One of the most anticipated 2015 titles among film geeks involves neither a beloved franchise nor comic book superheroes, but instead one big ol’ scary haunted house envisioned by Guillermo del Toro. The del Toro project in question is Crimson Peak, a supernatural horror movie that the filmmaker describes as being closer to the creepy R-rated tone and atmosphere of his acclaimed thematically-dark Spanish-language offerings (The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth) than his more recent popcorn genre movies (Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pacific Rim).
Crimson Peak, as was scripted by del Toro and Matthew Robbins (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark), follows an aspiring author who seeks to escape from the pain of a recent tragedy at a mysterious old house “that breathes, bleeds… and remembers.” The film’s gothic fairy tale setting will be occupied by such fine acting folk as Mia Wasikowska (Stoker), Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Tom Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World), and multiple Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain (Interstellar).
Chastain is the cast member featured in the first Crimson Peak still to hit the ‘Net (via The Film Stage). The gorgeously dark and gothic dress that Chasten is wearing in the below image reflects the handiwork of Kate Hawley, who served as costume designer on the sci-fi tentpoles Pacific Rim and Edge of Tommorrow; she was also part of the costume department for all three of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies.
Meanwhile, the lighting scheme and haunted house architecture feature here – in part the work of Crimson Peak cinematographer Dan Laustsen (Solomon Kane) and production designer Thomas E. Sanders (Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypto) – are quite stylish in their own right. And thus, they seem to be a good representation of what we can expect from del Toro’s film, in terms of how it aims to throwback to the classic set piece and atmosphere-heavy haunted house features of the 20th century (such as The Shining and The Haunting (1963)).
In the past, del Toro has said that Crimson Peak takes place in two different settings (America and a “crumbling mansion in Cumbria”), while the narrative begins as a love story that becomes increasingly dark, yet also attempts to “subvert the rules of the usual gothic romance.”
The movie’s teaser trailer, when it debuted at Legendary’s Panel during the 2014 Comic-Con in San Diego, got a very enthusiastic reception from those who saw it. Indeed, after having gone so long without making a straight-up horror film, it seems as though del Toro has a more enthusiastic outlook than ever towards working in that genre (which, for him, is saying something). And thus, he’s pouring a whole lot of energy towards this project, in order to knock it right out of the ballpark. Count us excited to see the final movie result, for sure.
NEXT: Guillermo del Toro on Crimson Peak‘s Production Design
Crimson Peak opens in U.S. theaters on October 16th, 2015.