When I heard about Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming haunted house thriller Crimson Peak, I was happy to see he had returned to the horror movie game. Del Toro, a Mexican film director and writer, is best known for Pan’s Labyrinth and both Hellboy movies.
But before directing Pan’s Labyrinth, which earned three Academy Award wins and three additional nominations, del Toro wrote and directed The Devil’s Backbone, a ghost story, and Cronos, a vampire story, both in Spanish and incidentally both very hard to find on DVD.
In recent years, he has also helped aspiring horror movie makers by producing such films as The Orphanage and Mama. I recommend watching all of them, even if some people consider Mama a weak horror film.
Crimson Peak is very much a return to del Toro’s roots after this summer’s robots and aliens movie, Pacific Rim, and it’s a return that I am excited about, especially since he is both writing and directing this movie.
Del Toro describes Crimson Peak as “a very set-oriented, classical but at the same time modern take on the ghost story” and compares it to such diverse films as The Haunting, The Omen, and The Shining. He also says the movie will allow him “to play with the conventions of the genre [he] know[s] and love[s], and at the same time subvert the old rules.” (source 1)
While there aren’t many plot details available, The Hollywood Reporter indicates that the film will involve “a woman who discovers that her husband might not be who he appears to be.” Right now, this plot doesn’t seem very intriguing to me and gives me bad flashbacks to Possession, but I have faith that del Toro will come through. (source 2)
Casting for the film is ongoing, and if I was not already going to see it due to del Toro’s involvement, the cast list would have convinced me. Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Help) signed to the film most recently, and the rest of the cast currently includes Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness), Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man, The Help, Easy A), and Charlie Hunnam (FX’s Sons of Anarchy, Deadfall). There is no word yet on who will play which characters. (source 2)
Crimson Peak is set to begin production in February 2014 after del Toro completes Pacific Rim’s press tour and filming for the FX pilot of The Strain, based on a novel he wrote with Chuck Hogan. While I wish it was coming out earlier, this is a movie that I’m definitely willing to wait for. Check out the rest of del Toro’s oeuvre and see if you don’t agree. (source 1)