The Mexican director of Mexican origin has earned the consecration with his latest feature film The Shape of Water. Back on a career monster, both rich and complex.
Beliefs and Universe
It is in Mexico that Guillermo Del Toro grew up, raised by his grandmother, a very strong matriarchal figure. Bathed in the Catholic faith, he quickly became a 123free movies buff thanks to his relationship with his uncle. This last makes him discover among others the cinema of terror. Early on, the boy falls in love with science fiction, gothic works, monsters and all that surrounds the occult. Convinced to have met a ghost at the untimely death of his uncle, this belief will never leave him. The young man begins to collect all sorts of images and oddities coming to feed his cabinets of curiosities. In notebooks, he draws and takes notes mixing his projects, his discoveries and his life. And it is in this that Del Toro stands out throughout his career:
First of all a specialist in special effects and an almost pictorial treatment of staging, he stands out in the creation of monstrous creatures in short films like Geometrica and his first feature film Cronos, in 1993. With this film he already embarked on actors who will be dear to him later namely Federico Luppi and Ron Perlman. Recognized in Mexico, this first success then opens the doors of Hollywood. He then realizes Mimic, but unfortunately, it is also for him the disillusionment of the Hollywood system. Its producer Weinstein directs the project to a sensational action film that will spoil Del Toro’s thinking and vision. An evil for a good, the Mexican strengthens his convictions and will become intractable thereafter.
Blade II movie: the basis of superhero movies (2002)
It is a real challenge that must be faced by Del Toro to realize the continuation of a big movie of action acclaimed by the critics and the public. Blade II, released in 2002, is experimental: it is a re-appropriation of comics books well before the mass arrival of Marvel films that we know today. The staging is crazy, the battle scenes are choreographies and the different angles chosen for the action really succeed in translating the boxes of the comics. With Wesley Snipes having knowledge of the body language of Hong Kong action movies and Ron Perlman to embody the villain, the director has managed his bet. He gained credibility and showed that he was able to make a blockbuster that does not lack originality. Blade II can, just like Matrix before him,
Hellboy: reinventing a hero (2004)
Now it’s time for him to embark on a project he has been thinking about for several years with Ron Perlman headlining: Hellboy. Hellboy gets funding from Revolution Studio, bringing it to a comfortable budget of $66 million for free movie streaming of such ambition, it remains shy. Del Toro has more than one trick in his bag and plays the thrifty: he reduces the special effects by preferring the latex and multiplies the appearances of the same monster. Imagined in 1998, the adaptation of Mike Mignola’s comics is released in theaters in 2004. Well received, it is not a big hit at the box office. His suite, finalized in 2008, is however supported by Universal who thinks to have found in Guillermo Del Toro the ideal man to revive Universal Monsters, alongside The Mummy or Van Helsing.
This second episode is probably that of maturity for the director. The geek is more comfortable in the staging and even shows boldness with a sequence shot during the introduction of the characters. As always, Del Toro succeeds in imposing his vision and asks us to go directly into a fantastic world, far removed from our contemporary reality. And unlike the majority of Marvel films, Hellboy refuses to achieve too smooth and prefers not to be limited in explosion and violent scenes. A third installment could have emerged, but as you know, it’s a reboot without Del Toro that was started. Perlman saw himself too old to embody the beast, but had finally changed his mind; It is Mignola, rather unhappy to see his work escape him who would have refused a continuation.