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Crimson Peak (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

February 1, 2016 by  



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I know those who loved earlier del Toro films for its bloody violence and darker atmosphere will find “Crimson Peak” to be an awesome gothic romance film!  It’s not for the faint of heart due to the gory violence featured but for those who can stomach it, they will find “Crimson Peak” to be a product of Guillermo del Toro’s dark and creative vision that is fascinating and worth watching!

Image courtesy of © 2015 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Crimson Peak

FILM RELEASE: 2015

DURATION: 1 Hr. and 59 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 Aspect Ratio), English DTS-X 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, 2.0 DVS, 2.0 Espanol, Francais DTS Surround 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, Subtitles: English, Espanol, Francais

COMPANY: Legendary/Universal Studios Home Entertainment

RATED: R (Bloody Violence, Some Sexual Content and Brief Strong Language)

Release Date: February 9, 2016


Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Written by Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robins

Executive Producers: Jillian Share

Produced by Guillermo del Toro, Callum Greene, Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull

Co-Producer: Brenda Vogel

Music by Fernando Velazquez

Cinematography by Dan Laustsen

Edited by Bernat Vilaplana

Casting by Robin D. Cook

Production Design by Thomas E. Sanders

Art Direction by Brandt Gordon

Set Decoration by Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

Costume Design by Kate Hawley


Starring:

Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing

Jessica Chastain as Lucille Sharpe

Tom Hiddleston as Thomas Sharpe

Charlie Hunnam as Dr. Alan McMichael

Jim Beaver as Carter Cushing

Burn Gorman as Holly

Leslie Hope as Mrs. McMichael

Doug Jones as Edith’s Mother/Lady Sharpe

Jonathan Hyde as Ogilvie

Bruce Gray as Ferguson

Emily Coutts as Eunice


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 gothic romance masterpiece starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam.


Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has made big hits in his film career such as “Pacific Rim”, “Blade II” and “Hellboy” films, but for those who desire his more darker and violent films and wished for a return to his “Cronos” and “Mimic” style of films will surely be thrilled to see that he has accomplished that with “Crimson Peak”.

“Crimon Peak” is an American gothic romance film co-written with Matthew Robbins (“Mimic”, “The Sugarland Express”) and stars Mia Waskowska (“Alice in Wonderland”, “Stoker”, “Jane Eyre”), Jessica Chastain (“The Martian”, “Zero Dark Thirty”, “The Help”), Tom Hiddleston (“The Avengers”, “Thor”, “Thor: The Dark World”) and Charlie Hunnam (“Pacific Rim”, “Green Street Hooligans”, “Children of Men”).

The original spec for the film was written by del Toro and Robbins after the release of the film “Pan’s Labyrinth” in 2006 and the project was postponed due to focusing on his other films and not finding anyone suitable to directing the film.

As Del Toro wanted to pay tribute to the “grand dames” of the haunted house genre and the film would receive generally positive reviews, that even horror writer Stephen King praised the film.

“Crimson Peak” is set in 1887, Edith Cushing is the daughter of wealthy American businessman, Carter Cushing (portrayed by Jim Beaver) and one day, she was visited by her mother’s ghost warning her to “beware of Crimson Peak”.

Fastforward 14 years later and Edith (portrayed by Mia Wasikowska) is a budding author who prefers to write about ghost novels than romance novels (which her editor is wanting to see from her). But she has support from her dear friend, Dr. Alan McMichael (portrayed by Charlie Hunnam).

Her father is visited by Sir Thomas Sharpe (portrayed by Tom Hiddleston), an English baronet who comes to the United States looking for wealthy investors to fund his clay-mining invention.

Carter Cushing rejects Thomas because of his failures to raise capital, meanwhile Edith notices that Sir Thomas Sharpe and his sister Lady Lucille Sharpe wear outdated and frayed clothing.  And once again, Edith receives a warning from the ghost of her mother’s spirit.  Also, she notices that Lucille acts coldly towards her.

As both Sir Thomas Sharpe and Edith become closer, Carter feels disdain of the two becoming closer.  So, he writes a check to bribe Carter Cushing in order for him and his sister to return to England but he must break his daughter’s heart and leave.

But one day, her father is brutally murdered and finding out that Sir Thomas Sharpe cares about her, she marries him and returns to England.

They arrive at Allerdale Hall, a broken down mansion which sits on top of a red clay mine.  But the longer she stays at the mansion, she starts to see gruesome ghosts.

And it is revealed that the estate is also known as “Crimson Peak”.


VIDEO:

“Crimson Peak” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). The film looks absolutely wonderful in HD as skin tones are natural, close-ups show very good detail (including the more gore-driven scenes). But there is no doubt an emphasis on bringing out the bloody red and also the macabre mansion in the film.

