Beware 'Crimson Peak'. The upcoming Guillermo del Toro gothic horror romance got its first public unveiling at Comic-Con with the "Gothic Gallery," an extension of the Legendary Pictures booth that takes fans behind the movie and a tease of the "ultimate haunted house." In an experienced designed by del Toro himself, fans are be able to walk through a corridor of Crimson Peak with visual, an atmospheric soundscape, props, art and costumes all direct from the film. And, who better to take us on a tour of this immersive new booth than...Guillermo del Toro himself.
Before the booth opened to the public, we met up with del Toro on Comic-Con's preview night - long before the lines and crowds - and he literally pulled back the curtain on his new exhibit.
The Gothic Gallery
Guillermo took us back into the booth (guarded by men in Victorian tuxedos) to show the darkened hallway from 'Crimson Peak.' He showed off some of the original costumes from the movie, including ones that Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikoska wear in the film. There was also a glass case filled with props and items from the film, including a lot of butterflies. Because we haven't seen much of the movie yet (and still don't know what it's really about), we're not entirely sure of the significance but before we could even ask, del Toro told us that the butterflies are an important theme in the movie.
At the end of the hallway was a giant monitor, giving the appearance that the hallway went on for a long ways. It was dark and cavernous with loud thunderclaps roaring occasionally (which, sadly, makes it hard to hear much of what we recorded with Guillermo). Overall though, the room felt like if the architecture from 'Monsters University' came to life and instead of being a kids cartoon, was really, really freaky.
It's very dark inside that hallway, so del Toro had to take out the flashlight on his phone to show off the 'Crimson Peak' logo, which also doubles as the family crest. If you look closely, you can see how the design comes together to make a skull. And, we're a little rusty on our Latin, but it looks to read "Love Conquers All" at the bottom (which may fit into the "gothic romance" of this story) and "I have lifted up mine eyes unto the hills" at the top.
When we asked Guillermo about the design of the room, and the film, he assured us that everything we saw there he designed himself.
Before we left the Gothic Gallery, Guillermo gave us some quick advice: go do the Oculus Rift and look all the way down and all the way behind you. Knowing Guillermo, this made us a little freaked out that something was going to sneak up on us. But, how could we resist? So, we walked over to the Oculus setup and strapped on the big goggles. It was our first time ever doing the Oculus Rift, so we didn't know what to expect. Here's one thing to note: it's impossible to look cool while doing it. We saw some photos of our experience and let's just say...it wasn't our best moment. But, even if you look like a complete tool, it's a ton of fun.
Set up like the Jaeger cockpit, you're in control and about to go fight off one of the Kaiju. That is until the Kaiju rips into your control area and starts ripping stuff apart. What Guillermo was getting at with the "look behind you" stuff was just how immersive the Oculus word is. It's not just a screen in front of you and when you look down, you see your feet. You look down and you see the entire Jaeger. Look to your right and you see your co-pilot. It's 360 degrees of awesome that will, eventually, change the way we play video games.
'Crimson Peak' Footage
Later, we would get to see what Guillermo would describe as a "very small" sneak peek at 'Crimson Peak' - a 'Crimson Peak' peek, if you will. The footage didn't give away a ton of plot, but did hint at a lot of creepy goings on inside the halls of Crimson Peak. The teaser ends with a terrified Mia Wasikowska trembling under her bedsheets while a long, black hand slowly reaches down from the ceiling to grab her. The film's logo bubbles up from a pool of blood. Ominous, much?
We'll say this: 'Crimson Peak' looks absolutely beautiful. It's designed and shot like nothing we've seen in recent memory, something that should come as no surprise from someone like Guillermo del Toro.
'Crimson Peak' opens in theaters on October 15, 2015.