Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston
Release Date: Available on Blu-Ray & DVD February 9, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
When her heart is stolen by a seductive stranger, a young woman is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay— a place filled with secrets that will haunt her forever. Between desire and darkness, between mystery and madness, lies the truth behind Crimson Peak. From the imagination of director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) comes a terrifying, gothic romance masterpiece starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam.
From visionary filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, ‘Crimson Peak’ tells the story of Edith Cushing (Wasikowska) who while previously familiar with a notably luxurious lifestyle, ends up moving to a damp and eerie old house in an unfamiliar land on a whim in order to be with her new husband Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston) who she finds herself deeply in love with, believing he would do anything for her. After having already arrived at her new home, she discovers the land is referred to as Crimson Peak, a place which the ghost of her departed mother had repeatedly warned her to avoid via late night encounters. As things begin to worsen and she uncovers terrors and phantoms behind every corner as well as the consistently unsettling behavior of Thomas’ sister Lucille (Chastain), Edith begins to wonder if she may have made a terrible mistake; the true extent of which she unfortunately remains ignorant of.
Directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim) from a script he also wrote along with Matthew Robbins (*batteries not included, Mimic), del Toro does a marvelous job at the helm guiding this wonderfully unique ghost story with a true beauty highly emphasized by rich colors. The film also owes a great deal to the talented individuals who comprise the cast including Mia Wasikowska (Lawless), Jessica Chastain (The Martian), Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers), Charlie Hunnam (TV’s Sons of Anarchy), Jim Beaver (TV’s Supernatural), Doug Jones (Hellboy) and a number more, all of whom deliver solid performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Crimson Peak’ is a truly unique type of horror film, or more accurately a gothic love story with ghosts. Talented filmmaker Guillermo del Toro delivers a film only he could envision and bring to life with such splendidly rare grace. Filled with expansive and breathtaking surroundings, costumes that perfectly represent the era and the creepy and occasionally bloody moments certain to satisfy the horror fans, mixed with a true beauty glowing from every scene as well as the ghosts, constantly employing rich and vibrant colors on prominent display which exquisitely accentuates the overall tone of the film; the entirety of which is complimented perfectly by the fantastic scene changes and the highly capable cast.
Overall, ‘Crimson Peak’ is a fantastic gothic love story that fans of the incredibly talented Guillermo del Toro’s work (as well as genre fans in general) definitely won’t want to miss out on. Unique, creepy and absolutely gorgeous from everything to the amazing landscapes and foundations to the smallest of hallways or rooms and featuring some beautiful and unique ghosts like only del Toro can deliver. I would highly recommend ‘Crimson Peak’, this is one many of you definitely won’t want to miss out on and it’s certainly worth the cost of a rental at the very least.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Crimson Peak’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks absolutely gorgeous; delivering a sharp, detailed presentation from beginning to end that beautifully represents the rich, vibrant colors always prominently on display in the film. It holds up phenomenally even during the many darkly lit and/or fast moving sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is an impressive high definition video presentation that should easily please the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a DTS: X (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds extraordinary and perfectly complements the film, utilizing all seven available channels to send creepy noises, elements such as creaky floorboards, whispers and other fitting auditory effects throughout the room, wonderfully accentuating both the terror and beauty and never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a fantastic DTS: X (DTS-HD MA 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that should thrill the casual viewers and audiophiles alike.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Crimson Peak’ includes a number of enjoyable and informative extras. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Guillermo del Toro’, along with a number of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 4 minutes altogether). We are also treated to numerous behind the scenes Featurettes which delve deeper into different aspects of the film and include behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments with the cast and crew. The included Featurettes are ‘I Remember Crimson Peak’ which is broken into four sections: ‘The Gothic Corridor’ (approximately 4 minutes), ‘The Skullery’ (4 minutes), ‘The Red Clay Mines’ (5 minutes), and ‘The Limbo Fog Set’ (6 minutes), in addition to a number more: ‘A Primer on Gothic Romance’ (6 minutes), ‘The Light and Dark of Crimson Peak’ (8 minutes), ‘Hand Tailored Gothic’ (9 minutes), ‘A Living Thing’ (12 minutes), ‘Beware of Crimson Peak’ (8 minutes), and ‘Crimson Phantoms’ (7 minutes).