Halloween, it’s the one day of the year, when all the things that creep, slither and go bump in the night, come out from the darkness and mix with the living. It’s also a great excuse to get dressed up in a spooky costume and party with your mates.
In celebration of the season, Youtube Spaces have invited the master of horror, Guillermo del Toro to discuss creating art in his favourite genre.
But first a little bit on del Toro’s background in horror.
del Toro began his career as a makeup supervisor for film, learning his craft from the legendary Dick Smith (makeup specialist on 1973’s The Exorcist). By the early 80s he had formed his own creative make up effects company, Necropia, whilst producing and directing Mexican television.
His first feature film Cronos (1993) a creepy tale about a 450 yr-old alchemist’s device that promises eternal life, starred actor Ron Perlman in one of his first feature films. Cornos won nine Mexican Academy Awards, Best Film, Best Director, Best First Feature and Best Screenplay, it also went on to win the Grand Prix of the Semaine de la Critique at the Cannes Film Festival that year.
Four years later, del Toro made his first Hollywood feature, Mimic (1997) starring Mira Sorvino. However, the demands of the Hollywood machine, left him with a bitter taste in his mouth. So he decided to shoot his next project back in his homeland, Mexico. The Devil’s Backbone (2001) set during the Spanish civil war, tells the story of a group of boys being raised in a rundown orphanage, with the ghost of their friend trying to communicate to the boys. Backbone was the last horror film made by del Toro (if you don’t count Blade 2 & 3) until 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth, which was hailed by critics and won three American Academy Awards, for Best Art Direction, Makeup and Cinematography. You can read del Toro’s full bio, here.
del Toro has also had his hand in fiction, his zombie/vampire series of novels The Strain, has been adapted for a television series for FX, (with del Toro as Producer) and has been renewed for a second season (source). According to his IMDB page, he currently has five film in various stages of pre and post production, including a dark retelling of the fairytale Pinocchio.
Now a word from the man himself, Mr Guillermo del Toro: A Conversation on Horror and Filmmaking.
Feature image: On the set of Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) (image: Esperanto Films).