Out of all the major studios that were present at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, it surprisingly wasn’t Marvel or Warner Bros. that had the most new announcements, but Legendary. Godzilla 2 got officially confirmed with a video message from director Gareth Edwards and a teaser trailer showing grainy old footage with the vague shapes of Mothra, Rodan and Ghidorah, and King-Kong prequel movie Skull Island was also announced via teaser that, at first, looked deceptively like Jurassic World footage.
These two announcements bookended a presentation packed with trailers for other upcoming Legendary movies, including Michael Mann’s hacker thriller Black Hat and Duncan Jones’ Warcraft. The horror genre also got its moment in the spotlight as John and Drew Dowdle discussed the trailer for their new movie As Above, So Below (unfortunately the trailer itself was nothing new) and Guillermo Del Toro came to the stage to present the very first trailer for his upcoming gothic horror Crimson Peak.
The set for Crimson Peak was a three-storey Victorian house that was built from the ground up according to the director’s design (the Gothic Gallery at Comic-Con’s preview night offered a small taste of it), with an insane amount of attention to detail that included words and illustrations carefully hidden in the woodwork and wallpaper. This definitely seemed to have paid off in the trailer, in which the film’s central location looked as oppressive as it did sumptuous.
The trailer was narrated by Tom Hiddleston’s character, Sir Thomas Sharpe, and opened with the ominous lines, “A house as old as this one becomes, in time, a living thing… Sitting here all alone, it can go slowly mad.” The trailer itself didn’t give away too much about the plot of Crimson Peak, but was comprised of a series of chilling images that hinted at a supremely creepy tale with more than a few drops of gore. The sound design and music were fantastic and added an extra layer of tension to the happenings on screen, in particular the final shot of Mia Wasikowska’s character, Edith, sobbing in terror in a bed as a horrible pitch black hand (reminiscent of the Wendigo from Hannibal) crept over her shoulder.
Del Toro (who dismissed Hall H’s no profanity rule with a cheery “f**k that!”) was clearly a favorite among the gathered audience, and got a particularly huge round of applause when he explained that he wanted to make a movie where the lead female character was more than just a love interest for the male lead. It sounds like Edith will take over much of the driving force behind the film’s narrative.
Del Toro concluded his time in Hall H with an impromptu Q&A that included only two questions, asked by Del Toro himself and directed towards the audience. The first question was “Hellboy 3?”, which generated a huge reaction of cheers and applause, and the second was “At the Mountains of Madness?“, which got a slightly more muted response (but only slightly).
As a gothic horror film from the director of Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak was never going to be a movie to skip over, but the excellent trailer certainly cements its place as one of the must-see horror films of next year.
Crimson Peak hits theaters October 16, 2015.