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Crimson Peak (2015)
What Del Toro lacks in foreplay, he makes up for in fireworks. And although not his best display, it's hard not to gaze up at in the October darkness and get lost in.
As is always the case with Guillermo Del Toro and his dark fairy tales, the art direction and cinematography in Crimson Peak is stunning. Step for step with the anthropomorphic architecture is Kate Hawley's costume design, a showcase of ruffled and laced Victorian gowns drenched in deep blues and crimsons for the ominous, and veiled coppers and beiges for the less assuming. Aesthetically, it demands to be seen.
A self-proclaimed Gothic romance, Peak follows Mia Wasikowska's Buffalo, New York Industrial Era ingénue, Edith Cushing, and her dreams of turning a haunted reality into print fiction. Before her pen turns to type, enterprising outsider Thomas Sharpe(Tom Hiddleston)and his eerie, yet elegant sister Lucille(Jessica Chastain) supplant her notions of normalcy and her sunny, Western New York sky turns endlessly obsidian.
Although creepy throughout and quite literally set in a house of Technicolor horrors, Peak is far from a horror movie, which the film's marketing department did a pretty bad job of...marketing. The weakness in the film is in its screenplay, which doesn't do a great job of burying the twist or fleshing out most of the leads (specifically Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam's characters).
Even without a wealth of meat to work with, Tom Hiddleston is indefensibly charming as he wades through his murky inventions and intentions and Jessica Chastain is all-in, stealing the show with a devilishly unhinged performance of a woman fraying at the seams of her questionable intent.
What Del Toro lacks in foreplay, he more than makes up for in fireworks. And although not his best display, it's hard not to gaze up at in the October darkness and get lost in.