Notable movies: Silent Hill, Mimic, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Lausten has had an interesting career. The Danish cinematographer has been working for two decades with what we’d now call a horror video game aesthetic (dense fog, expansive darkness that’s only punctured by flashlights or overbearing fluorescents, and the feeling that a bloody hand is always about to come from the corner of the screen). His filmography has a few standouts (Brotherhood of the Wolf, Silent Hill) but it’s mostly littered with knockoffs of his earlier work on Nightwatch.
In 2015, Laustsen will have his most distinct film in a decade: Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak. In 1997, Laustsen lensed Del Toro’s English-language debut, Mimic, utilizing the cramped space and darkness of a subway tunnel for horror (the tunnel became more cramped because cockroach-type bugs the size of a train were rolling through the Manhattan subway). Crimson Peak will also use a specific space for horror: a rotting Victorian mansion built on top of a clay mine.
I was actually lucky enough to visit the Crimson Peak set and because the house was actually built in such a way that the camera can move through multiple levels organically—without green-screening—I have a feeling that this is going to be Del Toro’s most visually expressive American film yet. Between the clay, wallpaper, and costuming, Del Toro has a specific color palette that Laustsen will be capturing. Crimson Peak also promises to be a more visceral affair, as this will be Del Toro’s first R-rated American feature since he unleashed the vaginal-mouthed vampire bloodbath of Blade II, which, in the bowels of the Internet, led one film critic to say that it was proof that “Guillermo del Toro eats pussy better than any man alive.”