Crimson Peak topped our Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2015 rundown and then earned a spot on our 25 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015 list – and with good reason, in both cases. The original script draft was co-penned by Guillermo del Toro shortly after he made Pan’s Labyrinth nine years ago, but the project was put on hold while del Toro worked on a couple films (Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pacific Rim), a TV series (The Strain), an At the Mountains of Madness adaptation that stalled in pre-production, and The Hobbit before Peter Jackson took over… among other things, that is.
This fall, however, Crimson Peak will be arriving on the big screen at last (under del Toro’s direction). And after seeing the impressive Comic-Con 2014 teaser as well as the first stylish promotional images for the film (including those below), we’re all the more excited to see what del Toro describes as a return to the dark, R-Rated, fairy tale storytelling mode of his earlier Spanish-language features (see: Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth).
Crimson Peak takes place in the 19th century, as the young author Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) marries the wealthy and charming Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and goes to live with him in his decadent, yet crumbling, mansion in a less populated region of Cumbria. However, soon thereafter Edith begins to realize that her newfound “rose” definitely has it thorns – which includes a jealous sister in Lady Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain), as well as an old house “that breathes, bleeds… and remembers.”
Guillermo del Toro has summarized Crimson Peak as follows (via Yahoo! Movies UK):
“Basically what it is is a really, really, almost classical gothic romance ghost story, but then it has two or three scenes that are really, really disturbing in a very, very modern way. Very, very disturbing, it’s a proper R rating. And it’s adult.”
The filmmaker has also spoken in length about the influences for Crimson Peak, which (as he discussed in a recent interview with Empire) includes literary classics such as Jane Eyre and the fairy tale Bluebeard – both featuring a protagonist who discovers the new man in her life has a dark (and disturbing) secret – and the collective works of Emily Bronte and Gothic literary genre pioneer Ann Radcliffe. That inspiration is very much apparent in Crimson Peak‘s art direction and production design, as illustrated by the following promo images for the film (from Yahoo! and the iPad version of Empire Magazine).
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Such production design-heavy haunted house features as The Shining, The Haunting, and The Innocents have also been cited as a heavy influence on Crimson Peak by del Toro; of late, though, the filmmaker seems to have begun playing down the idea that he’s making a haunted house genre throwback, and more than Crimson Peak is a Gothic romance first, set piece-oriented ghost story second. Frankly, even if the opposite proves to be the case, this project keeps on sounding (and looking) more and more interesting by the day.
Crimson Peak opens in U.S. theaters on October 16th, 2015.