Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak’s gothic narrative.
The new must-watch of every grim reader is with no doubt Guillermo del Toro‘s Crimson Peak. I’m not gonna review it, but just point out how exquisitely gothic this movie is, trying again not to spoil you anything, though I discovered myself not to be that good in that!
So, first thing: Victorian Age all over! The period in which the story is set is not of minor importance. The Victorian Age is the most loved from many members from different branches of the Goth subculture, and in Crimson Peak we get an interesting overview of the late 19th century. The movie is set in the first part in the States and then it switches to the English countryside. We are also introduced to characters who represent different stereotypical types of Victorian society: Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska, who has on her back a huge experience in costume dramas, lovely) who is the “I don’t wanna get married I wanna write” type of girl who happens to be able to see ghosts, Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) the “tall, dark stranger” who very much resembles a Romantic Hero, I dare say a late-Romantic hero for his intensely dark traits that you’ll discover and sense all over the place and for this steampunkish characteristic of being an inventor; his sister Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain) who from the very first start has something of a tragically-in-love psychopath, Carter Cushing (Jim Beaver, yep, Bobby from Supernatural! They made him look a lil’ bit older in the movie) who, in my opinion, represents the late 19th century productive and pragmatic American upper-middle class, and Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam) who incarnates the Victorian Value of Science and medical progress, and of nobility of heart.
I won’t forget one of the most important characters of the movie, namely Crimson Peak itself. It is quite obvious that the haunted and rotten stately home is crucial in the development of the story. As Edith is “Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds – and remembers”. One of the main features of a gothic literary work, which this movie was as every visual media is, before transposing it into a visual experience, is isolation of the setting. The latter is pretty disturbing as not only it is a decadent Victorian stately house, full of dark corridors, creepy doors and so forth, but is it also build on a red clay mine, which will play an important role in the final part of the movie, visually at least.
Of course, as every classic horror the house is miles away from any living creature. There is only a post office, pretty distant from the house, and it is the only place in which Edith and Thomas can indulge in loving actions, as the house is haunted also by Lucille’s obsessive presence, which contributes to the averall doom and gloom vibe. Mystery, which is an important element is also present, as we discover more and more about the Sharpe brothers as the story proceeds, investigating in the creepy place alongside with Edith.
Of course, ghosts in this movie are especially.. let’s say misunderstood creatures. [SPOILER READ AT YOUR PERIL] Their purpose is not to kill, but to warn Edith about something hideous that might happen to her, but they are not especially good-looking (well they scared the crap out of me but I have to say I have a rather low tolerance when it comes to ghosts), they’re also pretty aggressive too. Nevertheless, they also carry a metaphorical, as Edith points out at the end of the movie: “Ghosts are real, this much I know. There are things that tied them to a place, very much like they do to us. Some remained tied to a bunch of land, a time and date, a spilling of blood, a terrible crime… There are others, others that hold on to an emotion, a grief, a lost, revenge, or love. Those, they never go away.”
Here you go, the trailer of the movie. If you have any opinions, or comments about the film feel free to post them.
Cheers, grim readers!