A Baronet Is Not An Instrument

Posted: October 17, 2015 by Andi Pants in Reviews
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Hey there guys. Let me just start by saying that I have been waiting for this movie for what feels like forever. My first time seeing a preview for it I was wide eyed and amazed by what I was seeing; I was enthralled and absolutely fan girling. Guillermo has always done fantastic work, both of the Hellboy movies, Pacific Rim, Pans Labyrinth; they’ve all been fantastic movies. Maybe they haven’t been the highest rated, or critically acclaimed, but visually, they have always been stunning. Del Toro has done it again with the aesthetics of Crimson Peak. Seeing other people’s reviews I have seen the same thing over and over; it ranges from great to horrible, but all of them say that it was a visually stunning movie.

The movie starts with one of my least favorite types of opening, its clearly part of the movie toward the end, the main character, Edith Cushing, is standing in a fogged area, blood spatter on her cheek, practically panting while looking absolutely terrified. The following scene is properly the beginning of the movie. Though this is clever in drawing the watcher in, it drives me buggy. Edith lost her mother at a young age, and was comforted by her ghost the same evening; though in true Del Toro fashion the mother’s ghost isn’t an angel that you would think to see, it was something horribly grotesque, meant to make the watcher squirm. Fast forward ten years and a 20 something Edith is on her way to see if someone will publish her book, about ghosts. Which due to the time period was almost instantly turned down because Edith is indeed a female, she was told that the story needed a love story rather than a ghost story and was sent on her way.

In this general time frame you also meet Dr. Alan McMichael, played by Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy). Edith and Alan run into Alan’s mother and there’s talk of a new resident to the area from England, Thomas Sharpe, Baronet. Edith makes a rather snide comment about the title of Baronet; which sadly does prove to be true. Thomas Sharpe and his sister Lucille are as shady as they come. Thomas has hopes and dreams of making his machine to help dig up the crimson red clay and mine it for profit; though Edith’s father dashes those hopes. I can personally say that I was highly amused that her father was played by Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer on Supernatural), though sadly, he did not say “Idjit” at any point in this movie.

Now, for as much as I hate plot spoilers, there really isn’t a way to review this movie without at least dropping a few hints in the process. The plot of the movie is highly predictable, both from the beginning and as the movie is going. If I’m the one telling you that it was predictable, than you certainly know that it was. I did expect more horror out of the movie, more jump scenes than there were, more violence, more gore; and whereas a typical Del Toro movie was missing these things, the visuals, again, were positively stunning. The house, Crimson Peak, which earns its name from when the ore in the dirt stains the snow a blood red color, is a masterpiece in and of itself, though it has fallen into disrepair due to the lack of funds that the Sharpe family has. The house itself is certainly more of a castle, and holds its fair share of secrets.

Upon the sudden death of Edith’s father, she marries Thomas Sharpe and is moved back to England into the grand home that is Crimson Peak. Suddenly Edith finds herself waking, startled, at all hours of the night. When she wakes, Edith wanders the house and is suddenly confronted by a few different ghosts with backgrounds of their own, both tied to the house and to the Sharpe family. Through her own investigation Edith discovers that the ghosts are there for a very specific reason, as well as a warning from her mother from the encounter she had with the ghost at such a young age… “Beware of Crimson Peak.” Lucille has had ill will toward Edith since their first encounter, and the movie thoroughly covers the ‘why’ to that deep within the story, though through her psychosis she is able to make it seem as if she indeed had good intentions for Edith; especially when Edith suddenly falls violently ill, Lucille comes to Edith’s aid. Throughout this entire movie it becomes evident that there are darker motives behind why the Sharpe siblings have made such quick work of making sure that Edith was part of their family. The climax of the movie escalates quickly and it throws the entire story into a tail spin. While I would love to go into the details that are involved in the rapid climax of the movie, I’m going to leave that for ya’ll to see for yourselves.

One a scale of one to ten I personally would put this movie at an 8 or so. I love the visual, the story, though predictable was fantastically told and magnificently done. I don’t see the movie as being one to get any awards for its acting, or best movie of the year. I have a tendency of liking off beat movies though.

Let me know what ya’ll think of Crimson Peak if you have seen it, if you have any ideas of what it would be like if you’d want to see it. If you think that I’m wrong in my assessment.


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