The Universal logo is now crimson red. As we see the opening production logos, we hear a young girl reciting a lullaby. The first image we see is Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) in a white nightgown, standing outside in the snow, covered in blood, content. She tells us that she knows ghosts are real. She saw one when she was ten years old. Her mother had just died from a disease which ravaged her face so she had a closed casket funeral and there were no hugs goodbye. After the funeral, we see a young Edith in bed, alone, as a black spirit floats down the hallway towards her. It slithers right up to her and warns “BEWARE OF CRIMSON PEAK.” She tells us she won’t have another ghost experience nor another warning about Crimson Peak until much time has passed.
A subtitle reveals that it’s now 14 years later, in Buffalo, New York. The adult Edith carries her handwritten manuscript to a large building. She runs into her friend, Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam) and explains to him that she is hoping her uncle will publish her manuscript. Alan’s mother and a few society girls catch them talking; Mrs. McMichael raves about a new baronet who is in town, whom she hopes will be smitten with her daughter. Edith mentions that a baronet is someone who doesn’t work for his money but simply lives off of the land that’s cultivated by workers. Mrs. McMichael mocks her attempts at being an author and says she’d better be careful she might end up like Jane Austen, alone. She tells her she’d much rather be Mary Shelley, who died a widow.
Edith’s uncle looks at her manuscript mentioning that it’s a ghost story. She tells him that no, the ghost is just a metaphor and it’s about the past. He tells her that it should be a love story and instead of commenting on the content, tells her that she has very neat handwriting.
At home, Edith complains to her wealthy father, Carter Cushing (Jim Beaver), that she was being told her manuscript must have a love story. He tells her that every story tends to have love and it’s not personal even women are privy to love. He surprises her with an expensive ballpoint pen to write with. She tells him that she instead would like to type the manuscript before sending it to New York this way, her handwriting won’t give away that she is a female.
At her father’s office, Edith shows off the typewriter to another woman. She says it will take all day but she will type the entire thing out before sending it. A man, Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) comes to meet Carter Cushing (her father). The woman rushes off to let Carter know Thomas has arrived. Edith tells Thomas that she hopes he’s not very late because Carter hates that. He tells her he’s actually very early. She tells him he hates that, too. He pauses at the desk and reads the first page of the typed manuscript. He asks her who she was transcribing it for because it’s very good.
Edith sits in on the meeting where Carter pitches a clay harvester to Carter and the other men on the board by using a miniature version to show how it would work.
Carter points out that attempts at funding have already been rejected by London, Edinburgh, and Milan… why should he invest? He then asks Thomas if he has a full-scale version of the invention working. Thomas says he’s been working at it but has no machine yet. Carter points out that the only thing he has in his arsenal is the working model, basically just ‘a toy.’ He then chastises Thomas and tells him that he has soft hands, unlike the people in the room they had to work hard to earn their positions. Carter doesn’t have rough hands because he’s banking on his privilege to get what he wants.
At home, Carter is getting ready for a party in another town. Edith tells him he was hard on Thomas but Carter defends himself, saying there is something about Thomas that he doesn’t like. He encourages her to go to the party with him and to be courted by Dr. Alan but she wants to be independent and make a career as a writer, not as someone’s wife. When Alan arrives, Edith tells him that she will not be attending, which disappoints him. Edith goes upstairs in her room with her manuscript. The doorknob begins jiggling up and down as the door moves open all by itself by some apparition. The same ghost from before (her decaying mother) floats into her room and bellows, ‘BEWARE OF CRIMSON PEAK.’ She is scared and the ghost floats away only for the doorknob to turn again and the door to slam open. Edith is startled but it is only her maid who tells her she has a guest downstairs. The maid has not seen anyone in the hall. Downstairs, it is Thomas waiting for her (it’s implied that his presence in the home has triggered the ghost to return with her warning). She tells him that her father has already left for a party and he just missed him. Thomas tells her he knows her father is gone because he waited outside in the rain until he left before he knocked on the door. He is also headed toward the party. She tells him he is in the wrong part of town if he wants to get there and he tells her he wants her to come as his guest.
