After marrying the charming Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), young Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself swept away to his remote mansion in the English hills. Living with them is Lady Lucille (Jessica Chastain), Thomas’s sister and protector of her family’s dark secrets. Edith who can communicate with the dead. tries to uncover the mysteries behind her ghostly visions which have been haunting her in her new home. As she approaches the truth, she may learn that true monsters can be made of flesh and blood.
I would like to warn you right away that there are a lot of things going on in this film. It tries to be a horror film, a romance film, and a suspenseful/thriller film while attempting a gothic style. I might need a refresher on the definition of the word gothic but being a period piece which occurs in an old house does not scream gothic to me. I also found the story in this one to be very confusing and contained holes. For example, the synopsis says that Thomas and Edith get married but it just felt weird to me that they barely spent any time together at the beginning and suddenly they are married offscreen. For a story that depends so much on the supposed romance, you can’t help but to not believe it because I thought that Hiddleston and Wasikowska had absolutely no chemistry whatsoever. Without giving too much of the story away, there were a few subplots in the film that they tried to introduce without really exploring or explaining any of them. All of these made the story hard to follow since it just kept moving from one thing to another haphazardly. I kept finding it annoying when something new started happening for no reason. I guess the whole gothic theme was used just as an excuse. Sure there were a few ghosts for no reason and there were various creaking and other weird noises but I did not find that very scary and most probably won’t either. The acting in this one wasn’t too great either. Tom Hiddleston seemed boring, uninterested, and slightly out of place. Mia Wasikowska’s character was stupid and naive and just wandering around triggering all of the film’s scares. Jessica Chastain was sleeping through most of the film until near the end where I think she stole the show. Charlie Hunnam was okay as Dr. McMichael despite being underwritten. I was trying to be patient with the film because of the promise of the subject matter but it was hard since the dialogue was so bad. The acting was not the worst part because the story, which started off with promise just fell apart from the middle-on where predictable twist after predictable twist kept occurring and the end had to be one of the silliest things I’ve ever seen. The only thing I liked about the film were the special effects as I found the film to be very beautiful to look and the CGI on the ghosts/monsters were well done. Also the sound effects and the soundtrack managed to heightened the tension and general spookiness. Overall, this was a beautiful film to watch but the story was unfortunately not at the same level.