24. HOLEY SHEET!: Ddddid I just ssssee a ghost?
Director and co-writer Guillermo del Toro said that this was “a very set-oriented, classical but at the same time modern take on the ghost story. I think people are getting used to horror subjects done as found footage or B-value budgets. I wanted this to feel like a throwback.”
He succeeded as this feels so close to the gothic Italian films I love, as well as parts of Hammer along the way, as heiress and author Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) continually is visited by spirits who carry warnings of Crimson Peak, even in her childhood.
As she becomes an adult, she falls in love with English baronet Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), an inventor who is trying to revive the fortunes of his family’s clay mine. Her father thinks something is wrong with Thomas and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain), so he pays them to leave the country, but not before Mr. Cushing is murdered. Sharpe takes her to England and his home, located above the clay mines, a place where the red dirt and snow combine to make a bloody canvas for a foreboding home. Meanwhile, Edith leaves behind Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam), who follows her to England to save her from the Sharpes.
Working with writers Matthew Robbins and an uncredited Lucinda Coxon, del Toro aims for a big movie here and succeeds. I watch this at least twice a year and am always so pleased with its scope and substance. The story of doomed romance and a deranged family is one that I return to for comfort, marveling at the colors and tones of this, wishing that more filmmakers would find inspiration in films like The Haunting. Nothing compares to seeing this on a real movie screen, just sitting in the dark savoring each moment yet I try to recapture that feeling with each watch.