5 of Guillermo del Toro's Favorite Surrealistically Creepy Films

Who wouldn't want to see what's on Guillermo del Toro's list of best horror/surrealist movies?

Director Guillermo del Toro is definitely no stranger to the horrific and the surreal. His films, including The Devil's Backbone, Pan's Labyrinth, and Crimson Peak, can be described as nightmarish fairytales that have his signature creepy, otherworldliness—magic, wonder, and a fleshy monstrosity with eyeballs on the palms of its hands. How del Toro comes up with his grotesque cinematic ideas? Or better yet, what kinds of films have inspired him to make his uniquely macabre brand of cinema?

In this Fandor video, we get to see five of his favorite films, all of which have that same unsettling, surrealistic horror that has made del Toro a horror icon. Check it out below:

Some of these titles are rather difficult to classify in terms of genre (as del Toro points out about Freaks), so calling them horror films, sci-fi films, or a semi-autobiographical Italian dramedies would slightly miss the mark. However, the common theme that del Toro sees in each of them is their perversity, horror elements, and the combination of "haunting and enchanting" that seems to be in the DNA of most of del Toro's work.

Here are the films listed in the video:

  • 8 1/2 (dir. Federico Fellini, 1963)
  • Brazil (dir. