EDITOR'S NOTE: Welcome to FHM's Should You Watch, a new movie review section where we provide you the most straightforward answer to whether a film is worth your time and P200. Basically, it's just a yes or a no. But of course we'll also tell you about the parts we liked and the ones we didn't—the factors that went behind our answer.
Now find a good spot for a quick read, relax, and please don't devour this while you're driving...
Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is an all-around creative force. He writes (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug); produces (Mama, The Orphanage, The Book Of Life); and directs (Blade II).
Sometimes, he does all three things at once, and this usually results in something noteworthy as was the case for the magical Pan's Labyrinth and the genuinely entertaining Pacific Rim. His latest work, the horror-romance Crimson Peak—a story about a diabolical pair of siblings out to restore their family's former glory using any means necessary—makes a lasting impact too, the kind that just might keep you up for a few nights.
+ IT WILL RESURRECT YOUR FEAR OF THE RING'S SADAKO.
Remember the fright you had when Sadako suddenly popped out of the corner and closed in on her victims with her distinct, herky-jerky movement? Crimson Peak has its share of ghastly Sadako-like creatures roaming the dimly-lit hallways of Allerdale Hall, a castle-like mansion perched atop the titular hill. These dark apparitions—all of whom hold clues to the secrets within this haunted house—will have you whispering “No, no, no, please don’t appear right now, please don’t appear right now.” But they will, and they will cause you to lean back on your chair.
+ YOU CAN ADD ALLERDALE HALL TO THE LIST OF CREEPIEST HOUSES IN MOVIES
Horror movies have contributed its share of iconic locations in cinema like The Shining’s Overlook Hotel, Psycho’s Bates Motel, and the Amityville house. Locally, we’ve had the not-as-iconic Bahay Ni Lola.
Crimson Peak’s Allerdale Hall—dank, inhospitable yet strangely beautiful Allerdale Hall—has a few ingredients working in its favour to become unforgettable. It’s miles away from the nearest neighbour. We’ve mentioned the apparitions. But above all, it’s built atop a hill that constantly oozes with red goo.
+ THE ONLY THING SCARIER THAN A VENGEFUL DEAD WOMAN IS A VENGEFUL LIVING WOMAN
Crimson Peak has no shortage of scary entities residing within Allerdale Hall, most of them dead. But as the old saying goes, “Matakot ka sa buhay, hindi sa multo.” Jessica Chastain (Interstellar, The Martian) proves just that in the film. She plays the role of Lucille Sharpe, sister to Thomas Sharpe (played by Tom Hiddleston), and noted terrorizer of those who dare to get too close to Thomas. The first time Lucille shows up on screen, you just know that there’s something not quite right about her. Don’t worry though; by the end of the film, you’ll know that basically everything’s wrong about her. Add her to the list of unforgettable ladies in film you wouldn’t want to cross.
+ IT'S ALSO A BEAUTIFUL PERIOD PIECE
Set in turn-of-the-century New York and England, Crimson Peak features grimy, dirt roads, vintage Ford cars, poofy women’s hair, grand Victorian balls, and above all, dapper men’s suits and beards. It’s opulent and elegant, and the characters speak with the kind of old-world eloquence that we sometimes humorously imitate when drunk.
We need not be drunk, however, to appreciate the soft, naïve beauty of Mia Wasikowska (Alice In Wonderland) who plays the role of Thomas Sharpe’s wife, Edith. An aspiring writer, she’s a fragile butterfly to begin but as the circumstances corner her, she begins to exhibit an amazing hardiness. Her transformation is one to watch, as well as the climactic Kill Bill-like fight scene in the end.
(Side note: Whereas Top Gun revived aviator shades, Crimson Peak might just revive circular glasses thanks to Thomas Sharpe’s cool, round pair.)
+ IT GETS GORY
Director Guillermo Del Toro once again brings forth a level of face-smashing, face-stabbing violence not seen since he had the face of a peasant smashed in Pan’s Labyrinth.
Crimson Peak opened nationwide on October 14, 2015 from United International Pictures Philippines through Columbia Pictures. Rated R-16 by the MTRCB.