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Crimson Peak
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD 2.0 Surround
  • English DTS:X
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Optional Descriptive Video Serviceģ (DVSģ) 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 color
  • 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
  • Double-sided, fold-out poster
  • Four double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions
  • Limited Edition packaging newly designed by Crimson Peak concept artist Guy Davis
  • 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

Crimson Peak

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
2015 | 119 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $49.95 | Series: Arrow Video
MVD Visual

Release Date: January 15, 2019
Review Date: February 5, 2019

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amazon.com  amazon.ca

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SYNOPSIS

From the imagination of Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, The Shape of Water) comes Crimson Peak, a lavish, stunningly realised journey into the dark heart of Gothic romance... Beginning in Buffalo, New York, during the 1880s, Crimson Peak stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, Stoker) as Edith Cushing, an aspiring writer who is haunted by the death of her mother. Edith's falls in love with seductive stranger Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston, Avengers Assemble), who whisks her off to Allerdale Hall, his baronial, yet dilapidated English mansion built upon a mountain of blood-red clay. Here Edith meets Lucille (Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty), Thomas's sister who at times seems hostile and jealous. As Edith struggles to feel at home in the imposing residence, she gradually uncovers a horrendous family secret and encounters supernatural forces that will help her discover the terrible truth behind Crimson Peak. Boasting incredibly intricate and ornate production design and a rich visual style, del Toro's film is a grandiose, boldly baroque triumph of Gothic decadence, which expertly combines and contrasts the sublimely beautiful with the shockingly grotesque. Crimson Peak is presented here in sumptuous special packaging, with a wealth of extra features, affording unprecedented insight in to the making of this modern Gothic classic.


PICTURE

Guillermo del Toroís Crimson Peak gets a new collectorís edition Blu-ray from Arrow Video, who present the film in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this dual-layer disc. Presented in 1080p/24hz, Arrow is simply reusing the master Universal used for their own Blu-ray edition (at least this is what is suggested by the notes). The film was shot digitally.

There is no noticeable difference between Arrowís edition and Universalís, at least that I could spot. The film has an incredible amount of detail in it, from the costumes to the deteriorating house central to the film, and both long shots and close-ups are exquisite. Colours are lean warmer (like the Universal disc) but still look very striking, particularly the crimson elements (the filmís more common colour, unsurprisingly), but the greens, blues, and yellows are all striking as well. Blacks are rich and deep, and shadow detail is superb, a necessity for all of those creepy low-lit shots. Whites are also wonderfully balanced, never blooming and never swallowing details, which helps during the climax that takes place outside in a snow covered setting.

Since this was filmed digitally there are no print flaws to speak of. The digital presentation and encode look pretty smooth, though a handful of low-lit shots show a bit of noise, and Iím unsure if its inherent to the source or related to the encode, but itís a minimal bump to what is otherwise a wonderful looking presentation.

9/10

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AUDIO

Arrow includes the same DTS:X track (and even the DTS 2.0 track optimized for headphones along with the descriptive audio track) found on the Universal disc. I do not have the proper equipment to playback DTS:X so it instead goes to the core DTS-HD MA 7.1 track for playback. But even then I only have a 5.1 set up, so Iím essentially commenting on a 5.1 downgrade.

Having said that, though, I can only imagine how wonderful the DTS:X track is (or even the 7.1 DTS-HD MA) because even with my simple 5.1 coverage I was absolutely enthralled by this track, which showcases incredible direction and depth. There are a lot of moments with wind effects and/or the creaking house where it really does sound like something is shifting or scuttling about directly above you. Itís beyond impressive and I can only imagine (currently) what anyone with either a 7.1 or a DTS:X set up will be treated to, which Iím sure will be far more rewarding than what I experienced (especially the DTS:X set-up, which Iím sure will bounce those audio effects onto the ceiling nicely).

The rest of the mix is equally striking, with clean natural movement between speakers, panning to the sides, movement from front to back and vice-versa, and so on. Dynamic range is wide, with nice lows and impressive highs, and volume levels are handled beautifully as to not drown out important elements. The low end channel adds some subtle little effects along with a few booming moments where it makes sense without ever being distracting. Audio quality is superb, with clear voices and effects. It sounds absolutely fantastic.

