The New Yorker has a wonderfully in-depth profile of Mexican film-maker Guillermo del Toro, along with a guided tour of his legendary residence, 'Bleak House'. Del Toro has mentioned elsewhere that he was affected by paranormal experiences as a child, which certainly seems to have influenced his choice of movie genres - largely fantasy and horror - and his lifelong interest in these topics regularly shows in his intelligent dissection of audience and character responses to the fantastical:
Many contemporary filmmakers seem embarrassed by the goofiness of monsters, relegating them to an occasional lunge from the shadows. Del Toro wants the audience to gawk. In the Mexican film industry, he told me, “it was so expensive to create a monster that, even if it was cardboard, they showed it a lot.” For del Toro, one of the key moments of horror cinema is in “Alien,” when Harry Dean Stanton “cannot run because he is in awe of the creature when it’s lowering itself in front of him. It’s a moment of man in front of a totemic god.”
Del Toro is currently working on an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, with James Cameron producing. Definitely looking forward to seeing the results of that combination!
Previously on TDG: