6. 'Crimson Peak' (2015)
As his follow-up to “Pacific Rim,” del Toro stayed in the massive Canadian soundstage he utilized for that film and erected a creaky mansion, the setting for his great gothic romance “Crimson Peak.” Tonally, this is the film most in line with his Spanish language output -- full of schemes, secrets, and (of course) phantasmagoric entities. During its prolonged post-production period, del Toro said that he cut and re-cut the movie about six different ways and, watching the final film, it's unclear if he chose the best version of the movie. (Why, for example, does Charlie Hunnam's ghost photography not pay off in any meaningful way?)
Still, this film is haunting in a way that few films are, with an overwhelming, claustrophobic atmosphere that's practically velveteen. The performances, too, are all aces, with Mia Wasikowska as the headstrong young woman who marries a charming huckster (Tom Hiddleston) and moves into his decrepit family home with his off-putting sister (Jessica Chastain). From there, things get darker and more sinister, ultimately reaching a truly operatic climax. This is an acquired taste, for sure, more period romance than go-for-broke horror tale, and despite its occasional narrative wonkiness, is an eerie triumph.