This year at the Golden Globes, a seismic change occurred when the presenters of the Best Director award called out a name: Guillermo del Toro. Toro has been consistently making films ever since his debut in 1993 and has hardly ever even allowed himself a break. Yet, short of some international love and a few technical awards here and there for his films, his is not a name that has been heard as regularly at these awards shows as it should have been.
Del Toro occupies a unique place in the current cinematic landscape. The majority of his films can essentially be boiled down to dark fairy tales and monster films. He has long housed a special love for monsters of all shapes and sizes, saying that he related more to Karloff’s Frankenstein’s monster than he ever did to any leading men. He is a torchbearer for the outcasts and freaks and he specializes in giving voice to those who have none.
Throughout his career, he has been a trailblazer and an innovator. And working as an artist, designer, producer, writer, and director on his own films has lead to nearly all of his films having a distinct sense of authorship.
With del Toro’s new film, The Shape Of Water getting some serious love from critics and academies the world over, now is the perfect time to take a look back at the director’s catalog, and see exactly where it ranks among his classics.