Thoughts on Crimson Peak’s Paranormal Heritage, A Movie Review

crimson-peak-movie-poster-largeBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Crimson Peak is hardly melancholy as most Gothic pieces of literature flow. The tale here moves in Jane Eyre fashion, focussing on a romance, with bits of The Turn of the Screw and Fall of the House of Usher mixed in. When Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) is introduced as a confident young woman wanting to become a writer in the same vein as Mary Shelley, just what’s odd is her sudden conversion naivety as she’s swept away by the loving charm of Thomas Sharpe (charmingly played by Tom Hiddleston), a gentleman inventor from England. He’s arrived in Old Boston, circa 1890, to convince a board of rich businessman to invest in his operation.

There’s this rich red clay on his land that can be a boon to the construction industry. These bricks can be tough as nails when properly mixed, but it’s also symbolic to a detail that ties this film together. The deep crimson quality suggests something else. Writer and director Guillermo del Toro makes sure all the symbolic interpretations of this colour are examined. From warning, love, courage and hate, just what exactly this brick like tone represents depends on the individual and culture. For Edith, if only she understood the signs. She should have. As a writer, she has to know that the world can be explained with allegory and metaphors. There’s the potential for anything she sees or experiences to contain a deeper meaning. She’s smart for one-act and is dumb in the remainder. Perhaps that’s because of the poison that’s working through her system to numb her senses. A lot of thought is required to process the story that del Toro has penned with Matthew Robbins. Not every detail is properly explained for some people to understand. Some of them might be mistaken for plot holes.

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