In short, this is what you need to know.
- Blood so much blood. A lot of it does not look like real blood, and a lot of what looks like blood is not actually blood (“blood”), but it is there. There is a lot of blood, though.
- There is also a particular fatal injury by… impact. That is potentially traumatic. This is about a quarter of the way through the film. You’ll know when you see a close shot of black gloved hands in the bath house.
- Ghosts. These are not your traditional floaty white ghosts, for the most part; there is a lot of simulated viscera. If that is a thing for you, maybe just don’t go to see this.
- There is also a rather large plot point involving lots of murder and a fair amount of gaslighting.
- Discussed abusive family situations, the ramifications of which are seen in different ways.
- Overall the tone is more creepy and atmospheric than actually scary. The jump scares are few and also highly telegraphed, which is to say that you will be able to predict them.
- The film itself is not particularly surprising. It’s less about the shock of what happens (because you can pretty well guess what’s going to happen) than how it happens and the potential emotions evoked.
- It’s also, potentially disregarding aforementioned blood and viscera, a very aesthetically interesting film. It’s a period piece but it does not suffer from “must be washed out and dark at all times.” There is darkness and a lot of it, but there is also very vibrant color that’s typical to Guillermo del Toro’s work.
- It’s not a bleak ending, exactly. Not cheerful but not bleak.
- For some reason Charlie Hunnam’s character describes himself as Jim Beaver’s character’s physician, but earlier he was seen to be at least primarily an ophthalmologist. So there’s that.
- There is a joke that is incredibly meta about the content of Mia Wasikowska’s character’s potential fiction. It is highly appreciated and pointed, especially considering other recent works by Guillermo del Toro.
- Everyone was fairly convincing. Jessica Chastain was creepy af.
- It was sickly satisfying to watch the idealized fangirl image of Tom Hiddleston just be destroyed by the content of this film and his role in it.
–your fangirl heroines.