Features and Columns · Movies

‘Crimson Peak’ Finds An Equally Gorgeous Home on Blu-ray

Arrow Video’s new limited edition Blu-ray is beautiful inside and out.
Arrow Crimson Peak
By  · Published on January 21st, 2019

Guillermo del Toro‘s Crimson Peak┬áis a beautiful piece of Gothic horror/romance destined to look stunning on any home video format. It’s just that gorgeous. While it looks pretty on streaming or DVD, though, it looks best on high-definition Blu-ray. You may already own one from a few years back, but if you’re a big enough fan it might just be time to upgrade. Arrow Video’s new limited edition release is a fairly stunning affair assembled with love for the film and del Toro, and I recently had the opportunity to dig into it.

Keep reading for a look at Arrow’s new Blu-ray of Crimson Peak.

Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) welcomes the early years of the 20th century with optimism, creativity, and love for her father. All of it begins to crumble, though, when her writing ambitions are squashed by sexism and ignorance and her father dies under mysterious and grisly circumstances. She inherits his wealth just in time to share it with her new husband, Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), and soon the pair head back to his English estate to rejoin his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) in reviving the family’s clay-mining business. Edith isn’t there long before she begins to suspect her new hubby isn’t quite on the up and up. The house has a gaping hole in the roof — leaves fall in through the exposed four-story ceiling despite there being no trees nearby let alone ones approaching even one-third that height — and a basement she’s forbidden to enter. Oh, and there are also those pesky ghosts.

Del Toro’s films are never less than exquisite in their visual design and execution, and Crimson Peak is easily his most beautiful creation yet. From the costumes to the general cinematography the film is a true work of art, and the house’s appearance both inside and out is its own special triumph. Details in the architecture are surpassed only by those in the production design, and beautifully crafted ghosts and gory bloodletting only enhance the sensory appeal further. Performances are strong — Charlie Hunnam aside, I’m sorry I cannot be persuaded otherwise — and the tale builds to a satisfyingly violent conclusion.

Far less attractive, though, is the script (co-written with Matthew Robbins) which feels compelled to tell viewers everything in nearly as much detail. Oh, ghosts are reminders of the past? You don’t say. (Sadly, a character does literally say this in a movie filled with ghosts.) Every element is heightened to ridiculous degrees, and while the film’s quantification as a Gothic romance — don’t call it horror! — specifically requires certain narrative beats the result is an utterly gorgeous pastiche rather than an original creation. That’s fine if your love for the sub-genre is strong enough that you’re happy seeing a checklist made beautiful, but viewers looking for a movie with engaging characters and story turns might be disappointed. It’s ultimately a film where every frame is frame-worthy, but as gorgeous of a movie as it is the pieces are greater than the whole.

Arrow Videos’ new limited edition release of the film takes a slightly different tact in delivering something that’s both beautiful and packed with terrific content. It comes in a sharp hard case with a lid that opens to reveal its goodies. We get a double-sided fold-out poster, character lobby cards, and a killer 80-page hardback book featuring essays, sketches, and photos. The Blu-ray disc itself includes trailers, a gallery, and the following special features.

Buy Arrow’s Crimson Peak limited edition Blu-ray from Amazon.

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.