Written By: Matt Parks
Janurary 13, 2018

The Shape of Water is Mexican Director Guillermo Del Toro’s most recent film, and it’s arguably his best movie since Pan’s Labyrinth, the film that put him on the map.  Before you stop me, I understand that this really isn’t a horror film, but the only other horror film in the theater is the fourth Insidious movie. I’d rather review a romantic dark fantasy over another shitty horror sequel any day of the week, and this is my Hall of the Macabre so suck it up so that we can discuss GOOD movies.

The Shape of Water is a Cold War set movie that follows a mute woman who falls in love with an amphibian creature and attempts to save it from a secret laboratory that’s threatening to kill it in the name of science. The film is much more than just a love story though,
Above anything, the best word used to describe this movie is “ambitious”. Not because of the amazingly done creature effects (which I’ll get to in a minute), but because of the concept of creating a heartfelt film about a woman falling in love with The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Not only can I say that the love story is convincing, but Guillermo makes you almost fall in love with the creature the same way you’d fall in love with a character like Chewbacca.

Written By: Matt Parks
September 1, 2017

The creature has his scary moments, but you see his warmth underneath his cold-blooded exterior. The romance works so well because both characters have the inability to speak. Sally Hawkins’ Elisa is mute, and the creature is… well… a creature.  They’re both seen as lesser than people for their respective differences, and they don’t see each other as different because of it.

The creature design is amazing which you can always expect from Guillermo Del Toro, and of course Doug Jones doesn’t disappoint as the creature. The duo has proven that they can create some unsettling creatures, but Jones is great at balancing the warmth and weirdness of the creature. One particularly awesome thing to see is the way the creature blinks. I can’t explain it fully, but when you see it you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Finally, every performance in this movie was exceptional. Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, and Michael Stuhlbarg all brought their A-game to this project. Each character was handled with care so that the movie wouldn’t become the campy uncomfortable fish sex movie that I think people are assuming that this movie is. Which brings me to my final point.

This isn’t the pornographic bestiality film that so many people are mistaking it for. It’s a heartfelt romantic period piece that is quickly being dismissed as schlock based on the concept alone, and that alone is why we’re getting a fourth Insidious movie. People aren’t paying for good movies that take risks until they hit Netflix, and we end up with another installment to a franchise that never was good in the first place (Yes, I’m saying that Insidious wasn’t good. Here’s my review of the first Insidious “Stupid and boring- 5/10”. Come fight me.). So, don’t sell this movie short. In fact, don’t sell yourself short, go watch The Shape of Water. You won’t regret it.