REVIEW: Crimson PeakNovember 06, 2015Saskia C.
Ever since Guillermo Del Toro's Gothic romance Crimson Peak was announced - ages ago, it seems - I have been anticipating its release, running my grabby hands all over whatever new trailer or photo or interview was released. Two weeks ago the final product was finally ready to be seen by the public. Naturally tickets were ordered as soon as possible. Writing a review was delayed up until now since there were quite a few things that needed to sink in properly.
I have also been incredibly busy in the past few weeks but mentioning that would probably kill the intellectual vibe I've got going on here.
As already becomes blatantly clear from the synopsis, Crimson Peak is a Gothic romance if ever there was one. Luckily, Del Toro has refrained from slavishly following the canvas of the Gothic novel. Edith is not your everyday heroine. She's an ambitious woman with an interesting personality, and not quite as naive as your typical Gothic heroine. She also doesn't swoon quite as often. Thomas Sharpe, on the other hand, is the perfect love interest. I have no doubt that casting Tom Hiddleston, a literal Perfect Human Being, was deliberate and meant to shape the viewer's expectations. Even though, as a viewer, you wish Edith nothing but the best (Wasikowska plays a very likeable heroine), you know that everything is far too perfect for this to end well (and not only because there's more than an hour of film left).
However, no matter how hard it is, I must be critical as well. Even though I adored the aesthetics, the acting (Jessica Chastain's work definitely steals the show) and the intertextuality, even I have to admit that the plot of Crimson Peak is disappointingly thin. The genre does not excuse much (there are at least as many decent plots in Gothic fiction as there are empty ones); there could have been more. The plot twist was not entirely predictable but the ending definitely was. The worst descriptor I could give for it is 'generic', which is, in my humble opinion not something you want a thrilling Gothic romance to be.