Fans of the eerie can rejoice: we’re exactly 9 months away from the release of Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak. That’s right, on October 16th —only 272 days away— we can finally feast on the stunning and the grotesque in del Toro’s return to his “Spanish horror roots.”
If you don’t remember, this is the same man who gave the world the creepy fairy tale Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and produced the haunting, critically-acclaimed The Orphanage (2007). He’s gone on to establish himself in English-language cinema with the Hellboy films, Pacific Rim and vampire favorite Blade II. He also contributed to the Hobbit scripts —so long story short, you have probably seen his work even if you don’t know his name (though you really, really should).
But what makes Crimson Peak particularly exciting is that del Toro is moving away from what we have come to expect. As a fan of the director’s gothic and poetic style, frankly I’ve been unsatisfied with the slew of action-robot-monster films he’s been behind. While they were impressive in their own right, I wasn’t the intended audience —Hellboy was a good comic-book film but it wasn’t necessarily for me. So now that I know we’re going to get something more akin to The Devil’s Backbone or Pan’s Labyrinth all I can say is, “YAY.”
While we don’t yet know much about the film, here is what we do know and why I’m so sure it’s going to be killer (pun totally intended).
The cast is brilliant.
Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska recently worked together on the fabulous vampire flick Only Lovers Left Alive where Hiddleston further perfected his moody, sombre look. Wasikowska has already proven to be a totally versatile actress and has shown us her goth chops in 2011’s Jane Eyre. The two stars were rumoured to be the director’s second choice after Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Stone, but from the sounds of it, Hiddleston and Wasikowska have blown del Toro’s mind.
This film is going to feature tough women.
During a Comic Con panel, after del Toro teased the crowd with a still unreleased trailer, the director reportedly said, “I think it’s great when the female lead [is in] a normal romantic story, but then we live past that. Past getting the guy —f**k all that shit— we see her becoming her own person.” Hell yes.
Del Toro said he got inspiration from classic lit.
Speaking of Jane Eyre, del Toro has said he actually drew inspiration for Crimson Peak from Charlotte Bronte’s famous bildungsroman. He also found inspiration in the works of Ann Radcliffe and another famous Bronte, Emily.
The first stills have been GORGEOUS.
The three-story Victorian house set alone is designed with extreme detail, including “words and illustrations carefully hidden in the woodwork and wallpaper.”
And In this haunted house movie, the house itself is a villain.
In del Toro’s words, “The house is another character in the film, the house almost asphyxiates the characters —the characters are suffocated by the house and it frames them quite literally, almost like a butterfly.”
The ghosts aren’t just CGI: they are played by real people
The director hasn’t revealed too much about how he’s going to do it but he insists these will be like something we have never seen before.
But just because we’ve got a haunted house and ghosts, it’s not typical horror fodder
Del Toro has repeatedly said Crimson Peak is first and foremost a gothic romance —and there’s going to be a healthy dose of that romance— but the scariest thing in this film is going to be human. He told Collider that real horror may be in realizing someone you love isn’t who you expected them to be:
It’s going to have to be a film for grown-ups.
An R-rating may sound like a bad thing since it limits the theatre audience but in the case of Crimson Peak it will allow the director more artistic freedom. Yeah, it means it will be a bit more risqué but it also means that he’ll be able to bring his full vision to life rather than watering it down for the distributor. Expect a lot of blood and uh, adult content.
In the coming months, we should be hearing more and more about the film, the plot, and all the bloody, creepy, love-sick fun that awaits us. I’m so glad to see del Toro is back in full force!