Horror as a Transgressive Genre

Guillermo del Toro, a prominent writer/director/producer, believes Horror is “inherently political.” He claims that “much like fairy tales, there are two facets of horror. One is pro-institution, which is the most reprehensible type of fairy tale: Don’t wander into the woods, and always obey your parents. The other type of fairy tale is completely anarchic and antiestablishment.” Del Toro strongly believes in the power of this genre, and in the messages it can send. He describes Pan’s Labyrinth, one of his most famous films, as a “parable.” He believes that the power of the film as a parable comes not from affecting specific outcomes, but from allowing it to discuss general issues. Del Toro does not see his films existing in a separate, purely-entertainment, universe, but as political, and transgressive works. He claims that “monsters are living, breathing, metaphors” and he uses them very deliberately in his films.

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