It’s not director Guillermo’s Del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” or the superior “The Devil’s Backbone”, but this stylishly made Gothic tale has enough mystery and suspense to haunt your dreams. The title refers to a haunted house on top of a mountain of blood-red clay. But before that, we meet Edith (Mia Wasikowska), a young woman who falls in love with Thomas (Tom Hiddleston, as good as always), a penniless aristocrat. When her father is tragically murdered, Thomas takes her away to Crimson Peak to live with him and his ice-cold sister, Lady Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain).
I’ll say no more, leaving you to revel in Del Toro’s beautiful images. The actors give it their all. Chastain will creep you out big time, while Hiddleston excels as a man with secrets of his own. And Wasikowska, the bright star of “Jane Eyre” and the underrated “Stoker” delivers yet again as she boldly descends into the Sharpe’s rabbit hole of psychological terror.
Del Toro has crafted a film that isn’t particularly scary in the traditional sense. Some will find it disappointing. Others (aka Del Toro’s fans) will welcome it with open arms. Just take “Crimson Peak” for what it is: a thriller of savage beauty.