At the party, a woman plays the piano for all the guests. It is revealed to be Lady Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain) who seems unhappy. Thomas introduces her to Edith as his sister, Lucille. She is cordial but unfriendly towards Edith. Thomas is asked to demonstrate a waltz, being told that only the best dancers will be able to waltz while holding a lit candle and keep it from going out. He says it will be up to who he chooses as a partner to make it happen and extends the invitation to Edith. Mrs. McMichael is irritated, as she wanted him to select her daughter but he is adamant Edith dance with him. They waltz perfectly while Lucille accompanies them on the piano. At the end, the candle has remained lit much to the crowd’s admiration. Edith blows out it out.
Thomas and Edith begin to spend time together where he begins to be smitten with her. He helps give her advice on her manuscript, complimenting the ghost story aspect as she struggles to get her head around adding in romantic elements. The two then see Lucille cutting a cocoon from a tree. Edith notes that it’s a butterfly and Lucille tells her not yet but soon. All sorts of butterflies fly around them and Lucille talks of their inevitable deaths and that despite being youthful and beautiful, they too must die, like all human beings. We see a dying butterfly on the ground being devoured by bugs. When they are alone, Lucille voices to Thomas that she thinks Edith is the wrong choice because she’s younger than the others, just a baby. He tells her to trust him and reminds her that he’s going to need “the ring,” which upsets her. She takes off a large red ruby ring and tells him to remember that it’s hers she’s earned it after everything she’s done for the two of them.
Edith visits Dr. Alan in his laboratory; despite being entangled with Thomas, it’s clear Alan and Edith have chemistry with each other. He is working on a new experiment with photos that are made of a transparency that show images that are not seen by the naked eye. He shows her photographs where the faces of ghosts are apparent in the background. He parallels this with someone who is colorblind they have never seen the colors red or green, don’t know of its existence except for the fact that others are insistent that they are real. He warns Edith of Thomas and tells her to proceed with caution.
Now that they are getting closer, Edith’s dad is suspicious of Thomas and Lucille Sharpe and hires a private investigator to dig up information on them.
At a dinner event, Lucille and Thomas are both in attendance. Edith’s father calls them into his den and shows them a newspaper article and a sort of marriage license, telling Thomas he knew he didn’t like him and this proves why his instincts were right. Thomas tries to protest that he has actually fallen in love with Edith but Carter does not believe it he tells them he will grant them some money on two conditions… first, they must take the train to New York City in the morning and leave town forever. He writes the check and hands it to them. Lucille asks about the second condition. Thomas is told that he must break Edith’s heart completely. If he fails to do so, Carter will expose their secret.
At the dining room table, Thomas mentions going back to London in the morning. Edith is crushed, realizing the man she has fallen in love with is about to disappear, without warning. Upset, she heads up to her room. Thomas follows her to the staircase and hands her back the manuscript. He tells her it is horrible, expressing that she has just copied what better authors have written and she clearly has never been in love and has no experience to draw from. As he chastises her further, she slaps him and runs upstairs, in tears. The guests all come to witness the commotion and Carter is pleased with Thomas.
The next morning, Carter is in a public bathroom preparing for a shave. He tells his attendant to get him some port and the Times. Left alone, the sink has now filled with water and begins spilling on to the ground. He goes to turn it off and is ATTACKED by a figure we never see the face but from the back, it could be either Thomas or Lucille. The figure BANGS CARTER’S FACE AGAINST THE PORCELAIN SINK so aggressively that it breaks a large chunk of the sink off and smashes Carter face in. The murderer leaves and Carter is left on the ground, the water flooding around him, mixing with his red blood.
Simultaneously, the maid finds Edith in her room and tells her her manuscript has been returned by Thomas. Edith tells her to set it on the table. The maid asks her if that’s where she would like the letter, too. Curious, Edith reads the letter Thomas has included only to learn that, according to Thomas, he is in love with her but intentionally upset her and broke her heart under her father’s wishes. According to him, Edith’s father did not approve of him because he had little money and was a failure and so he was told to leave town out of respect for Carter, who did not want them to be married. He tells Edith he is heading for the early train from his hotel and will retreat back to London. Edith rushes to the hotel and asks for the room number of Thomas and Lucille. She is told they have two rooms and rushes to one. But inside, the room is vacant and the maids inform her that Thomas has already left. Upset, she exits the room only to immediately see Thomas. Relieved, she confesses her feelings for him and he reciprocates, telling her they should be married.
Alan arrives and tells Edith about her father’s death. She goes to the morgue where she is asked to identify the body. Alan volunteers to do it instead, as does Carter’s lawyer, but the mortician says it’s obligatory for it to be family. Edith removes the sheet and breaks down at the sight of her father. She grabs his hand and mentions it’s cold and quickly covers it with a blanket. Alan is suspicious about cause of death, pointing out that a sink had been broken with force, and begins to turn Carter over to look at the back of his head. Edith stops him, still not registering his death; she tells Alan not to look at the back of her father’s head because he is going to turn 60 soon and is very self-conscious about his age she explains this is why he always wears nice clothes, to make him look younger.
Alan, Thomas, and Edith attend Carter’s funeral, the second time she’s attended her parent’s funeral. Alan watches somberly as Thomas and Edith are now clearly a couple. Edith is wearing the ruby ring that Lucille had previously been wearing.
Now married, Edith and Thomas arrive via carriage to his large estate in London, called Allerdale Hall. On the front patio, Edith sees a small dog. She points out he has no collar and suggests he might be a stray. Thomas tells her there are no homes around for miles so he agrees to let her keep him. He carries Edith over the threshold into the massively large, multi-story home with an old-fashioned elevator in the center. Snow and debris falls from above, where there is a large hole in the ceiling. Lucille greets them, wearing a ring of keys. She points out that Edith is frozen and suggests making her some tea. Edith asks for Lucille to make her a copy of the house keys as soon as she can Lucille tells Edith that she doesn’t need any keys; anything locked is deemed unsafe and shouldn’t be entered. Lucille adds that, in due time, Edith will learn what sections of the home are off limits.
Lucille complains to Thomas in private about the dog resurfacing, commenting that she thought he would have died out in the cold. She then points out that he probably managed to survive by living on scraps, the way human beings tend to do. She adds that she is eager to get Edith to sign the papers because then they’ll have no more use for her.
Edith goes to explore the house, which is covered in flies and debris from the hole in the roof. She spots an abandoned wheelchair. She ends up downstairs, reading an inscription above the fireplace from the nearby piano, Lucille translates the inscription although her back is to Edith. Edith apologizes for interrupting her while she is playing piano. Lucille tells her that as kids, Thomas and her were not allowed out of their rooms and only knew their mom was in town when she would play piano down below. She acknowledges a large portrait of her mother on the wall a wealthy gray-haired woman wearing the same red ruby ring that Lucille and Edith have now both worn. Lucille makes Edith some tea and they go up to a nook where Lucille explains that some of the books have illustrations that are only revealed when the pages are bent together. The book she uses as a demonstration shows a portrait of a couple having sex. She apologizes for the inappropriateness but then points out that it’s nothing Edith hasn’t experienced now that she’s married. Edith tells her Thomas and her have not had relations yet and arrived in different carriages because she was in a mourning state during their wedding. Lucille seems pleased to have this confirmed.
While Lucille is making tea, Edith is left alone in the foyer. A tall ghost with a hatchet in her head comes behind Edith and grabs her. Edith screams and the spirits floats into the elevator, which moves upward. Edith calls out and Thomas runs. She tells him someone was in the elevator and he suggests it was Lucille but she knows it was not because Lucille is in the kitchen. Thomas then tells her the elevator probably just moved on its own they don’t use it much because it was originally designed to go to the bottom floor (basement level), which has now been filled with red clay; we see it seeping up through the floorboards. He tells her it’s dangerous and never to go to the lower levels. Weird sounds echo through the house, startling Edith. Thomas tells her it’s an old house that is almost alive; therefore, it is going to have its own personality and creek and moan when the east wind blows through.
Edith goes to take a bath, alone upstairs. She throws a ball to her dog, who continually returns with it in his mouth. After a few throws, a tall ghost begins floating down the hallway towards the bathroom. Edith notices that the dog hasn’t returned and hears movement from the hallway. She puts on her robe and steps out of the bath but is oblivious to the ghost floating behind her. Just then, the dog returns. She asks where his ball in and just then, the ball is rolled from down the hall. She asks if anyone is there but doesn’t get a response.
