By Abigail Raney
Legendary's Comic Con booth currently houses a miniature Crimson Peak – dubbed the Gothic Gallery – for fans to walk through. I was allowed a sneak peak guided by the man himself, director Guillermo del Toro. The gallery is an echo of the film, having been put together to represent the film's titular location, and bearing all the marks of the care taken with the larger piece. Del Toro takes us through the different parts, his enthusiasm evident and infectious. He shows us a case of objects and tells us if we view the case from top to bottom, we can read the story's progression. He talks about how some of the objects are beautiful and some are brutal – most particularly, a bloody knife on the bottom shelf – and that the film as well will be beautiful but brutal. There are ghosts, he says, scary ones – but the humans are scarier.
He points out how the costumes were handmade in authentic Victorian fashion, and he tells us part of the reason it has taken so long for the film to come to be made is that he insisted on building the entire set to specification, rather than shooting in an existing location. The arches are carved in triplicate, so they trick the eye and seem to blur. And the negative space of the arch is designed to mimic a head and shoulders – even if no one's there, he tells us, "someone's there". There are butterfly and moth inspirations in the costumes, and in the wallpaper – these are important. So is the broken roof visitors will see if they look up, where video screens mimic a snowy sky with more moths fluttering across the blackness.
There's more virtual snow blowing past the window at the end of the mock hallway, and no shortage of snow on the gallery's stony facade, so I ask if the location and the weather that comes with it are important to the story. Very important, apparently – in fact, it has something to do with the film's title. Without the snow, he tells me, there is no Crimson Peak. What does he mean by that? He doesn't want to say anymore. But if Legendary's goal was enchantment and intrigue, they've succeeded – I'm now even more curious and even more excited to see the finished film.
Check out Legendary's description of the gallery below, and if you're lucky enough to be at the Con this weekend, definitely check out the gallery itself.
A physical experience handcrafted by Guillermo del Toro himself, fans will get a glimpse behind the curtain of Crimson Peak and an early tease of the ultimate haunted house. Designed in the look of one of the sets of the movie, the Gothic Gallery is a living breathing gallery of curiosities that includes props, costumes, and an atmospheric soundscape designed by Academy Award® Winner Randy Thom. As people walk through, they will get the message loud and clear – BEWARE CRIMSON PEAK!
[Director Guillermo del Toro presents The Gothic Gallery, offering a first glimpse at his upcoming Gothic Tale 'Crimson Peak' to be released by Legendary and Universal in October, 2015]