Crimson Peak: Guillermo del Toro Breaks Down His Unique Take on Gothic Horror

     October 13, 2015

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One of TV and film’s most intriguing visionaries, Guillermo del Toro has a talent for crafting supernatural stories that convey human frailties. Crimson Peak is a harrowing portrayal of manipulation and the dangerous nature of Victorian ideology.

When Edith (Mia Wasikowska) marries the dashing Thomas (Tom Hiddleston), she moves into his family home Crimson Peak. His sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) also resides there, forcefully forbidding the young woman from uncovering family secrets. Upon her arrival, Edith endures a string of supernatural encounters, leading her to question the history of the house and setting her on a dangerous path of discovery.

The character-driven horror flick incorporates elements of classic literature and films like Hitchcock’s Rebecca. Each set and costume is meticulously detailed, making it one of the most visually striking films of the year. During my video interview with del Toro, the Mexican-born writer/director discussed giving the actors extensive character biographies yet still valuing their input. He also spoke about the film’s prime setting, a mansion which was constructed from scratch, as a means of illustrating character traits and emotions. Additionally, del Toro touched on the unique depiction of sexuality in Crimson Peak.


Guillermo del Toro:

  • Discusses creating detailed bios on each character but still incorporating the actor’s ideas
  • How the set projects elements of the story and reveals more about the characters.
  • How the film goes against typical portrayal of sexuality.

Here’s the official synopsis for Crimson Peak:

Legendary Pictures’ CRIMSON PEAK, a co-production with Universal Pictures, is a haunting gothic horror story directed by the master of dark fairy tales, Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s LabyrinthHellboy series, Pacific Rim), written by del Toro and Matthew Robbins and starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam.  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.  Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, del Toro and Callum Greene produce, and Jillian Share executive produces.

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