The Jessica Chastain Horror Romance Movie On Netflix That’s Been Totally Forgotten

By Doug Norrie | Published

jessica chastain

Ah, the allure of gothic romance and haunted mansions! Jessica Chastain, known for her intense performances and impeccable acting range, graces us with her presence in Guillermo del Toro’s beautifully macabre Crimson Peak. As Netflix opens the creaking doors to this dark tale, get ready to embark on a journey of love, betrayal, and, of course, the supernatural. 

Edith Cushing, played by the ever-talented Mia Wasikowska, is an aspiring author from New York. She’s more inclined to pen ghost stories, influenced by a childhood specter, than the love stories her editor desires. 

Her world drastically shifts when she crosses paths with the charming yet mysterious Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston, pre-Loki-fame and already displaying the depth of his acting prowess). With seductive whispers and poetic allure, he sweeps Edith off her feet.

Yet, it’s not all roses and romance. As they say, every family has skeletons in their closets. For the Sharpes, this statement is more literal than you’d expect. Lucille Sharpe, portrayed with unnerving intensity by Jessica Chastain, is Sir Thomas’s enigmatic sister. 

Jessica Chastain’s character is shrouded in secrecy, exuding a cold and forbidding air. There’s a tangible tension between Lucille and Edith, with the former always seeming to hide something just out of sight.

After marrying Thomas, Edith relocates to England and discovers the decaying mansion, Allerdale Hall, standing atop a red clay mine – hence, the name “Crimson Peak.” The mansion itself is a central character in this tale: creaky, leaking red clay that looks suspiciously like blood, and with ghosts of its own.

Yet, the real horrors of Crimson Peak are not just the phantoms lurking in the hallways, but the living, breathing beings with desires, motives, and deeply concealed truths. As Edith delves deeper into the Sharpe family’s past and the mansion’s corridors, she begins to unravel a tapestry of secrets that are far more terrifying than any ghost story she might write.

The cast also includes Charlie Hunnam, who, before he became the lead in the Pacific Rim series and biker royalty in Sons of Anarchy, plays Dr. Alan McMichael. He’s a childhood friend of Edith and becomes increasingly suspicious of the Sharpes, especially as he realizes his feelings for Edith go beyond mere friendship.

Together, this star-studded ensemble brings to life a world that’s as hauntingly beautiful as it is terrifying, immersing viewers into a narrative filled with suspense, love, and darkness.

Jessica Chastain And Crimson Peak Was Praised By Some

When Crimson Peak made its grand debut, it was met with a chorus of varied reactions from both critics and audiences. Visually, the film was unanimously praised. Del Toro’s eye for detail, combined with his ability to craft visually arresting imagery, was evident throughout. The mansion, in all its decaying glory, was particularly highlighted as a marvel of production design, and the cinematography was often referred to as sumptuously haunting.

Jessica Chastain’s performance as the chilling Lucille Sharpe was frequently cited as a standout. Critics lauded her for portraying a multi-dimensional character who was both cold and emotionally riveting. Similarly, Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston received commendations for their performances, each bringing vulnerability and depth to their roles.

jessica chastain

However, some critics felt that the narrative didn’t quite match up to the film’s exquisite visuals. While the story was generally appreciated for its complexity and layers, a few reviewers found the plot twists to be somewhat predictable, expressing that the screenplay could’ve taken a few more risks.

Box office-wise, Crimson Peak faced fierce competition during its release. With a budget of around $55 million, it earned just over $31 million domestically but fared better overseas, bringing its global tally to approximately $74.7 million. 

Crimson Peak earned approximately $74.7 million on a $55 million budget

While it didn’t set the box office on fire, it managed to recoup its budget and make a slight profit. Over time, Crimson Peak has found its audience, particularly among those with a taste for gothic romance and the unique style of Guillermo del Toro. 

It’s a film that seems to grow in appreciation as the years go by, with many now viewing it as an underappreciated gem in del Toro’s illustrious filmography.
In the vast cinematic landscape, Crimson Peak stands as a testament to the merging of haunting visuals with poignant storytelling.

While it might not have shattered box office records or garnered unanimous critical acclaim upon release, it’s undeniably a film that lingers. Del Toro’s vision, combined with the prowess of actors like Jessica Chastain, has carved out a niche in the hearts of gothic romance lovers and cinephiles alike.

So, if you’re in the mood for an evening drenched in shadows, love, betrayal, and a house that breathes with memories, then dim the lights and let Crimson Peak sweep you off your feet. As with all things on Netflix, it’s there waiting for the right moment to be rediscovered and appreciated anew.