Guillermo del Toro’s Most Misunderstood Thriller is Getting the 4K Treatment

With Crimson Peak’s 10-year anniversary around the corner, del Toro is revisiting the gothic romance.

Mia Wasikowska in Crimson Peak
Universal Pictures

The work of Guillermo del Toro is never that hard to categorize. The director loves a genre mash-up, but for the most part, his films skew close to one genre or another. Pacific Rim is a love letter to kaiju and gundam, Pan’s Labyrinth is a good old-fashioned fairytale. Crimson Peak is similarly assured, drawing inspiration from romantic novels like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights — but unlike the other films in del Toro’s oeuvre, few really understood it when it first hit theaters in 2015.

It doesn’t help that Crimson Peak’s marketing seemed confused by the true nature of the film. Universal Pictures touted it as a horror story, and while it does crib from Dracula and Frankenstein along with the works of the Brontë sisters, it’s scares are few and far between. That disconnect ultimately set the film up for failure. Though it was one of several films and shows that contributed to an unlikely gothic renaissance in the 2010s, it was still written off by horror fans. Without the attention of its intended audience, Crimson Peak was doomed to drift under the radar. It’s one of del Toro’s least-discussed films as a result, despite being his most interesting creative pivot.

Fortunately, there’s still a chance for the film to get a second life. Del Toro has been revisiting Crimson Peak as it heads for its 10-year (!) anniversary, and the director is gearing up to rerelease the film in 4K.

Crimson Peak is del Toro’s most meticulously-crafted — yet misunderstood — project. Can a 4K remaster give it the reappraisal it deserves?

Universal Pictures

Del Toro recently teased 4K upgrades for four of his older films. “I am done with the color timing of 3 out of the 4,” he announced via Twitter, and revealed that each would be released within “the next year or so.” Crimson Peak will be the first to get the 4K treatment, followed by del Toro’s debut film, Cronos, and Blade II. His sophomore feature, Mimic, will be the last of these new editions.

Though Crimson Peak is the most recent release in the upcoming collection, and there’s a sense that it’s still pretty close to del Toro’s heart. He called the film “the most carefully designed movie” he’d ever done at the time: he spent half a year retooling its color correction and its edit before it officially premiered. He’s also been outspoken about its role as a gothic romance; hopefully that take will finally stick when Crimson Peak is re-released. It’s certainly worthy of a reappraisal — and with a higher-quality version of the film on the way, there’s no better time to revisit it.

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