I Cannot Wait for Crimson Peak Because BRING BACK GOTHICS


Hell yes: The trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s gothic horror Crimson Peak is here. Shower me in creepy vibes and stifling neckwear and roiling Victorian sexual tension!!!!

I spy with my two little eyes: Tom Hiddleston with unfortunate hair going down on someone; Jessica Chastain with even more unfortunate hair maybe spying on said encounter; Mia Wasikowska with puffy sleeves that would put Anne of Green Gables to shame; and Charlie Hunnam in a ballroom looking very, very sad. Also some really fucking scary looking ghosts.

del Toro is drawing on a very long storytelling tradition, weaving through the Brontes and Poe and The Haunting of Hill House and Hell House and The Haunting. But personally, I’m psyched about this movie because I went through a pretty raging public library Victoria Holt phase. Once upon a time, gothic romances were the hottest thing going. Take an innocent heroine, stick her in a lonely mouldering mansion and marinate. Holt and Mary Stewart built entire careers on that shit, in the days before you could really get raunchy and so fear was the easiest way to get your protagonist’s heart pounding. (Also, everybody just rolls with the nighttime encounters and the diaphanous nightgowns when there are ghosts involved. Readers can just fill in the nipples.)

Unfortunately the subgenre has largely vanished (except as a faint thread running through steampunk stuff)—maybe because heroines are so much more empowered and heroes are no longer so remote and mysterious. That, and all available Victorian mansions/country castles have been snapped up by the wealthy, renovated and stuffed to the gills with contemporary art. Makes it hard to cultivate the same aura of menace, you know? The sad thing is, you can finally actually show the good stuff! It needn’t be completely sublimated anymore!

Which brings me to my point: I will happily preorder tickets to this movie on the hopes that I’ll get to see somebody strip Charlie Hunnam out of a cravat. Charlie, my dear, that cravat absolutely has to come off. Let me help.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin