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Ultra HD : Must Own
Ranking:
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Release Date: May 21st, 2024 Movie Release Year: 2015

Crimson Peak - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Arrow Video Limited Edition

Overview -

4K UHD Review by M. Enois Duarte
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain, Guillermo del Toro's richly detailed Gothic Romance Crimson Peak is a remarkable, elaborately atmospheric visual feast that immerses viewers in this Poesque world of the gorily macabre. Courtesy of Arrow Video, del Toro's ghoulishly detailed drama arrives in a handsome Ultra HD Limited Edition box set, featuring a reference-quality 4K HDR video, a demo-quality DTS:X mix and a terrific set of supplements. With a hard-bound book, a poster and lobby cards stored inside a lovely booklike box, the UHD edition is a Must Own collector's item for the 4K library.

OVERALL:
Must Own
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Single-Disc UHD Limited Edition Box, UHD-100 Triple-Layer Disc, Region Free
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision HDR / HDR10
Length:
119
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.85:1
Audio Formats:
English DTS:X, English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH
Special Features:
Audio Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Still Galleries, Trailers, Poster, Lobby Cards, 80-Page Book
Release Date:
May 21st, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

In my humble opinion, Guillermo del Toro has accomplished what I always believed the unthinkable. With Crimson Peak, he has created the best and possibly most accurate film adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe tale. The legendary famed American author may have not written a story from which this movie would take direct inspiration. But del Toro's dark gothic romance, starring Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, and Jessica Chastain, is what I've always imagined a Poe horror yarn to look and feel like if it were ever faithfully adapted for the silver screen, particularly "The Fall of the House of Usher" or "The Cask of Amontillado." Of course, much of the film's visual success is thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the stage production crew, costume designers, and the gorgeous photography of Dan Laustsen molding the director's bleakly tenebrous imagination into this captivating spectacle of the beautifully macabre. 

Cowritten with Matthew Robbins (Dragonslayer, *batteries not included), del Toro spins a darkly brooding fable set within the grim and somber passages of Allerdale Hall where the plot gradually unravels into a supernatural murder mystery. After being swept off her feet by the charming and urbane baron Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston), aspiring author yet unwordly Edith (Wasikowska) steadily uncovers the truth about the creepy dilapidated mansion, which is slowly descending into the red clay ground on which it was built. And as tensions between Edith and her new sister-in-law, the weirdly ominous Lucille (Chastain), grow, our hero's ghostly encounters worsen into hair-rising gory confrontations meant more to generate a morbidly eerie atmosphere and satisfy the audience's imagination than deliver shocking frights and cheap jump scares.

Ultimately, the splendidly imaginative Crimson Peak is an exercise in reimagining conventionally familiar gothic tales that simultaneously feel fresh and novel. Del Toro mixes his adoration for the otherworldly surreal with his nostalgic reverence for the classic gothic horror features of his youth. He unabashedly borrows from the atmospheric tone and mood of genre favorites like The Innocents, Rebecca, Jane Eyre, The Spiral Staircase, and The Uninvited to then fashion something original and uniquely his own, a memorable piece that satisfyingly delivers on the dark ambiance it promises from the opening moments. (Movie Rating: 4/5)

Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray 

Courtesy of Arrow Video, Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak haunts home theaters as a single-disc 4K Ultra HD Limited Edition set. Designed and textured to look and feel like a vintage hardcover book, a sturdy black & red cardboard box houses a Region Free, triple-layered UHD100 disc, which sits comfortably on a clear plastic panel beneath four double-sided lobby cards and a folded double-sided poster. A second, side-sliding box also contains an 80-page, hard-bound book featuring cast and crew information, an archival interview with the director by Mar Diestro-Dópido, concept illustrations by Guy Davis and Oscar Chichoni, Kim Newman's original 2015 film review and two analytical essays by David Jenkins and Simon Abrams. At startup, the disc goes straight to a menu screen with full-motion clips, the usual selection along the bottom and music playing in the background.

