There are many trademarks of Guillermo del Toro’s filmmaking, but it is his fascination with the horror genre that stands out in particular. He explores the horror genre using the gothic and multiple intertextual references to literature and visual culture, and emphasizes cruelty, bodily mutilation, the sinister, and an aesthetic of the grotesque in the creation of his monstrous characters. Del Toro remarks on a DVD extra for Cronos: “[These monstrous characters] are the ultimate outcasts. They are beyond sexism, class struggle; they are beyond anything. They are truly fringe characters.” And within this director’s particular bestiary and his Hispanic trilogy (El laberinto del fauno/Pan’s Labyrinth , El espinazo del diablo/The Devil’s Backbone , and Cronos ), it is Frankenstein’s creature that is particularly emphasized, not least because of the monster’s emotional relationship with children. Although insects, science, magic, mythology, and the Catholic religion are all part of the filmic universe he elaborates in the Hispanic trilogy, the recurrent focus on childhood (including del Toro’s own childhood experiences) (Kermode, 2006a) is particularly noteworthy, particularly in the way it is used as a forceful instrument to expose the inhuman nature of the adult universe.
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- Between Fantasy and Reality: the Child’s Vision and Fairy Tales in Guillermo del Toro’s Hispanic Trilogy
Juan Carlos Vargas
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