Still on the edge of your seat for Crimson Peak, here’s what we know!

Photo: Legendary Pictures

 

2015 is gearing up to be filled with pure cinematic treasures. A raft of highly anticipated movies awaits us and one of those is from legendary horror director Guillermo del Toro – his Gothic-horror tale Crimson Peak.

The film is set for release wayyyyyyyyyyy down the line on October 16. However, a few weeks ago we were treated to fabulous images of its stars, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain, in costume on the dark and gloomy looking set. Up till then we had only glimpsed the photos taken during filming in Toronto back in January of 2014.

 

Credit: Total Film
Credit: Total Film
crimson-peak-Jessica Chastain
Photo: Entertainment Weekly

Fans of the Spanish director were promised a sneak-peek teaser trailer in December last year (yes I know that was technically only four days ago, but a promise was made people!!!). When asked last year when fans could expect to see a trailer, del Toro replied, “I think we’re going to do it by the end of the year. We’re going to start with a teaser and then start campaigning early next year. We still have a long way to go.” This is probably the reason why we still haven’t seen anything, especially when del Toro himself has said, “Crimson Peak I cannot rush. I am probably the proudest of this movie of anything that I’ve ever done. I want to be very meticulous.”

Not Happy Guillermo… Not Happy!

So while we all still sit and wait with baited breath for that to appear, in the mean time let’s take a good look at what we know so far and see just what it is we are all letting ourselves in for…

What’s the story?
The plot as we know it from the official synopsis is this: “In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.”

With all that I have read on this movie in the lead up, what is really coming out of it for me is that the house is just as central to the plot as the cast themselves. It’s possibly the symbol of the decay of the aristocracy. In an on-set interview del Toro said, “The house decays. We needed to have the house feel a little bit like an organism. There’s a line I already cut in the editing room where it says it lays down like an animal and it goes slowly mad. The house in the screenplay and in the movie has certain features that make it seem like a living organism. So, it’s decaying. It’s sitting in the middle of a field, rotting.”

He added, “We knew that the top needed to be sort of the most weathered part of the house. The bottom and the areas where you received visitors are live and slightly more kept. But the top is the head. The people in the movie are insane. So the head is all rotted away.”

OK come on, seriously Gil, you need to release a trailer, or I am going to go slowly mad with all of this dropping snippets as to what we are going to get.

Back in July 2014, those attending the San Diego Comic Con were taken through the Gothic Gallery, and here we can show you a little of what was seen. He reiterates the mansion being central to the story line.

Del Toro has also said of this piece of work that for his first English speaking horror, “It’s the first time I’ve tried to marry the Pan’s Labyrinth and Devil’s Backbone sensibilities with a larger cast and larger budget.”

The cast is the greatest special effect…
If you have been following our articles on this you will know it stars some of our favourite actors: Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Australian Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam, as well as the incredibly awesome Jim Beaver.

Hiddleston plays Sir Thomas Sharpe, and is it becoming increasingly clear we are going to witness another villainous role from the acclaimed British actor. But this is no Loki the Trickster. This will be dark and violent. Fans will know that originally Benedict Cumberbatch was signed on to play the role but had to withdraw. Del Toro then went to his next choice and sent Hiddleston the script, saying that Tom “called back to say all the right things about the script. I needed people that could embrace the very perverse nature and the very humane. It’s a very dark but at the same time very human movie. It’s really beautiful but it’s full of really disturbing stuff.”

Chastain takes on the role of Lady Lucille Sharpe and according to the actress, the role was “really draining, emotionally and spiritually.” She added, “The experience took more out of me than anything I’d ever done. When I finished I had to take some time off.”

Hunnam plays Dr Alan McMichael. He describes the character as a “very sweet, shy, quiet, dorky dude who doesn’t get the girl.” Hunnam, of course, has worked with del Toro before and when asked about casting him, the director said, “Charlie was on from the beginning, from Pacific Rim, I told him.”

Wasikowska was chosen as Edith, and of her work on the film del Toro said, “It’s been a blessing man. It’s like going out to take a spin on a Porsche.”

So just HOW scary is this going to be?
When asked on what vibe his film has, del Toro has said that he is “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.”

When introducing the trailer at SDCC, he prefaced the trailer with, “It’s R-rated. It has incredible beauty, but it’s also very violent.” He has also said that Crimson Peak will feature “scary ghosts, but scarier people than ghosts,” and that he was glad for the opportunity to create a “great adult story for a female lead.”

“It’s very much in an old mold with a little bit of extra depravity and brutality sprinkled in,” he has also described it.

I for one can truly pick up on his passion for this project and cannot wait to see what we are thrust into. This passion is evident even in the details of filming.

When discussing the set, he said “I refuse to do green screen on the elevator. I wanted the actors to really go from the top to the bottom… Literally, we weighed the cameraman, the steadicam, the heaviest lens, the focus puller, the actress and the dog, and that’s the permit. Because, you know, to ride with four or five people, you really need to be able to – we didn’t want to risk it, so one of the rules is nobody rides the elevator for fun, which made this a f*cking Victorian StairMaster for me!”

When the lucky folks at SDCC got to see the Hiddleston narrated reveal, we found out that while the footage didn’t give away a ton of plot, it did hint creepy goings on inside the halls of Crimson Peak. It ended with a terrified Mia Wasikowska trembling under her bedsheets while a long, black hand slowly reaches down from the ceiling to grab her. The film’s logo bubbles up from a pool of blood.

The Crimson Peak logo, which also doubles as the family crest, is a clever design that comes together to make a skull. And, while I am rusty on my Latin (sorry Dad I should have called you to translate), it possibly says, “I have lifted up mine eyes unto the hills” at the top and then alluding to some of the Gothic Romance, “Love Conquers All” at the bottom.

So all in all what we can surmise is this: we are going to be scared and possibly slightly revolted. The more delicate fans of Hiddleston, Chastain et al might even be scarred. This is going to make hard work for my next manicurist as I bite my nails throughout and I pity whoever comes with me to see it, you might want to pad one arm for me to dig into.

Although I am wondering where I can get my hands on the moth print in the wallpaper that spells out the word “fear”.

Jacie Anderson
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