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Crimson Peak

Canada / USA 2015
produced by
Guillermo del Toro, Callum Greene, Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull, Jillian Share (executive) for Legendary, Double Dare You
directed by Guillermo del Toro
starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver, Burn Gorman, Leslie Hope, Doug Jones, Jonathan Hyde, Bruce Gray, Emily Coutts, Alec Stockwell, Brigitte Robinson, Gillian Ferrier, Tamara Hope, Kimberly-Sue Murray, Sofia Wells, Joanna Douglas, Bill Lake, Jim Watson, Javier Botet, Peter Spence, Danny Waugh, Sean Hewitt, William Healy, Matia Jackett
written by Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins, music by Fernando Velázquez, visual effects by Mr. X, Rocket Science VFX

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Buffalo, New York, the 1880s: Since she was a young girl, Edith (Mia Wasikowska) has infrequently seen the ghost of her mother, who apparently tries to warn her of something, but only manages to freak her out. But these apparitions also fired up her imagination, and so nowadays, she tries her hand at writing ghost stories - but being a young woman, nobody takes her seriously. Plus, her father, Carter Cushing (Jim Beaver) would rather see her married off wealthily than living in daydreams - and in his physician Alan (Charlie Hunnam), he sees a worthy suitor ... who to Edith is no more than a good friend though. Enter Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), English aristocrat and inventor who presently seeks for financers for his clay mining machine, and who manages to immediately charm Edith - but he earns nothing but dismay from her father, who soon figures Thomas and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) to be impostors and tries to pay them off to leave the country, but not without breaking Edith's heart first. But then Carter is killed by a person unknown, and Thomas seizes that chance to comfort Edith the best he can, make her fall in love and marry him in the process - and before you know it, he takes her and Lucille back to the UK to live in their crumbling estate that's more and more sinking into the clay it has been built on. Feverishly, Thomas tries to build his clay mining machine (this at least was not a ruse), while Edith is mostly wandering the estate on her own, finding out more and more disturbing things - unless Lucille can keep her from it. But like back at home, Edith is haunted by a ghost here, one whose messages she cannot comprehend. As time goes by, Edith's health deteriorates, just like her happiness, and Lucille gets more and more hostile towards her, until Edith has to fear for her life - and miles away from the next house, she hasn't really got anywhere to escape to.

Back home, Alan finds out disturbing facts about Thomas and Lucille, so disturbing in fact that he decides to take a trip to the UK to look after Edith and should need arise take her back by force - but will he arrive on time to save her, and what's that terrible secret Thomas and Lucille desparately try to keep?

 

Crimson Peak shows director Guillermo del Toro pretty much in typical form: The story is pretty much a dark fairy tale in thin disguise, the imagery is stylized with strong traces of gothic horror, very rich and full of strong symbols who nevertheless don't seem heavy-handed, camerawork and direction are elegant and smooth, yet littered with pictures of macabre quality and explicit violence, and the whole thing's a feast for the eyes without ever forgetting the story - and once again, del Toro pulls this off with unparalleled ease, as if his rather artificial filmworld would be the most natural thing. And of course, a first rate cast also make this film completely worth one's while!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD