(2015/Legendary/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)
A-/B Sound: A/B Extras: B+ Film: A-
Del Toro's newest film, Crimson
(2015), deserved a lot more praise and attention then it got back in
October during its theatrical release. In the spirit of Hammer Films
(one main character even has the last name of Cushing), Crimson
is despicably gothic romance that boasts Del Toro's extraordinary
attention to detail in terms of filmmaking (most importantly in the
categories of cinematography and production design) and an impressive
cast that features Tom Hiddleson, Mia Wasikowska, Charlie Hunnam and
marrying the charming and seductive Sir Thomas Sharpe, young Edith
(Mia Wasikowska) finds herself swept away to his remote gothic
mansion in the English hills. Also living there is Lady Lucille,
Thomas' alluring sister and protector of her family's dark secrets.
Able to communicate with the dead, Edith tries to decipher the
mystery behind the ghostly visions that haunt her new home. As she
comes closer to the truth, Edith may learn that true monsters are
made of flesh and blood.
is the type of film that Tim Burton should make again: an intelligent
R-rated and gory ''adult'' horror film. There are some similarities
to this film and Burton's Sleepy
in that both films are period pieces centered around a supernatural
force that both keep the spirit of Hammer alive and both are
extremely gothic with rich color palettes. Both films also center
around a mystery with manipulative and secretive characters, another
trait that keeps the story interesting. The performances in the film
are also strong with Jessica Chastain nailing the villainous role of
Lady Lucille Sharpe that should have earned her Oscar attention.
in beautiful 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of
1.85:1 (shot with the Arri Alexa XT HD camera) and several great
audio options including DTS X (reviewed here as a core DTS-HD Master
Audio 7.1 lossless mix) and DTS Headphone: X, this film pushes the
boundaries of the Blu-ray format with an exceptional presentation.
Also included is the standard definition anamorphically enhanced
presentation on DVD with a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track that is not
bad for the format (though weak vs. the Blu-ray, of course) and a
digital UltraViolet Copy of the film.
Special Features are many and include...
A Feature-Length Audio Commentary with co-writer and Director
Guillermo Del Toro
The Light and Dark of Crimson Peak
offers a stylized turn of the century with carefully crafted visuals
that provide the perfect backdrop for Del Toro's brand of
psychological horror. Follow the phases of production to discover a
booming America and a dark and removed England portrayed with a
multi-layered sophistication unlike any seen in recent cinema.
Beware Of Crimson Peak
- Tom Hiddleston (Sir Thomas Sharpe) offers a walking tour of the
many secret spaces in Allerdale Hall.
I Remember Crimson Peak
- A series of interviews with director Guillermo del Toro and his
standout cast, Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain.
A Living Thing
- An army of artisans was amassed to construct the Sharpe mansion on
North America's largest soundstage. Witness first-hand and in great
detail the construction of Del Toro's most elaborate set to date.
A Primer on Gothic Romance
- Employing his encyclopedic knowledge and passion for the genre,
Guillermo del Toro traces the lineage of Gothic Romance in cinema.
as the basis, Del Toro outlines the history of cinematic terror and
illuminates the differences between traditional scares and elevated
- Del Toro's approach to make-up effects is discussed by
award-winning effects house DDT. In this piece, they offer an
exclusive look inside their workshop, where they deconstruct the
creation of the film's most disturbing prosthetic effects. The
discussion delves into the mythology of these elegant creatures and
how Del Toro's belief in the supernatural informed the design and
narrative of the ghosts.
Hand Tailored Gothic
- Costume designer Kate Hawley unravels her collaboration with Del
Toro and reveals the symbolism constantly at play in the wardrobe's
it may not have broke box office records and may not be quite as mind
blowing as Del Toro's remarkable Pan's
is one of my favorite films of the year and certainly one that I will
keep in my collection and continue to watch for years to come. If
you are a fan of period set horror films or are perhaps into ghost
stories or gothic visuals, then you can't get much better than this.
Here's hoping that Del Toro's HP Lovecraft-inspired film gets made!