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Guillermo Del Toro Celebrates The Academy’s Newfound Love Of Horror

Shape of Water

For movie fans who devote the majority of their time to horror, Oscar night has always been a good time to vent about the Academy’s clueless unwillingness to celebrate their genre of choice. Sure, the occasional horror film lands a Best Picture nod (The Exorcist, The Sixth Sense, Black Swan) or even win (The Silence of the Lambs), but the Academy seems to regard horror as an insubstantial genre that offers cheap thrills and little else. This changed in a big way with yesterday’s Oscar nominations, as two of 2017’s best horror movies also happen to be prestige pictures tackling Oscar-friendly social issues.

Discussing the many nominations for Get Out (four) and The Shape of Water (13), director Guillermo del Toro argued that this is cause for celebration among horror fans. “It’s a landmark year,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “I say this because Jordan Peele and myself, through different alchemies, have taken the genre and each brought a very different, very personal take. I have always been interested in the dark poetics of the genre. And Jordan has evidently been incredibly compelled to tell the story from a different point of view and has elevated it to a parable of social power that I think is unrivalled.”

Presumably thinking of films like The Exorcist and The Silence of the Lambs (both of which were derived from popular novels), del Toro is pleased to see the Academy recognize horror films with no underlying source material. “This is the year in which the genre takes its place on the stage without being backed by a bestselling book or a literary classic,” he explained. “Normally when the fantastic is at this stage of the conversation, it is backed up by one of these things. I think it’s beautiful that this has happened.”

An early 2017 release, Get Out has been available digitally and on home video for nearly eight months, but The Shape of Water is still in theatres. Check out the trailer below.