What Guillermo del Toro Learned from ‘The Mansion of Madness’

By  · Published on September 15th, 2017

Latin horror dealt with turmoil in a uniquely transformative fashion.

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water won top prize, the Golden Lion, at the 2017 Venice Film Festival which will likely lead to a longer awards push for the film. Its romance, across lines some may deem monstrous, is a hopeful culmination of all del Toro’s filmography. His creatures are not evil in and of themselves. They are helpful explanations and manifestations of humanity’s crimes and sins, which, given sentience, deserve pity rather than damnation.

To better understand this impulse, one must understand a bit of history. Looking primarily at the influences of Crimson Peak, editor Scout Tafoya created a striking video essay documenting the correlation between Spanish style and fascism’s reign.

Specifically, he looks at Juan López Moctezuma’s The Mansion of Madness. Its pageantry, metaphor, and wicked beauty drench del Toro’s films and Tafoya’s breakdown is one of the most informative I’ve seen.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).