Few filmmakers have as much geek cred as Guillermo del Toro, who has brought us some of the most visually enchanting fantasy films in cinematic history. He’s the man who made us love the Antichrist with Hellboy, created the terrifying Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth, and who brought us giddily back to our childhood days of mashing together action figures with Pacific Rim (among other stunning accomplishments). So, it wasn’t exactly a shock when his Comic-Con panel in Hall H, showcasing del Toro’s upcoming Crimson Peak, was received with wild excitement from attendees.
Before showing off some material from the horror flick, which is 18 months away from release still, del Toro told fans that the film is “a gothic romance” and, thanks to Legendary, will be R-rated, violent and beautiful. The crowd liked that promise very much, but they liked what he had to show even more. In the footage, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam are all seen moving around an old Victorian mansion, terrified. Through voice-over, Tom Hiddleston says:
“Houses as old as this one become in time a living thing. It may have timber for bones but windows for eyes, and sitting here all alone, it can go slowly bad. It starts holding on to things. Keeping them alive when they shouldn’t be. Some of them good. Some bad. Some should never be spoken about again.”
Also seen: An ornate carving that’s actually a blood-stained mask, someone hitting the same note on an old piano repeatedly, and Wasikowska curled up in bed, shaking, as a long-fingered black hand comes down and touches her. The crowd went wild at that last one.
According to del Toro, Crimson Peak was a perfect way for him to get back to full-blooded horror because of the strength of both the cast and the story:
“I wanted to tackle a great adult story for a female lead. 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.”
As another fun way to interact with the fans, del Toro asked them to make some noise as he mentioned dream projects. Hellboy 3? Absolutely thunderous applause. At the Mountains of Madness? Also considerable, though not at Hellboy levels. Said Legendary’s Thomas Tull, also in attendance, “We’ll talk…” after Pacific Rim 2.
Crimson Peak will freak us out on October 16th, 2015.