-century slickness.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Release date:
Friday October 16 2015
119 mins

Cast and crew

Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins
Charlie Hunnam
Tom Hiddleston
Jessica Chastain
Mia Wasikowska

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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This is more of a classic horror movie with a long setup, a good dig into the characters involved and some brooding scenes that take the haunted house genre and do something different with it. It kind of reminds me of The Woman in Black with a large house in the middle of nowhere and ghosts within the walls providing jump scares and genuine moments of creepiness. Tom Hiddleston acts the charmer in this love story with a twist and Guillermo Del Toro's imagination runs riot with some creepy creatures to haunt your dreams. Entertaining if you like more classic horror, but maybe a little too long when it comes to running time.


This is a lovely film if you're into slow-start gothic-thriller films with sparkles of romance and which tend to turn into horrors at times. Guillermo del Toro is a great director in terms of narrative and visual aesthetics, if you're interested in production design, this is the film for you, as it perfectly reproduces Victorian settings,clothes and aesthetics. Its quite slow start however, should not put you off as it helps to build towards one of the film's first climax and it will be worth it, just give it a try. Also, the choice of the actors was a brilliant one, as they seem to really work well together.


Formulaic gothic ghost story of a typically mysterious and brooding young man who marries a clueless heiress who sees Dead People, with too many predictable elements and characters, although Del Toro's special effects are scary (and Tom Hiddleston's bare behind makes a appearance before it turned up in "The Night Manager"). Jessica Chastain is way over the top as the Jane Eyre-ish madwoman in the attic who should have stayed there.

This film harkens back to some of Guillermo del Toro's older films in theme. It is quite similar to The Devil's Backbone in many aspects of the plot, which leads to a fair amount of it being rather predictable.

While the plot may be a little on the disappointing side the visuals are stunning. There is fantastic use of strong colours to influence the mood of the scene, as del Toro has done before with films like Pan's Labyrinth, making colour an integral part of how it all comes across and making it well worth seeing on a big screen as opposed to a smaller one.

Over all it is not up to the standard of some of his other films, which I think have caused many people to have very high expectations for it, but it is a good film when judged by itself.


From reading the synopsis of this film, I didn't really fancy going to this film, but my husband wanted to see it.  In the end, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and he found it disappointing.

It takes a while to get going, but when I got into it, I enjoyed the mystery of what the history was with the house that caused the brother and sister to behave like they did.  However, thinking about the film on the way home, I realised that I didn't really know what was going on!

Nice enough film, but nothing special.


For those familiar with the Edgar Allan Poe films of Roger Corman this film will look like a bit of a homage.

For those who don't know the Poe films they were full of neurotic relationships, illness & death, they were short, contained horror & a certain amount of camp humour.Crimson is much the same, without the shortness or the humour. The problem with the film is that the name of Guillermo Del Tora promises so much, and in this case doesn't deliver. The main problems are the film is too long winded, and rather lacking in any surprises or originality. Not terrible - but very disappointing. 

Unusually, TimeOut's review is very accurate. Predictable and drags. Mia Wasikowska also leaves me a bit cold tbh. 6/10