This post includes a brief plot summary and an explanation about the ending of the film Crimson Peak (2015). Beware of spoilers.
Directed by Guillermo del Toro, the 2015 horror film stars Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing, Tom Hiddleston as Thomas Sharpe and Jessica Chastain as Lucille Sharpe.
The film “Crimson Peak” is about a young aspiring writer (Edith Cushing) who falls in love with a mysterious yet charming English aristocrat (Thomas Sharpe). After the mysterious passing of her father (Carter Cushing), Edith marries Thomas and moves to his mansion at Allerdale Hall. There, Edith meets Thomas’s sister, Lucille Sharpe. Shortly after, Edith started seeing ghosts around the house.
Plot Twist: The ghosts that Edith sees are Thomas and Lucille’s previous victims. The siblings have been targeting older and lonely women for their own benefit. First, Thomas would seduce the victims and make them marry him. Then, with Lucille’s help, the siblings would eventually poison their victims to death and take their money or inheritance.
What Happens in Crimson Peak? (Plot Explained)
Alan, a childhood friend of Edith’s, investigates her father’s mysterious death and suspects foul play. The doctor sees his suspicions confirmed when he learns about the Sharpe family’s past and the siblings’ cons on older women. As a result, Alan travels to Allerdale Hall to warn Edith about the Sharpe family.
Meanwhile, Edith finds out about the siblings’ incestuous relationship and confronts them about it. Lucille pushes Edith down the balcony, but she survives. At the same time, Alan arrives to rescue Edith. However, Lucille stabs him and instructs his brother to end the doctor’s life. Thomas tries to protect Edith and spares Alan’s life by stabbing him in a non-life-threatening area.
Another plot twist: Thomas efforts to save Edith end up costing his own life. In a moment of rage, Lucille stabs Thomas to death. While Lucille forces Edith to assign her wealth to the Sharpe family, she confesses to murdering Carter Cushing. Not only that, but Lucille also reveals that Thomas and she had a baby together. Nonetheless, their child did not live long after birth.
The Ending of “Crimson Peak” Explained
The ending of “Crimson Peak” shows Edith and Lucille engaging in a violent physical confrontation. During the life-and-death situation, Edith ends up killing her attacker with a shovel. After that, Edith and Alan leave Allerdale Hall, while Lucille’s ghost remains in the house, playing the piano.
Did Thomas Love Edith?
It seems that Thomas developed genuine feelings for Edith. The latter was initially a target for Thomas, but after consummating their relationship, he became closer to Edith. That, of course, sent Lucille over the edge, which eventually led to his demise.
In the heat of the moment, Lucille ended up killing the one she loved the most. Thomas was her brother, lover, and accomplice. Although Lucille made many victims throughout “Crimson Peak”, she did it out of love, and some might say out of obsession.
The ending of “Crimson Peak” means that trauma lives on, even when the perpetrators are no longer around. Despite being able to escape death, the memory of Lucille and Thomas will always haunt Edith. They deceived her, conspired against her, and one of them even tried to kill her. Furthermore, the ending of Crimson Peak also emphasizes the idea that one cannot escape their past and their sins.
What Is the Significance of the Ghosts in Crimson Peak?
The ghosts in Crimson Peak represent the past that haunts the main characters. In a way, they are memories but also reminders of the sins of the past. Depending on their personal stories and motivations, the ghosts of Crimson Peak also appear in different colours. Black ghosts are people who chose to stay, red ghosts are the victims of Allerdale Hall and white ghosts are the ones that chose to leave.
There are two black ghosts in Crimson Peak: Edith’s mother and, later on, Lucille. They both chose to stay, but for different reasons. Edith’s mother came back to warn her about Crimson Peak. Meanwhile, Lucille chose to stay at Allerdale Hall because that place represents her life. The decrepit mansion embodies darkness and all the horrible crimes that happened within those walls.
As mentioned before, the red ghosts are all the people that Lucille and Thomas killed in Allerdale Hall. Their first victim was their mother, Lucille killed the woman after she found out about their incestuous affair. Later on, the siblings would con and kill other three women for their money. The colour red represents pain, death and danger.
Then there is a white ghost, which would be Thomas. Even after his death, he tries to watch after Edith, which breaks Lucille’s heart. After seeing Edith kill Lucille, Thomas slowly fades away, as there is nothing tying him to the realm of the living. Thomas is a white ghost because he chooses to leave. Unlike the others, his spirit will no longer linger in Allerdale Hall or any other place.
In my opinion, Crimson Peak is a tragic love story. All three main characters are driven by love. Edith Cushing decided to take a chance on love and fell for a troubled man. Meanwhile, Thomas decided to open his heart to someone other than his sister, which ended up costing him his own life. And Lucille committed the most heinous crimes because of her obsessive love for her brother, Thomas.
Having said that, the ending of Crimson Peak was sort of bittersweet. On the one hand, I’m glad the protagonist survived to tell the story. But on the other hand, it’s hard to feel good about the siblings’ fate. They are the product of the frigid parenting of their strict mother. That means that when they were children, Lucille and Thomas had no one to rely on but each other.
Trauma seems to be a recurring theme in Crimson Peak. Every character in Crimson Peak is somehow haunted by their past. Edith’s trauma started early on when she lost her mother and wasn’t able to bid her farewell. Then there are the victims of Allerdale Hall. Their gruesome deaths motivated them to stay at Allerdale Hall and warn its unsuspecting visitors. Although Lucille and Thomas are aware of their sins, they are trapped in a vicious cycle.
Overall, Crimson Peak is a very interesting tale. It’s a love story with a dash of horror, and it has a supernatural element to it. Another fascinating aspect of Crimson Peak is how it uses ghosts to explain human nature. Those who cannot let go of the past or hold on too much to their memories will eventually get stuck.