Guillermo del Toro on the beautiful simplicity of monster movies

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Mar 26, 2021, 8:00 AM EDT (Updated)

There’s a reason Guillermo del Toro makes such excellent monster movies, as the upcoming The Shape of Water promises to be. It turns out they’re a labor of love.

As the director explained to Variety:

“I started loving the monsters because, with the monsters, as a child, you don’t have to think. The adults that were supposed to be good with you were bad. The adults that were supposed to protect you, beat you. But the monsters, they did what they looked like [they would do]. You swim with the fucking Creature of the Black Lagoon and you’re gonna die.”

As the famed director/producer/writer told the L.A. Times, he considers monsters “essential in creating a cosmology. … I use them in a way that separates them from the horror context and put them in a fairy-tale context.”

Del Toro admitted he doesn’t watch monster movies as he used to—probably because he’s too busy making them: Besides The Shape of Water, del Toro released his adorable monster series Trollhunters last year.

As for his upcoming projects, on the big screen del Toro has been signed to direct a dark version of Pinocchio -- oh look, monsters in a fairy-tale context. And on the small screen he will be directing Carnival Row, a show about a dark futuristic city in which a detective is suspected of murder.

In all of his projects, we happily anticipate his signature sense of dread combined with his signature sense of wonder.