Director Guillermo del Toro’s recent foray into the big-budget action sci-fi genre, Pacific Rim, didn’t please everyone, but few would question his talent for creating rich, atmospheric horror stories. Del Toro first gained real international attention with beautiful (but dark) tragedies The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, and this year fans will get to see his latest return to the horror genre in Gothic haunted house tale Crimson Peak.
Actually, despite the trailers seeming to offer all the usual tropes of a haunted house movie, del Toro describes the film’s architectural centerpiece as “not [a haunted house] at all,” but “a cage, a killing jar that you use to kill butterflies.” The butterfly in question is Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), a young bride who is whisked away to the old family home of her aristocratic new husband Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), and who quickly begins to suspect that Thomas’ family is hiding a very dark past.
The main cast is rounded out by Jessica Chastain (Interstellar) as Lady Lucille Sharpe, Thomas’ sister, and Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) as a quiet doctor who is madly in love with Edith. These four players have now been given the spotlight in a set of character posters released this week, ahead of the film being showcased for the second time by Legendary Pictures at San Diego Comic-Con.
These posters were released over at ComingSoon, HitFix, /Film and Collider, respectively, and show the main characters in blue with a unique blood-red motif assigned to each of then. Hunnam’s character, Alan McMichael, gets angel wings; Lucille is a moth; Edith is a butterfly (recall del Toro’s reference to the house being a killing jar); and Thomas is a skull. Make of those symbols what you will.
Del Toro has previously compared Crimson Peak to stories like Rebecca and Jane Eyre, and said in an interview with io9 last year that his awareness of its similarity to those stories made him strive to shake up the usual formula, while also paying homage to it.
“Rebecca, Jane Eyre, they’re all cousins. You can mix and match Gothic romance and you’re always going to find an innocent heroine going to a crumbling mansion where a dark, brooding mysterious guy turns out (or doesn’t turn out) to be the holder of a secret. Blah, blah, blah… I’m very, very aware of the tenets of the genre. And then it’s up to me to both hit them and try to do them in a way that is not the normal way.”
Del Toro’s talent for horror filmmaking means that it would be interesting to see even a very traditional take on the Gothic romance genre, but his promise that Crimson Peak takes some unconventional turns makes it sound all the more appealing. Stay tuned to Screen Rant throughout Comic-Con 2015 to find out more about Crimson Peak.
Crimson Peak opens in U.S. theaters on October 16th, 2015.