The characters immediately drew me into the story. Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, and Charlie Hunnam were intriguing as Thomas Sharpe, Edith Cushing, Lucille Sharpe, and Alan McMichael; but I also enjoyed the performances of Jim Beaver as Edith's father, Burn Gorman as the shady private investigator Holly, and Leslie Hope as Alan's mother. Hope had a fantastic one-liner - upon seeing Edith enter a party on the arm of Thomas (who she had intended as a potential suitor for her daughter), she says to the girl, "Don't worry, my dear; everyone has a place, and I'll make sure you find yours."
And the ghosts are brutally visual, but we would expect nothing less of specters that materialized from the mind of del Toro! Poor Edith is haunted, not only by the tragedies in her life but by the literal phantoms in her new husband's family home.