10/10

SUPPLEMENTS

As one would expect, Arrow loads on the supplements, though a majority of it are a collection of short featurettes that appeared on the Universal disc. One of the best items from the Universal disc is the audio commentary by director Guillermo del Toro. His tracks are always chalk full of goodies, with the director going over his influences, explaining where even some of the tiniest details in the film come from, while also getting into the thinking behind a number of his designs, and he also laments on the marketing of the film, which sold it as a horror film when he intended it to be seen as a Gothic Romance. Itís jam packed full of wonderful information and worth the listen if you havenít done so yet.

Arrow then adds their own making-of documentary, the 50-minute The House is Alive: Constructing Crimson Peak. This doesnít feature any newly filmed material and instead is constructed from the material filmed for the supplements on Universalís release, and also found here. I prefer this to what feels like the infinite number of featurettes around the making of the film and it covers everything from conception to release. The best section, though, comes around the set designs and the amount of model work that went into, and we get a real up-close-and-personal look at these models. The unfortunate thing is I donít believe all of the material from the other featurettes is here, but Iím also positive it features interviews and footage not found in those other featurettes. Itís nicely edited together and rich with material on the filmís production.

Also new to this edition is a Spanish-language interview with director Guillermo del Toro just talking about the production, the ghosts, the influences from his childhood, and the fact the film is not a horror film. It runs over 8-minutes.

Arrow then includes 10 featurettes on the filmís production. Four are found under the heading ďAllerdale Hall: Four Featurettes,Ē all looking at the various rooms in the house and their respective sets. This includes The Gothic Corridor (4-min), The Scullery (4-min), The Red Clay Mines (5-min), and The Limbo Fog Set (less than 6-min).

Following those is A Primer on Gothic Romance (5-min), which features the cast and crew talking about the genre and the key influences for this film, and then The Light and Dark of Crimson Peak (8-min), going over the look of the filmís settings and the use of colour. Hand Tailored Gothic (9-min) goes over the filmís amazing costumes and their designs; A Living Thing (12-min) goes over the filmís central house and the model work that went into (and like the similar section in the documentary this is the best featurette here); Beware of Crimson Peak (8-min), which is sort of a tour of the house with Hiddleston, offering a better look at the details; and then Crimson Phantoms (7-min), which focuses on the designs of the ghosts and featuring behind-the-scenes footage of del Toro directing the movement of the ghosts.

The material is interesting but in the end I still prefer the documentary Arrow put together as it covers the same material in a more interesting manner.

Arrow has also produced two new features to look at the genre aspects of the film. First Kim Newman offers an extensive 17-minute discussion on the genre elements of the film and the heavy influence of ďGothic RomanceĒ on del Toro and this film in particular. He even digs back far in time to the earliest examples of this particular genre in literature. Kat Ellinger then provides a 24-minute video essay on all the various literature works and films (with a big focus on Roger Corman and giallo horror) that can be found in this film. Theyíre both incredibly well researched and even help in making one what del Toro is trying to do here a bit more.

The same 4 deleted scenes are then found here, totally just under 5-minutes. A couple can be considered to be more extended scenes. Arrow then includes a few trailers, including the American trailer and the international trailer, along with two television spots. The disc then closes with two image galleries, both less than 20-images, with one providing production photos and the other offering behind-the-scenes photos.

Though the new material is good (especially Ellingerís and Newmanís material), content-wise I canít say there is a huge improvement over Universalís disc, but Arrow is really targeting this at collectors in their packaging. The elaborate box set comes with a handful of cards featuring the filmís key characters, along with a fold-out poster featuring the original theatrical poster on one side, and then new artwork inspired by the art work used for a number of Gothic Romance novels, featuring Edith walking away from Allerdale Hall in a foggy setting. Arrow also includes a lengthy hardbound book, found in a cardboard sleeve. The book first features an essay on the film and its genre elements, written by David Jenkins, along with another by Simon Abrams on the filmís look. Arrow also reprints an interview with del Toro from an article found in a 2015 issue of Sight & Sound. The last half of the book then features a number of designs for the filmís settings and ghosts. Itís a gorgeous looking book and itís filled to the brims with material.

So overall, the supplements are still good, helped mostly by Arrowís new features and del Toroís commentary from the old edition. But Arrowís elaborate packaging will probably be the real draw for most fans of the film.

8/10

CLOSING

I do question the edition a bit, because the upgrades over the Universal disc are minimal. The A/V is the same as far as I can see and hear, and most of the supplements were found on the Universal disc. But Arrowís new features offer an in-depth examination into the directorís various influences, and Iím still pretty wowed by the packaging. Fans will definitely get a kick out of this.




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Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca