Crimson Peak

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Crimson Peak Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Lots of blood, ghosts in highly stylized gothic chiller.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 119 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Bravery is shown when a young woman stands up to ghosts and other monsters, but no strongly present positive messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Edith is something of a modern woman for the early 20th century. She wants to be a writer and schemes to make her pages look less "feminine" so she can be published. but her writing career gets back-burnered when she marries.


Gallons of blood spilled/shown; stabbing with blades, machetes, pens, etc. A gory murder shows a man's head repeatedly bashed against a porcelain sink. A hand grabs the blade of a knife. Bashing with a shovel. Bleeding cuts. Scary, screeching ghosts. A few jump-scares. Close-ups of ants eating a dead butterfly.


A man has sex with his wife, and his buttocks are partly shown. Later, he's seen in an illicit sexual situation with another woman (kissing, her hand down the front of his pants). Sexual illustration in a book.


One use of "f--k."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Party scenes show minor background drinking. Reference to "drinking too much."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that director Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak is a ghost story with blood and scares, but it's also a kind of gothic romance. The stylized violence includes plenty of stabbing, slicing, and bashing, with gallons of spilled blood, bleeding wounds, and gory death. The ghosts can be scary, but the jump-scares aren't constant. A man kisses and has sex with his wife (part of his naked bottom is shown); later he's shown in an illicit embrace with another woman (kissing, with her hand down his pants). Language is limited to a single use of "f--k," and theres mention of "drinking too much" and characters holding glasses at a party. It's far more stylish than it is deep, but it's entertaining.

Wondering if Crimson Peak is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12 and 16-year-old Written byHollyScott October 15, 2015

Great movie that is okay for 16 and up

I took my 16 year old daughter to see this because she loves horror movies, I was a little worried because it was rated R and we normally do not let our kids se... Continue reading
Adult Written byPizza G. May 31, 2017

Fun, creepy gothic horror for mature tweens and up

Crimson Peak is an eerie, interesting, exceptionally bloody take on the gothic horror genre. While the violence isn't glorified or promoted, there are stil... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byimoviegoteen February 14, 2016

its not that bad!

Okay, so when my dad read this review on Common Sense, he said no. But eventually we saw it and once again, Common Sense made this movie ( also goes for every m... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byBlu. November 1, 2019

Not that bad!

This movie contains a lot of blood and a couple scenes of sex, but I thought this movie was really good. But CSM users, this movie does not include a lot of sex... Continue reading

What's the story?

In CRIMSON PEAK, Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) lives in turn-of-the-20th-century New York and wants to be a writer; she likes to pen ghost stories. A friendly ophthalmologist (Charlie Hunnam) loves her, but she instead falls for the mysterious Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), who's trying to raise money to mine the special red clay that lies underneath his property in England. When Edith's father suddenly dies, she goes away with Thomas and his sister, Lucille (Jessica Chastain), to the Sharpe family mansion -- an awesome, awful place filled with black butterflies; seeping red goop; groaning, breathing corridors; forbidden rooms; and ghosts. As Edith grows strangely weaker, she tries to discover the ghosts' secrets.

Is it any good?

Director Guillermo Del Toro is capable of exploring the true depths of the disturbing, but here he seems more preoccupied with a magnificent ghost house design. It's all surface, but what a surface! With its swirling leaves, black butterflies, white snow, and blood-red clay, the mansion is one of the most impressive things ever designed for a scary movie, and the ghosts (embodied by actor Doug Jones) are hideously misshapen, sending a chill down your spine.

Crimson Peak is inspired by 19th-century literature and is borrowed from dark Hollywood romances like Gaslight and Notorious. It's a tribute to days gone by, but Del Toro never really gets inside it; we don't know his feelings, or why these things haunt him. Nevertheless, the actors are all fine (especially Hiddleston, who looks like he was born for this time period). It's more stylish than profound -- it's closer to Hellboy II: The Golden Army than to Pan's Labyrinth -- but it's still quite an experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Crimson Peak's bloody violence. How intense is it? How did it affect you? How are the bloody attacks different from the ghost scenes? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Is the movie scary? What's the appeal of scary movies? How is this movie similar to or different from other horror movies you've seen?

  • What's shocking or out-of-place about the movie's sexual content? What is shown and not shown? How is sex treated?

  • How does Del Toro use colors in the movie? What do the colors evoke when you see them?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love horror

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate