A Return to ‘Crimson Peak’

I originally watched Crimson Peak on its release some years ago and had always considered giving it another viewing. This time around, I managed to pick up on a few things I hadn’t before.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers*

The setting of Allerdale Hall (Crimson Peak) is situated in a remote part of England. Despite its dereliction, it’s a visually stunning house with its tall ceilings and grand staircase. Yet it is the gaping hole in the roof that gives the viewer pause for concern. The hole is uncovered, bringing with it the elements of the weather, including autumn leaves, chill, howling winds and winter snow. The red clay that lies beneath the house, seeps into the floors, walls, and water pipes, and is both unusual and ominous.

Butterflies and moths have also made Crimson Peak their home, entering through various open spaces and nestling within the rooms. It is a strange arrangement of co-habitation, and butterflies feature heavily within the film, even before Edith steps foot in the Hall. Butterflies are a symbol of transformation, change and rebirth, and this theme features in other aspects of the film.

I’ve always been a sucker for set designs. 😉

The clothes are not only gorgeous, but they also show the differences between Edith and Lucille. Edith is a more modern woman, independently minded with hopes of becoming an author, so the clothes she wears are modern Edwardian with puffed sleeves. Lucille is happy within the home, clings to stability and her dependence on Thomas. Rooted in the past, her clothing demonstrates that, as she wears the Victorian bustle (these are the dresses I personally prefer within the film).

Although his machine is designed to help save his home, Thomas reveals his tendencies towards change through his inventions. Creative and forward thinking, he is willing to embrace change by choosing Edith as his wife, and begging Lucille to stop what she is doing – something she has done for years. This then reveals Lucille’s obsession, and a standout performance by Jessica Chastain. Her portrayal is both intense and frightening, and every inch the ‘mad’ woman.

The ghosts within the film are creepy, skeletal figures with long outstretched hands. Edith’s mother is a frightening, black presence (she died of black cholera), while those at Crimson Peak are as red as the soil. They float, walk and crawl throughout the Hall. There is only one white ghost, and they are a sad, lonely figure.

I thought the dog was a sweet addition to the film and I loved to watch it play ball and run through the house, so what happened to it didn’t please me at all. 🙁

I enjoyed the film, but my favourite part would have to be the ending (no, not the gory bits). I love what was said about ghosts in those final minutes where the camera returns to the house. The writing and imagery combine to make something sad, but beautiful. The images during the end credits are gorgeous, and the final image brings a happier, satisfying conclusion.

What was it about Crimson Peak you enjoyed the most? Did you love it or hate it? Do you embrace change? Are you a sucker for gorgeous set design and/or costumes?

6 thoughts on “A Return to ‘Crimson Peak’

  1. The set and the costumes are amazing. My favorite part of the movie is how the story unfolds. There are secrets and mysteries. It’s not just dumped on the viewer. It’s so intriguing!

    1. Debbie Johansson 14/09/2022 — 2:23 am

      Yes, I enjoyed that as well, Priscilla. I loved the mysteries and secrets – and there were a few of them. 😉

  2. I never saw the movie. Your assessment interested me (until you got to the part about the dog). Now I’m on the fence. But it sounds visually stunning. Thanks, Debbie.

    1. Debbie Johansson 15/09/2022 — 8:35 pm

      Sorry, Staci! I should have mentioned spoilers (I’ll fix that now). As much as I didn’t like that, it did help reveal some other issues later on. Given the genre, there are some gruesome scenes, but I hope that doesn’t put you off either. It is indeed, a visual stunning film.

  3. It is a visually amazing movie, but it pushes my horror boundaries by being too bloody/gruesome for my personal taste, but the acting, set, costumes, and overall colors are amazing. I’ve watched it twice in about a five year time span because I do love period pieces and it’s set in my favorite era.

    1. Debbie Johansson 16/09/2022 — 7:55 am

      Hi Carrie. Yes, there are some gruesome parts, but I’m with you on period pieces – I’m a sucker for them! 😉

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