Movie Design: Crimson Peak

October 19, 2015

By Tab Byrum

I’ve always been a fan of Gothic Fiction, I read all the greats as a teenager from Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights to Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster. Gothic Fiction is defined as literature that combines fiction, horror, death, and Romanticism. I’ve also enjoyed many of the versions of Gothic Fiction novels that have made it to the big screen, so I was excited this weekend for the opening of the Guillermo del Toro Gothic movie Crimson Peak.


The movie stars Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, and Jessica Chastain and starts out in America, in the film we get a great look at so much design from the turn of the century (19th to 20th), the clothes are beautiful and the homes are beautifully furnished but the brilliance of the set design comes out when we are transported to England for the latter part of the film and more specifically to Allerdale Hall.

The large Gothic mansion has all you could ever want, dark woodwork, soaring ceilings, gothic spiked arches galore and huge fireplaces, take all those elements, add ghosts and the fact the family has run out of money and you have the perfect setting for a Gothic horror movie, and it even comes with an elevator.


Entering the gates of Allerdale Hall. del Torro had the set constructed in Canada and it took over seven months to construct the Gothic mansion. ( via )

I don’t want to give away too much of the film, but there’s a lot more as to why the mansion is in the state it’s in and the story has lots of twists and turns, some are predictable, but the performances by the actors are good and Chastain’s character is beautifully evil. If you enjoy Gothic horror check our Crimson Peak, it’s not an American slasher film or a jump out of your seat horror movie, but it is a ghost story with human elements and remember that it’s by Guillermo del Toro. It’s beautiful on the big screen, the designs of the sets and costumes are gorgeous, I’m pretty sure “critics” won’t like it too much, but we enjoyed it on a Saturday, here are some images from the film to hold you over, Enjoy!!!


Tom Hiddleston’s character Thomas standing in the entrance hall of Allerdale Hall, notice the amazing staircase and huge fireplace in the background. ( via )


Jessica Chastain’s character Lucille is ready to ascend the amazing stairs in a beautiful blue gown she wears through much of the movie. She’s very striking as a brunette.  ( via )


Mia Wasikowska’s character is the aspiring American author Edith, she had beautiful clothes throughout the film.  ( via )


You can see some of the detail of the clothing here in a rainy funeral scene. ( via )


Edith inspecting the wallpaper in a room of Allerdale Hall, I read an article that said you could see the word FEAR written into some of the wallpaper used on the sets. 


A peek at a period bathroom in the mansion, the water runs red when you first turn it on, but it eventually clears up. ( via )


“What was that? Did you hear that?” There’s always lots of creaks and groans in gothic horror, here you can see the clothing as well as the decor. Beautiful Victorian furniture was used in all the homes depicted in the film as well as carpets and wall treatments. ( via )

Image one via here.

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