She wakes up the morning to find she is bleeding, evidenced by the blood on her pillow. Thomas is not in bed with her. She finds him outside, working with a crew on getting his life-sized invention up and running. The wheel won’t spin properly so he places his hand on it while it’s in motion. In his bathroom, Edith lovingly bandages up his hand and he points out that her father would like how rough his hands are getting. (This reveals that he really cares about being married to her and he seems to have genuine affection for her.)
That evening, Edith is awoken from her sleep by a noise. She goes out in the hallway to explore and hears a growling from behind a door. She crosses to it and asks her dog how he got inside, opening the door only to hear her dog barking down the hall. Unbeknownst to her, the partially open door reveals the source of the noise is the red-skulled ghost, growling. She shuts the door, then quickly reopens it to see what’s inside. But it’s now empty. She notices some recording tubes that are used to record audio in that time period. Edith gets into the elevator and takes it down into the basement. There are large, round vats filled with red clay there. There is also a large suitcase with the named ENOLA printed on it.
Back in New York, Dr. Alan is suspicious of the death of Carter. He realizes that the very last check Carter made out was to Thomas and Lucille, the day before he was killed. His lawyer tells him that Carter hired a private investigator to dig up information on the two. He will put Alan in contact with him so he can hear what evidence was turned up.
At night, the ghost infuses herself into Edith’s dream. Edith asks what she wants. The ghost points with her eerily long arm to town, hinting that Edith should leave Crimson Peak. When she wakes, the ghost of her mother comes again and tells her, “BEWARE CRIMSON PEAK!” Edith screams bringing Lucille and Thomas to her. She tells them she’s seen a ghost. Thomas tells her it’s a nightmare but she is insistent it wasn’t. She wants to leave but Lucille tells her there’s a blizzard coming and she has nowhere to go. She suggests making some tea. Thomas tells her they can go to the post office tomorrow because some fresh air will do her good.
Outside, Thomas is working on his machine. Edith asks him if there have been any deaths in the house. He tells her it’s existed for over 100 years… of course some of the homeowners have passed away. She asks if there were violent deaths but Thomas denies it. He is worried about the blizzard turning the home into Crimson Peak -- when it snows, all the red clay pools up and villagers says the mountain looks like crimson. Upon hearing this, Lucille goes white-faced she is IN Crimson Peak, where she’s always been warned not to go.
The next day, Thomas and Lucille go into town to the post office. She receives a document from her father’s estate, asking her to sign off on relinquishing her inherited property to her. The clerk also tells her there is a letter for her from Milan. She points out she doesn’t know anyone in Italy but it is addressed to Madame Sharpe so she takes it. Thomas and her start to head out but are warned of the bad weather conditions given the blizzard. It is suggested that they stay in a little room downstairs that is for rent. Reluctantly, Thomas agrees.
Alone in the room, Thomas and Edith make love for the first time.
When she gets back to the house, Edith enters the kitchen to see a pot burning on the stove. She moves it to another burner and is promptly yelled at by Lucille, who enters and complains that she was making breakfast. Edith points out it was burning and Lucille says she was very upset that they stayed overnight in town and pretends that her anger is because she was worried but she ends up screaming, going berserk, harboring some jealousy towards Edith. In her rage, Lucille throws the pot of breakfast across the room but promptly scoops it back up, apologizing. She suggests making some tea for Edith. With Lucille’s back to her, Edith notices a key on her key ring marked ENOLA. She slyly removes it from the ring and keeps it in her hand.
Edith goes back upstairs and opens the letter from her estate. She goes to sign the document, granting her estate to her new husband, but pauses to read the letter from Milan. The letter is in Italian and she realizes it was not intended for her. She sneaks down to the elevator again to go down to the basement. She uses the key to unlock the giant suitcase marked ENOLA. Inside, there is a gramophone as well as three different files, each with a recording one is inscribed as a woman’s name in London, another in Edinburgh, and a third in Milan these are the three cities that Edith’s father mentions rejecting Thomas’ efforts for funding. Each file has pictures and in all of the pictures, Thomas is photographed with one of the women, in wedding garb. In the third picture, the woman from Milan holds a baby. Before she leaves, Edith grabs a stick and stirs the vat of red clay but feels nothing. As soon as she walks away, a skeleton emerges the same one who has been haunting her in the house.
