Crimson Peak | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Crimson Peak

Go for the visual spectacle beauty and Jessica Chastain’s performance

Guillermo del Toro’s gothic romance has all the trappings of an excellent thriller: love, murder, ghosts and beautiful scenery. The fairytale begins when an American aspiring writer, Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), falls into the arms of a visiting English aristocrat, Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). From the beginning it’s clear that Sharpe and his quiet sister, Lucille (Jessica Chastain), have a secret, but it’s not until Edith’s father, who disapproves of the match, is murdered that the arc of the plot begins to take shape. In mourning, Edith quickly marries Sharpe and is whisked off to a crumbling estate that oozes red clay from the floors and walls, and is beset by hundreds of black moths. Ghosts begin to appear and Lucille becomes even colder toward the lonely Edith, setting the stage for what will soon become an all-out steampunk iteration of Cruel Intentions. While the costumes and sets are exquisite, the plot ends up leaving much to be desired. Go for the visual spectacle beauty and Chastain’s performance.

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