Guillermo del Toro on His Love Affair With Monsters, ‘Crimson Peak’ and Being a Fanboy

Guillermo del Toro on His Love Affair With Monsters, ‘Crimson Peak’ and Being a Fanboy

His latest big-screen endeavor, “Crimson Peak,” marks the ninth movie in which the director explores otherworldly phenomena, and incorporates a recurring element of what he calls “horrible beauty.” The opening scene of the film, which hits theaters Oct. 16, was inspired by a ghostly encounter his mother had as a child, and was undoubtedly drawn from his own fears.

Born and raised in Guadalajara by a poet mother and businessman father, del Toro had his first spectral experience at around age 12. While in a room that once belonged to his late uncle, the boy heard the older man’s voice. Though the young del Toro was already deeply interested in the supernatural, and had even told his uncle to send him a sign if there was something beyond death, he wasn’t prepared for an occurrence. “I got very scared,” he admits. “I ran away.”

Since then, the supernatural has been a favorite on-screen subject for del Toro, be it embodied by vampires (“Cronos,” “Blade II,” his current FX series “The Strain”) or other fantastical creatures (the Oscar-winning “Pan’s Labyrinth,” the “Hellboy” movies). Even in real life, he courts spirits. “He searches for haunted places,” reveals “Crimson Peak” star Jessica Chastain. “Every time he goes to a hotel, he asks for the haunted room.”

Guillermo Del Toro Variety Guillermo del Toro has always been terrified and captivated by the supernatural. This story first appeared in the September 29, 2015 issue of Variety. Subscribe today. His latest big-screen endeavor, “ Crimson Peak ,” marks the ninth movie in which the director explores otherworldly phenomena, […]