Upstairs, Edith listens to one of the recordings. The woman’s voice tells her husband, Thomas, to say something. He tells her he loves her. She listens to the record from Milan now it’s not recorded simply for fun the woman is very sick but is recording a message to warn future wives. She says that Thomas has been married three times to get money for his invention. Then Lucille poisons them with the tea so they get sick and die, granting Thomas and Lucille the women’s inheritance to further fund Thomas’ work. She hopes that the message will get heard but fears that Lucille will find the record after she dies and hide it away.
In New York, Dr. Alan meets with the private investigator who shows him the same evidence Carter was shown a newspaper article revealing a 12-year-old Thomas and 14-year-old Lucille killed their mother. He also reveals the same marriage certificate we saw before, declaring Thomas as currently married. Alan rushes off to London.
Outside, Lucille finds Thomas working on his invention. She is angry that he made love to Edith and asks if he loves her. He doesn’t give a direct answer and she gets furious with him, reminding him he’d promise not to fall in love. Thomas is distracted as the machine finally works. His workers ask him to get some coal for it. He asks Lucille who just pouts. He tells her they don’t need her to actually retrieve it they just need the key. She goes to her key ring and notices the one marked ENOLA is now gone.
Lucille goes upstairs, with Edith just steps ahead, rushing into her room and pretending to be asleep in an oversized chair. Lucille theatrically sets down the ring of keys so that Edith will notice and then force-feeds Edith porridge. Edith asks for a glass of water and while Lucille is in the bathroom, she rushes to return the ENOLA key to the ring. Just in the nick of time, she retreats back to the chair. Lucille hands her the water and walks away, noticing the ENOLA key is now back in its place.
Now in London, Dr. Alan asks for a carriage to take him to Allerdale Hall but no vehicles are on the road due to the blizzard. He is told it will take four hours to get there by foot and he sets off.
That night, Edith hears noises. She goes outside her bedroom and asks for the ghost to give her a sign she’s there, suggesting she grab her hand. Her hand gets twisted aggressively. Edith asks what the ghost wants her to do. The ghost appears and points towards Lucille’s bedroom. Edith enters and sees Lucille and Thomas in the early stages of intercourse. Thomas tries to make up a story but Lucille casually tells him that she knows everything now and there’s no need to pretend. Edith says she had suspected they weren’t really brother and sister but Lucille tells her, they are. When their mom found out about their relationship, she wanted it to end. Lucille says their bond is deeper than people can understand and she did the murdering with a large cleaver while her mom was in the bathtub. She was sent to an institution while the less guilty Thomas was sent to a boarding school… they reunited as adults, happy to be together again, and began finding young women to trick into marriage so they could receive money for Thomas to pursue his dream. The one thing all the women had in common, beyond being rich, was they all had dreams they wanted to pursue (for Edith, it was writing). Edith inquires about the baby held in the photographs by the woman from Milan. Lucille tells her it wasn’t her baby Thomas never “fucked” any of his wives, only Edith. She let the woman be photographed with the child but Lucille was the mother. Unfortunately the baby was “not quite right” (the product of incest) and they couldn’t keep him alive. Edith tells her she knows she’s been getting sick because she’s been poisoning her tea but Lucille tells her she started poisoning the porridge instead. Flashback to the Italian wife being confined to the same wheelchair that is still in the house. Lucille also mentions that she was the one who killed Edith’s father because he had too much information. Edith screams, “Stop! You’re monsters! Both of you!” Lucille tells her that their mother said the same thing and then pushes Edith off the third story floor. But the second railing breaks her fall, as does a large pile of snow from the roof above, collected on the ground.
