Crimson Peak is a loving homage to the Gothic

“Crimson Peak” is a sensory feast rather than a character drama. In this, the film takes its cue from the mechanics of gothic literature, which is less about plot and more about atmosphere. Gothic imagery is always over the top, with themes literalized and cranked up to eleven. The film’s luxuriant costumes exemplify this extravagance. The innocent Edith has golden hair and wears billowing virginal white, whereas Lucille’s red satin gown calls to mind a freezing Elizabeth Bathory, ready to prey upon her sister-in-law. Our eyes linger on their rich textures and theatrical shapes.