We just saw the first footage from Guillermo del Toro's next film, Crimson Peak. And based on that first glimpse, this movie could actually be his most lovely and disturbing film yet, thanks to insane imagery and loads of atmosphere. And del Toro may still get to make Hellboy 3 or Mountains of Madness!
The Crimson Peak trailer, not surprisingly, is drowning in blood. The studio labels and the movie's logo are stained with blood, and blood shows up in other places as well. The old scary house where the film's action takes place is featured heavily, starting with an ancient doorhandle turning and a door squeaking open loudly. We see dying flies twitching on a wooden surface, and then travel down spooky hallways. Mia Wasikowska is holding a knife, looking terrified, while Jessica Chastain stares at some dead leaves on top of a bier.
And Tom Hiddleston's voiceover says that a house as old as this one becomes a living thing. "It may have timber for bones and windows for eyes, and sitting here all alone it can go slowly mad." The house starts holding onto things, keeping them alive when they should be dead. "Some of them good, some bad. And some should never be spoken about again."
And we catch a picture of the willowy figure of Hiddleston in a fancy black outfit, standing silhouetted in a big window, against blue light.
There's a weird ornate carving, which turns out to be a bloody mask — and then the camera pulls back, and it's part of an ornate family crest.
Someone keeps hitting the same note over and over again on a piano, as the tension ratchets up, and we see Charlie Hunnam in evening formal wear, and someone is running down stairs and blowing out candles. We hear creepy whispering as people move through turn-of-the-century British society in formalwear.
And then we see Mia Waskiowska curled up in bed in a nightgown, shivering with terror... and a long-fingered black hand comes down and touches her.
The only panelist for this film was del Toro himself, who explained why he's back to horror:
"I wanted to make a movie that was able to blend two sides of my personality. After I did Mimic... Mimic was such a tough experience that I said, "I'm going to do the painfully beautiful and creepy things in my Spanish-language firlms, and I'm going to do the big sort of pop-pulp fun movies in English."
But after he had such a great experience on Pacific Rim, he found that Universal had acquired this project which was "very dear to me," says del Toro. "It's a gothic romance, and it was very delicate, and I thought, 'No, I'm going to just produce it, I cannot risk it'." But then they told him that it could be a violent R-rated movie, and he decided "it was a prefect way to return to the genre."
Del Toro boasted this was the "best cast I've ever had. Those are my special effects."
"I wanted to tackle a great adult story for a female lead," says del Toro. "I think it's great when the female lead [is in] a normal romantic story, but then we live past that. Past getting the guy — fuck all that shit — we see her becoming her own person. We do what is done in gothic romance. We have the thriller aspect of it, we have the romance, brutal moments, and we have scary ghosts — but scarier people than ghosts. It's a beautiful confection, and I hope you enjoy it."
At the end of the panel, del Toro gets the audience to cheer if they want to see him make Hellboy 3 and At The Mountains of Madness, so the studio can hear. To which Legendary's Thomas Tull later responds that after del Toro finishes directing Pacific Rim sequel, "We'll talk."