When Edith comes to, she is tended to by Dr. Alan who has arrived at the home. She tells him they need to get out of there and then realizes both Lucille and Thomas are also in the room, having pretended that Edith simply fainted when Alan showed up. He tries to escape with Edith but is stopped by Lucille, who stabs him in the side. She chastises Thomas for never participating in the killings. As Alan stumbles to the front door, Thomas follows behind. Secretly, Thomas tells Alan that if he doesn’t stab him, Lucille will but he is a doctor so he should tell him where to stab him (i.e., a non-lethal spot). The doctor chooses a spot on his abdominals and Thomas stabs him. This appeases Lucille who reaches down to kill the dog (unseen by the audience).
Lucille takes Edith to a room and demands her to sign the paper granting her estate to her husband. While she does this, she chops off her hair and adds it to a collection box with four other locks of hair the gray hair of her mother and the three women Thomas had married. At knifepoint, Edith signs the paper, granting the estate over to Thomas upon her death. Lucille goes to stab her but is stopped short by Edith, who stabs Lucille with the ballpoint pen her father had given her. Edith runs to the elevator and gets inside. Lucille chases after, stabbing at her through the bars, managing to slash Edith across her face. Edith manages to stab Lucille, as well, but she is so ruthless, it does not stop her much. As the elevator descends, Lucille rushes down the stairs and greets her at the foyer. Edith defends herself against the crazy Lucille with the help of Thomas. In private, he tells Edith that Alan is still alive and is hidden in the basement.
Upstairs, Lucille is furious with Thomas, realizing he is in love with Edith. In a jealous rage, she stabs him in the side, a non-lethal part of his body just like Alan. Then again. And then finally she stabs him in the cheek but upwards, so it goes through his eye. He takes a long time trying to pull it out and then blood starts dripping from his face. She is crushed to see her love dying albeit at her own hands.
Edith finds Alan wounded in the basement and guides him to safety. Lucille enters while Edith hides behind one of the huge vats of clay, the knife she’s used to defend herself on top. Lucille removes a loose floorboard and reveals the murder weapon that killed her mother a large cleaver she stashed away before the police arrived. Edith reveals herself and the two battle with the knives. Edith manages to stab Lucille through the hand but Lucille hardly reacts, too psychopathic to be moved by pain.
Edith runs outside and hides behind the large harvest machine. Lucille finds her and attacks her with the cleaver, slicing off her hair. She tells Lucille, “I’m not going to stop until I kill you or you kill me.” Edith shouts, “Help me!” to someone off screen. Lucille laughs and says nobody is there to help her but Edith is confidently fixed on someone off screen. Lucille turns around to see THE GHOST OF HER BROTHER. It distracts her and when she turns back around, Edith knocks her down with a shovel. Dazed, Lucille struggles to get back to her feet, repeating, “I’m not going to stop until I kill you or you kill me.” Edith takes the shovel again and whacks Lucille on top of her head, a lethal blow. She tells her, “I heard you the first time.”
Now we see the opening image again -- Edith in a nightgown, covered in blood in a snowdrift. She tells us again, “Ghost are real. I’ve seen them. They stay tethered to a piece of property because of love or revenge.” Alan and Edith leave Allerdale Hall. Inside, the elongated black ghost of Lucille plays the piano with her ghostly hands.
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
Brought to you by
Edith falls in love with a baronet, Thomas, who has come to New York to convince Edith’s father to fund an invention he is working on. Although the financing appeal is rejected, Thomas and Edith marry and she moves into his large estate in London with his cold sister, Lucille. Having seen ghosts all her life, including her dead mother who warned her to beware of Crimson Peak, Edith starts to see more ghosts in the house. She discovers that Thomas has been married three times, always to the daughters of the investors who rejected his pitch. By poisoning them, Lucille was able to slowly kill each of the women after they sign paperwork granting Thomas a portion of their estate upon their deaths. It is revealed that Lucille and Thomas are in love with each other, despite being brother and sister. When Lucille realizes Thomas has fallen in love with Edith, she kills him in a jealous rage. Then, while attempting to kill Edith, Lucille is distracted by the ghost of Thomas, allowing Edith a chance to deal a fatal blow. She escapes the house with another suitor, Alan, who has arrived to rescue Edith after realizing that Lucille was behind the murder of Edith’s father.
Thanks for reading the spoiler.
Please share it with your friends...
You can send in your spoiler to other movies by going here.