Guillermo del Toro’s gothic horror Crimson Peak earns its R rating through wince inducing scenes of bloody violence. Yet despite the macabre nature of the the 1901 set film, there’s a thread of sensuality that runs through it. When Edith (Mia Wasikowska) marries the dashing and enigmatic Thomas (Tom Hiddleston), she moves into his family home Crimson Peak. His sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) also resides at the mansion. When Edith witnesses a series of supernatural occurrences, she seeks to know more about the history of the house only to find it’s heavily protected. She also begins to suspect that something truly sinister is being kept from her.
There’s a commentary on the sexual repression that is commonly associated with the Victorian era. Del Toro twists the idea that the heroine must stay pure to survive while also presenting sexual discovery as being positive. In my video interview with del Toro and the cast, the writer/director discusses the love scene between Edith and Thomas and how it changes Thomas for the better. Hiddleston also spoke about how his character is shaped by the moment. For Lucille, her confusion of love and pain often means that the character’s sexuality is associated with violence. Chastain discusses her character’s dark history and how it relates to her need for intimacy. Wasikowska notes the idea of love and romance as being horrifying during the time period in which the film is set and therefore associated with the supernatural. You can check it all out in the video interview below. Crimson Peak is in theaters now.
Here’s the official synopsis for Crimson Peak:
Legendary Pictures’ CRIMSON PEAK, a co-production with Universal Pictures, is a haunting gothic horror story directed by the master of dark fairy tales, Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy series, Pacific Rim), written by del Toro and Matthew Robbins and starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam. In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers. Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, del Toro and Callum Greene produce, and Jillian Share executive produces.