Video Review

Ranking:

Struck from a fresh remaster of the 2K digital intermediate, which was approved by the director, Del Toro's Gothic romance creeps the macabre hallways of Ultra HD garbed in a magnificent, reference-quality HEVC H.265 encode. The upscaled transfer shows stunning clarity and razor-sharp details. The individual hairs and fine stitching of the period costumes are distinct, and the small architectural features in the stage production are very well-defined. The Dolby Vision HDR presentation arrives with spot-on contrast and brightness, supplying the gothic atmosphere with brilliant, clean whites and inky rich blacks penetrating deep into the screen while allowing for better visibility within the darkest, murkiest shadows. The 1.85:1 image also displays crisp, radiant specular highlights, and a richer, more sumptuous selection of colors adds a dramatic pop to every scene, particularly the warm oranges from the candlelights and the cool eerie blues of various rooms while reds and yellows of various outfits are more vibrant and energetic. Facial complexions appear healthy and accurate to the climate with lifelike textures, exposing the pores, blemishes and tiny wrinkles in the cast. (Dolby Vision HDR Video Rating: 96/100 or 5/5)

Audio Review

Ranking:

The visuals are perfectly complemented by the same outstanding DTS:X soundtrack enjoyed on the 2016 Blu-ray release although the sound design is more of the subtle, understated variety that nicely augments the story's chilling, supernatural elements. From the sounds of ghostly voices and wind blowing all around to the creaking floorboards and fluttering butterflies of Allerdale Hall, various atmospherics persuasively and effectively pan across the overheads and throughout the room, generating an immersive hemispheric soundfield. Imaging exhibits a clean, detailed mid-range with background activity convincingly moving between the three front channels, the off-screen space and into the top front heights, creating an impressively spacious and broad half-dome soundstage. A robust, palpable low-end supplies the visuals with a weighty and ominous sense of presence, and dialogue is precise and well-prioritized with excellent intonation in the performances. Overall, this is a fantastic, highly-engaging object-based mix. (DTS:X Audio Rating: 90/100 or 4.5/5)

Special Features

Ranking:

This UHD edition arrives with the same set of supplements enjoyed in the two previous Blu-ray releases from Universal Studios and Arrow Video, but they are a fantastic collection.

  • Audio Commentary with co-writer and director Guillermo del Toro
  • The House is Alive: Constructing Crimson Peak (HD, 50 min) documents various aspects of the production with cast and crew interviews and loads of BTS footage. 
  • Violence and Beauty in Guillermo del Toro's Gothic Fairy Tale Films (HD, 24 min) is an entertaining video essay by Kat Ellinger examining the various literary, historical and film influences that inform the content of the director's filmography
  • Allerdale Hall: Four Featurettes (HD) 
    • The Gothic Corridor (4 min)
    • The Scullery (4 min)
    • The Red Clay Mines (5 min)
    • The Limbo Fog Set (6 min) 
  • Kim Newman on Crimson Peak and the Tradition of Gothic Romance (HD, 18 min) is a terrifically informative interview with the film historian about the movie and the genre in general
  • A Living Thing (HD, 12 min) takes a closer look at the craftsmanship that went into designing and constructing Allerdale Hall
  • An Interview (HD, 9 min) with del Toro talking about his influences and the production
  • Hand Tailored Gothic (HD, 9 min) focuses on the costume design informing character arcs as well as individual scenes
  • The Light and Dark of Crimson Peak (HD, 8 min) looks at the production design of both settings
  • Beware of Crimson Peak (HD, 8 min) features star Tom Hiddleston giving viewers a tour of the set
  • Crimson Phantoms (HD, 7 min) takes a closer look at the mix of practical and digital effects that went into creating the ghosts 
  • A Primer on Gothic Romance (HD, 6 min) has cast and crew share their thoughts on the Gothic Romance genre
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 5 min) contains five excised scenes
    • The Park
    • Thomas' Presentation
    • Father Consoles Daughter
    • Thomas Sees A Ghost
    • Lucille at the Piano
  • Image Galleries (HD) houses a small collection of production stills and BTS photos
  • Trailers (HD) features a pair of theatrical previews and two TV spots

Guillermo del Toro's elaborately atmospheric, richly detailed Gothic Romance Crimson Peak is essentially an Edgar Allan Poe tale faithfully and accurately brought to life on the silver screen. Starring Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain, the film is a remarkable visual feast that fully immerses viewers in this Poesque world of the gorily macabre while still delivering the creepy thrills and eerie chills in this engaging fable about love, loss and betrayal. Just shy of its tenth anniversary, Arrow Video celebrates a decade of del Toro's ghoulishly otherworldly imagination with a handsome 4K Ultra HD Limited Edition box set, featuring a gorgeous reference-quality Dolby Vision HDR presentation that is a marked improvement over its HD SDR counterparts. While porting over the same demo-quality DTS:X soundtrack and a terrific set of supplements, the UHD edition also comes with a hard-bound book, a poster and lobby cards inside a lovely book-like box, making this a Must Own collector's item for the 4K library.

All disc reviews at High-Def Digest are completed using the best consumer HD home theater products currently on the market. More about the gear used for this review.  

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