Psychological fear and a child’s imagination were the mainstays of those previous features. Crimson Peak falls into the haunted house syndrome. The decaying house is the star, sitting as it does, isolated atop a huge red clay hillside in the English countryside. With its terrible secrets and dubious owners, impressionable Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, Stoker) marries into the family (Tom Hiddleston – Thor, War Horse).
What could have been a (red) gothic masterpiece is, like the clay the house sits upon, a claggy mess.