I didn’t notice any banding issues or artifacts while watching this film.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Crimson Peak” is presented in English 7.1 DTS-X, DTS Headphone X2.0, DVS 2.0, Espanol, Francais DTS Surround 5.1. Master Audio, English Audio Description Track 5.1 Dolby Digital and Thai Dolby Digital 5.1. The film is primarily dialogue and music driven (which are both crystal clear) with surround channels more geared towards the ambiance of Crimson Peak. The surround channels utilize the sounds of the ghosts and the more violent action scenes in the film.

Meanwhile, there are surround channel

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Espanol and Francais.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Crimson Peak” comes with the following special features:

  • Deleted Scenes – (4:26) Featuring five deleted scenes.
  • I Remember Crimson Peak – Featuring four short segments with Guillermo del Toro discussing why he created various segments such as “The Gothic Corridor”, “The Scullery”, “The Red Clay Mines” and “The Limbo Fog Set” and also behind-the-scenes on the making of those scenes.
  • A Primer on Gothic Romance – (5:36) Guillermo del Toro and cast discuss “Gothic Romance”.
  • The Light and Dark of Crimson Peak – (7:53) A featurette about filming in different locations and also the set design and emphasis on the color red.
  • Hand Tailored Gothic – (8:58) A featurette about the wardrobe for the film.  Interviews with costume designer Kate Hawley.
  • A Living Thing – (12:11) A featurette of making the house look like family but also having its own true gothic soul and darkness.
  • Beware of Crimson Peak – (7:51) Tom Hiddleston gives a tour of Crimson Peak.
  • Crimson Phantoms – (7:02) The cast discuss Guillermo del Toro’s dark vision.
  • Audio Commentary – Audio commentary with co-writer and director Guillermo del Toro

EXTRAS:

“Crimson Peak” comes with a slipcover, DVD version of the film and an Ultraviolet code.


Director Guillermo del Toro is one of the most prepared and quite intellectual filmmakers out there.

His life, even since he was a young child, has appreciated horror films and the macabre but also an appreciation for cinema. And he doesn’t create traditional horror or gothic films, as for del Toro, everything must have a purpose and in this case, and with “Crimson Peak” beginning development in 2006 not long after “Pan’s Labyrinth”, he wanted to make sure that before taking on this film, everything was just right.

This is to be expected from a filmmaker who is passionate for Gothic films and being a cinema fan, especially a horror film fan, he is a man with a vast knowledge of these type of topics.

He knows the creep things that he could bring out visually.  It’s already in his head, so much ideas since he was a boy and found whatever he was terrified with, he would incorporate into “Crimson Peak”.  And in this case, to make a ghost film that is different from other ghost films and not follow the banality of kitschy horror films.

It also helps to have a solid cast with Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam involved but as with most del Toro films, the setting and in this case, the Crimson Peak home plays a big part in this film.  Guillermo del Toro injects a soul into this dark, dilapidated home and just looking at the exterior and the interior, you already know something is off and eerie.  And when you see the ghosts start to come to the protagonist, Edith, you can’t help but feel how creepy this film truly is.

And it’s not for the faint of heart as the film is quite violent and brutal.  And that is another thing that del Toro was able to do and that is to find ways of showing brutality that has never been done on film and for a gothic romance film, I was surprised by the dark and brutal tone of this film.

“Crimson Peak” is well-written and despite not having a large budget, it’s a film that works because it was created by a Guillermo del Toro with a dark vision in mind.   He was  man who knew what he wanted and got the performances that he wanted but also to get the visuals that he needed for the film.

Personally, I felt that del Toro has done a wonderful job with “Crimson Peak”.  For fans of del Toro’s oeuvre, especially his earlier work, some have wished for him to return to the style he was best known for in the ’90s with films such as “Cronos”.

It’s dark and violent and quite bloody but for the most part, it’s not horror but a gothic romance film that is surely not for the faint of heart.

Fortunately, the film is what it is and whether or not one wants more gore is subjective to the viewer. I could have had less of the gory visuals of it as I prefer not wanting to see that type of brutality featured in the film.  But it was unnerving and I’m sure that was the point of the film.

As for the Blu-ray release, “Crimson Peak” looks fantastic in HD.  Detail is very good and so good that you can see the gory details.  Lossless audio is also quite fantastic, considering the violent action scenes plus the ambiance of the Crimson Peak home.

“Crimson Peak” also comes with an audio commentary, various featurettes, especially those that go into the behind-the-scenes making of the film.

Overall, I know those who loved earlier del Toro films for its bloody violence and darker atmosphere will find “Crimson Peak” to be an awesome gothic romance film!  It’s not for the faint of heart due to the gory violence featured but for those who can stomach it, they will find “Crimson Peak” to be a product of Guillermo del Toro’s dark and creative vision that is fascinating and worth watching!

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