Comic-Con 2014: 'Crimson Peak' Gallery & 'Pacific Rim' Oculus Rift
by Ethan Anderton
July 23, 2014
To kick off Comic-Con 2014, Legendary Pictures sent us an exclusive invite to be the first inside their booth (#3920) on the convention floor where attendees can partake in the Crimson Peak Gothic Gallery. We were lucky enough to get a personal tour from Guillermo del Toro, introducing us to some cool artifacts from the film inside an almost claustrophobic replica of the haunted house that will be featured in the horror flick slated for release in 2015. The gallery takes you behind the curtain, literally, and duplicates the organic feel of the house, as it sounds like a living, breathing thing, complete with goodies.
What's impressive is how open and haunting such a small space is made to feel. Guillermo del Toro himself designed the gallery experience with an atmospheric soundscape designed by Academy Award Winner Randy Thom, that features blowing winds, the faint flapping of butterfly and moth wings and more. The roof features broken ceiling panels revealing the night sky while a corridor is created with moonlight shining through, and if you wait long enough, you just might see a spirit run by. You can get a taste of what it's like being inside the gallery right here, and you just might here del Toro chatting away throughout:
Del Toro may be working on an adaptation of the iconic theme park ride The Haunted Mansion, but when asked if he could ever see Crimson Peak inspiring a haunted house experience on that same scaled, he said, "I would absolutely love that." He then showed us the various artifacts from the film they have on display, each playing an integral part in the film. The mention of moths and butterflies is important, as you'll see in the Vine and photos below, the dresses of two characters have been inspired by the insects, and they're crawling all over cool oddities like a bloody blade, books, spectacles, a tea set, and much more:
But that wasn't all the cool stuff at the Legendary booth, because we also got to step inside a Jaeger from Pacific Rim. Okay, well we didn't actually get to be inside a real Jaeger, but Oculus VR teamed up with Legendary and del Toro himself to create an immersive virtual reality experience that makes you feel like you're actually in a Jaeger. While the Oculus takes you through what is essentially a pre-programmed video game cinematic, you control your point-of-view, which is surrounded 360 degrees by the Jaeger cockpit, with your compatible drift partner right next you you. It's something you have to experience for yourself to get the full gist, but here's some photos from the booth:
And here's the full tour I was part of with Guillermo del Toro (via SlashFilm):
This is the kind of technology that could be the future of entertainment. Oculus immerses you in a pre-programmed setting, but let's you looks where you want to look. The company says it's too early for this to become a part of mainstream entertainment in theaters or at home, but just this experience in the Jaeger shows great potential for a motion picture or video game experience that puts the viewer or player in even more control, feeling like they're a part of the action. Within the Jaeger pilot experience, you're fighting a kaiju, and your drift partner gets pulled from the cockpit right next you, and you actually feel helpless, and not just because you're not in control of your body. It's pretty trippy.
All in all, these are the kind of cool experiences at Comic-Con that make this a once in a life time experience, and it helps that Guillermo del Toro was on hand, as excited as he ever is like a kid in a candy shop. From the Gothic Gallery, you really get a vibe of the film, and just how this haunted house is going to terrorize its inhabitants. Meanwhile, the Oculus Rift of Pacific Rim is something intriguing and cool to hold us over until Legendary and del Toro get to work on the sequel coming in 2017. Pretty cool?