Poor Guillermo Del Toro

Stipulating, of course, that my greatest concern is for the people of Japan who continue to be affected by the earthquake, can I say I feel kind of bad for Guillermo Del Toro, whose compromise picture after his Lovecraft blockbuster got axed, seems like it might get killed given that it’s about, um, monsters destroying Japan.

I haven’t seen all of Del Toro’s movies, but his Hellboy adaptations were seminal movies for me. Due to a very bad childhood experience, I essentially didn’t watch horror movies until I saw Hellboy for the first time. That movie, particularly the subtext about obsessive self-mutilation, hit on a lot of things that are particularly frightening to me. But I loved it. I particularly loved Liz Sherman, of course, who doesn’t resonate to that rage, and joy, and power at twenty. And I loved that Del Toro made me see, as I’d never been able to open up and see before, the beauty in things that are horrifying and damaged and awful and overwhelming. That just wasn’t an artistic experience I’d been able to manage before.

If you haven’t read the recent New Yorker profile of Del Toro, I highly, highly recommend it. The piece did a better job of making me see why I like something that I already know that I like than almost anything else I’ve read in a long time. It would be a mistake to read it as just a profile of a guy who bumbles around Hollywood, or a guy who is obsessed with making monsters. He’s someone who makes horror beautiful because he makes it real, he understands how our nightmares would move, and wake up, and fight.