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YMMV / Crimson Peak

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Thomas Sharpe a sinister Bluebeard and serial murderer, or is he an abuse survivor trying desperately to get out of the cage his family has built for him?
  • Anvilicious:
    • The symbolism can be very heavy-handed at times - particularly the scene of ants swarming over dying butterflies. That this is a metaphor for what the Sharpes may do to Edith is not in any way subtle.
    • Don't cling to the past! This is spelled out in this out of nowhere exchange between Edith and Thomas before their tryst.
    "You're always looking to the past. You won't find me there. I'm here."
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  • Awesome Music: Fernando Velázquez's score, which manages to be atmospheric, romantic and sweeping all at the same time.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Rather a lot of people talked about Tom Hiddlestone baring his ass for all of two seconds before a love scene that's actually quite modest beyond that.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: One of the main things criticised about the film is that it follows the Gothic Horror formula a little too closely, to the point where many of the reveals and Plot Twists had already been guessed by the audience long before the narrative catches up. See also The Un-Twist.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Some of Thomas' most devoted fans overlook the fact he was a willing accomplice in the deception and murders of his wives and Carter, though to be fair he is portrayed as a more complex Anti-Villain and has a Heel–Face Turn in the end. The fact he's played by Tom Hiddleston may have something to do with it, too.
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  • Fanon: A very popular example that often shows up in fanfiction is that Edith is pregnant with Thomas' child at the end of the film and the child can also see ghosts.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Edith is compared to Jane Austen - who died a spinster - at the start of the film. She quips that she'd rather be like Mary Shelley, who died a widow. Edith herself becomes a widow at the end of the film.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Edith tries to sell a ghost story but her publisher requests that she turn it into a romance instead. The film itself is a Gothic romance but was marketed more as a straight-up horror film.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Thomas and Lucille Sharpe could count as this. They were both abused by their parents, separated for a long time, are desperate to restore their family fortune and by the end, they both become spirits, with Lucille left behind to haunt Allerdale Hall while Thomas moves on. On the other hand, they're both money grubbing Serial Killers of rich women and Lucille herself being an incestuous Domestic Abuser to Thomas.
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  • Misaimed Marketing: The film was marketed as a period supernatural horror film. It's actually a gothic romance with only some horror elements. This likely played a serious role in the film's divisive reception.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Lucille probably crossed it a long time ago by murdering Thomas' innocent wives for their money (and from jealousy) and Carter for disrupting their plans for Edith. However, the moment that really cements her as being irredeemable is when she murders her brother, the only person who ever truly loved her and vice versa, because he chose someone else and wanted to be free. This is symbolised in the film's ending via having the repentant Thomas' ghost seemingly Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, while Lucille's ghost is shown to be stuck haunting Allerdale Hall.
  • Narm:
    • The murder of Edith's father is meant to be seen as horrific, but the scene itself can go into Black Comedy with how gratuitous and drawn out it is.
    • Thomas slowly and shakily pulling the knife out of his face. It's as though the film stops for a moment to wait for him, thus putting emphasis on it. Not helping is the expression on his face, which is less "There's a knife in my face!" and more "Ooh, that stings!"
    • When Lucille starts going crazy and runs about. We're supposed to be scared but the way she runs is so silly.
    • The fact that Edith gets all the information she needs from a convenient set of recordings that detail the Sharpes' motives and exactly how they poison their victims. The fact that this is left on a gramophone is bound to induce some chuckles.
  • Narm Charm: Jessica Chastain's attempts at an English accent. She tries and doesn't really succeed, but it almost serves to make Lucille seem even more off.
  • Rooting for the Empire: It can be easy to start wanting Thomas and Lucille to win, thanks to the complexity of the characters, excellent performances of Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain, especially as Edith is a pretty bland character on her own.
  • Signature Scene:
  • Tear Jerker
    • Edith losing both her parents, especially the moment where she must identify her father's grotesquely disfigured body. Or the visitation from her mother's ghost where the spirit's actual actions belie its terrifying appearance — not only trying to give a warning, albeit an ominous one, but she seems to be trying to embrace her young daughter one last time.
    • Similarly Edith saying goodbye to Thomas' ghost.
    • Edith and Thomas' confrontation in front of the elevator. Edith lists all the things Thomas has done against her and he says "I did" to each one, until she says "You told me you loved me!" to which he responds "I do!". The anguish and sincerity in his voice is painfully heartbreaking.
    • When Edith has to identify her father's body, she breaks down in tears and gets upset when other people try to move the corpse around, sobbing for them not to touch him.
  • The Un-Twist: Several of the film's twists are pretty heavily telegraphed - it's pretty easy to work out that Thomas has been married before, he and his sister kill the wives for their money, and he and his sister are lovers.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: There isn't much to Edith beyond being a Spirited Young Lady who of course is Not Like Other Girls, and then becomes a Haunted Heroine. Mia Wasikowska does however make her likable and somewhat witty.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Everything. From the period appropriate costumes to the grotesque ghosts and elaborate sets, Del Toro filled every nook and cranny with high amounts of detail. Even the film's detractors gave the film high praise on a visual standpoint.
  • Vocal Minority: The film's negative reception was somewhat overblown to degrees where it was painted as a critically trashed bomb. Critics mainly had a So Okay, It's Average response - praising the visuals, homages to Gothic Horror and performances - while criticising the plot and characters. The Rotten Tomatoes rating is in fact 73%.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Both Thomas and Alan remove knives from their bodies, increasing blood loss. Thomas can maybe be forgiven since he got stabbed in the face and was likely dead already, but Alan is a doctor and should know better. Might be a reference to the doctor character in del Toro's previous film The Devil's Backbone.
    • The visiting ghost Edith encounters at the beginning tells her to beware the Crimson Peak, which is such a rare term for Allerdale it doesn't appear in Edith's guidebook, but fails to mention the siblings or the house. Although it is left vague how much assistance the ghosts can actually give humans or if they would be capable of conveying anything more helpful, given that none of the other ghosts speak lucidly.
    • Carter finds out from a private detective that the Sharpes were implicated in murdering their mother, and that Thomas is still legally a married man. Rather than inform his daughter of it and thus warn her that they’re dishonest and potentially dangerous, he instead bribes them to leave and trusts that they’ll do so without another word. Carter is implied to be somewhat overprotective of Edith, so his motives here could've been a well-intentioned but misguided attempt to shield her from such dark matters.
    • The death of Edith’s father, Carter, is assumed to have been an accident…when his skull has been severely caved in, and the sink was completely destroyed, neither of which could have happened via a simple fall, but by a very forceful and deliberate attack. Which also begs the question of why Lucille would go to such excess if the intention were to Make It Look Like an Accident. She is nuts but still.
    • Edith finds out that Lucille poisoned the previous brides via the tea and has been doing the same to her ever since she arrived, so she refuses to drink it when it’s offered. She still eats the porridge that same woman gives her immediately afterward. Unsurprisingly, it’s also poisoned.
    • Rather than destroy the incriminating evidence, the Sharpes lock everything in a safe. Lucille is a serial killer and did collect other mementoes from her victims such as cuttings of their hair, but she probably shouldn't have left Enola's suitcase in the basement given that workers visit it regularly.
    • Alan tells the Sharpes to their faces that he knows what they’ve done and that he will expose them. Lucille attacks and renders him helpless on the spot. He was probably at least vaguely aware they wouldn't react well to him taking Edith away, but actively goading them was still not the best move.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Edith's giant head of golden locks was probably supposed to give her an "ethereal Victorian maiden" look. Unfortunately the wig is so obvious it almost looks cosplay-ish in some scenes.


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