This lavishly stylised and violent fairytale splashes around buckets of blood but is sadly anaemic.
Inspired by the Hammer House of Horror films, the period sets and costumes are fantastic though the story is predictable and lacks bite.
It begins as a sumptuous and intriguing gothic romance bubbling with ideas, filtered through the director’s usual motifs of steampunk contraptions and ladies of letters.
But once the story leads to bleak estate in the north of England where red clay oozes from the mansion’s every pore, proceedings become bogged down in sticky CGI.
There’s a workshop in the tower, many doors are locked and Edith is warned not to go down to the cellar.
it all sadly ends with all the suspense of a steroid-filled episode of Scooby Doo. But without any of the fun.
Talented Mia Wasikowska is at her insipid worst as young heiress Edith Cushing who follows her new husband Sir Thomas Sharpe to his crumbling gothic pile.
The baronet is pallid, impoverished and played in impeccable black by the devilishly charming Tom Hiddleston.
The pair played vampiric siblings in the superior Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) in which they vividly essayed far more interesting characters.
Here Jessica Chastain plays Hiddleston’s screen sister who keeps her brother’s best interests close to her heart. With barking intense piano playing and a choice wardrobe, she dominates her every scene.
An anonymous Charlie Hunnam plays a lovelorn ophthalmologist left looking for clues, probably as to where any sense of mystery or danger is.