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Review Roundup: Tom Hiddleston Stars in CRIMSON PEAK

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From the imagination of director Guillermo del Toro comes CRIMSON PEAK, supernatural mystery starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam.

When her heart is stolen by a seductive stranger, a young woman is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay: a place ?lled with secrets that will haunt her forever. Between desire and darkness, between mystery and madness, lies the truth behind CRIMSON PEAK.

Let's see what the critics had to say!

A.O. Scott, New York Times: "Crimson Peak" works hard to supply the kind of gothic, romantic, creepy-erotic mood that is not quite the staple of popular culture that it used to be. Mr. del Toro overdoes it, as is his habit, overselling his own enthusiasm for the material in a way that compromises the audience's delight. The film is too busy, and in some ways too gross, to sustain an effective atmosphere of dread. It tumbles into pastiche just when it should be swooning and sighing with earnest emotion.

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: As for the crumbling mansion, it's a doozy, built on clay the color of blood and filled with portents culled from every scary movie del Toro and the rest of us have made the stuff of our nightmares. Too much? Of course. But watching del Toro explode this Gothic romance with beauty and terror is part of the fun.

Peter Debruge, Variety: Even the pristine white snow bleeds bright scarlet in "Crimson Peak," the malformed love child between a richly atmospheric gothic romance and an overripe Italian giallo - delivered into this world by the mad doctor himself, horror maestro Guillermo del Toro, operating at his most stylistically unhinged. Aflame with color and awash in symbolism, this undeniably ravishing yet ultimately disappointing haunted-house meller is all surface and no substance, sinking under the weight of its own self-importance into the sanguine muck below. Named after the estate to which Mia Wasikowska's newly orphaned and even newlier-wed heroine unwisely relocates with a plainly duplicitous brother-sister pair, "Crimson Peak" proves too frou-frou for genre fans, too gory for the Harlequin crowd and all-around too obvious for anyone pressed to guess what the siblings' dark secret could possibly be, and will likely wind up an in-the-red setback to Universal's most profitable year.

Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair: Crimson Peak features a few killer scenes-my favorite involving a shovel; you'll know it when you see it-and, in its beginnings, successfully conjures up a sense of wispy ghost-movie dread. But before too long, it sadly proves as insubstantial as any common phantasm.

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: Like the blood-red clay that lends the eponymous setting of "Crimson Peak" its name, the movie is a visually striking but sticky thing. Set in 19th-century England, in a decrepit but picturesque manor home, and starring Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain, the film by the stylish fantasist Guillermo del Toro looks marvelous, but has a vein of narrative muck at its core.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian: Guillermo del Toro's gothic fantasy-romance Crimson Peak is outrageously sumptuous, gruesomely violent and designed to within an inch of its life. Every shot is an intricate, curlicued marvel of detail: there are images which glow from behind like stained glass. I've been sceptical about this film-maker's pictorial sense in the past, even in the widely admired Pan's Labyrinth from 2006, which called to my mind Tarantino's shrugging response to a certain kind of film infatuated with its own visuals: "Pretty pictures ..." But Crimson Peak has more narrative sinew and black comic style than this.

Sara Stewart, New York Post: Never let it be said that Guillermo del Toro's "Crimson Peak" is not a lush Gothic ghost story. On the contrary, it just about Gothics itself to death. Like one of del Toro's Victorian apparitions, the plot is a wisp tricked out in fabulous threads - and the pallid trio of Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston an afterthought to the sumptuous costumes, sound design and sets.

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: A loving throwback to Roger Corman's Edgar Allan Poe movies and Hammer's gothic chillers from the '60s, Crimson Peak is a cobwebs-and-candelabras chamber piece that's so preoccupied with being visually stunning it forgets to be scary.

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: Guillermo del Toro tries his elegant best to shake the cobwebs from a musty old genre but still ends up telling a very traditional and predictable haunted house yarn in Crimson Peak. The gifted fantasy/sci-fi/horror specialist has made a film that's very bloody, and bloody stylish at that, one that's certainly unequaled in its field for the beauty of its camerawork, sets, costumes and effects. But it's also conventionally plotted and not surprising or scary at all, as it resurrects hoary horror tropes from decades ago to utilize them in conventional, rather than fresh or subversive, ways.

Sheila O'Malley, Roger Ebert: Watching Del Toro's films is a pleasure because his vision is evident in every frame. Best of all, though, is his belief that "what terrifies him will terrify others." He's right.

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