Review: Crimson Peak

Blu-ray: Crimson Peak (2015)

Guillermo del Toro is a wonder: male yet able to spin a feminist fairytale as good as any Angela Carter  novel.

Set in what may be the early 1900’s, a ruined mansion surrounded by blood red clay is the visual centrepiece of Crimson Peak along with real ghosts (amazingly CGI lite, all the creatures are real actors and enhanced with computer effects) and features an Evil Queen (Jessica Chastain), her weak (yet foppishly sexy) brother (Tom Hiddleston), and a practical ‘modern’ heroine (Mia Wasikowska).

This has more akin to Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ than his earlier ‘horror’ films. A real Gothic romance, filled with glorious costumes made of shimmery velvet and taffeta, amazing sets engorged in rich blood colours return us to The Mask of the Red Death. A bluebeard husband and poisonous porridge all add to that Gothicness.

However this film expands the story to concentrate mainly on the women. Wasikowska seems to specialise in gothic parts (Stoker, Alice in Wonderland, Jane Eyre) and here she gives good timid yet resolute heroine who gets to the bottom of it all and survives dire peril, even saving her saviour (Charlie Hunnam). While Chastain’s icy cool incestuous Lucille is Mrs Danvers in better clothes.

Crimson Peak is a beautiful film to look at, sensual and unreal, a fairy story with genuinely creepy ghosts, and although you can guess the ending, it holds up. I’d go as far as to say it’s magical, perversely romantic and sumptuous. I love it.

Again, this being a wonderful Arrow release, the extras are outstanding.


  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original 5.1 and 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and optional English 2.0 DTS Headphone:X Audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Optional Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®) for the visually impaired
  • Audio commentary by co-writer and director Guillermo Del Toro
  • The House is Alive: Constructing Crimson Peak, a newly edited, feature-length documentary with cast and crew interviews and extensive behind the scenes footage
  • Previously unseen Spanish language interview with Guillermo Del Toro
  • The Gothic Corridor, The Scullery, The Red Clay Mines, The Limbo Fog Set; four featurettes exploring different aspects of Allerdale Hall
  • A Primer on Gothic Romance, the director and stars talk about the key traits of Gothic romance
  • The Light and Dark of Crimson Peak, the cast and crew talk about the film’s use of colour
  • Hand Tailored Gothic, a featurette on the film’s striking costumes
  • A Living Thing, a look at the design, modelling and construction of the Allerdale Hall sets.
  • Beware of Crimson Peak, a walking tour around Allerdale Hall with Tom Hiddleston
  • Crimson Phantoms, a featurette on the film’s amazing ghosts
  • Kim Newman on Crimson Peak and the Tradition of Gothic Romance, a newly filmed interview with author and critic
  • Violence and Beauty in Guillermo Del Toro’s Gothic Fairy Tale Films, a new video essay by the writer Kat Ellinger
  • Deleted scenes
  • Original trailers and TV spots\n• Double-sided, fold-out poster
  • Six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions
  • Limited edition 80-page, hard-bound book featuring new writing by David Jenkins and Simon Abrams, an archival interview with Guillermo del Toro, and original conceptual design illustrations by artists Guy Davis and Oscar Chichoni
  • Limited edition packaging newly designed by Crimson Peak concept artist Guy Davis

Crimson Peak will be released on 14th January 2019 and you can buy it buy clicking HERE. ALL money raised by purchasing from Amazon via our website is given back to our listeners and followers in upcoming competition prizes. The more people buy, the bigger our prizes.

Review by Tina (co-host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Arrow Films via Fetch Publicity.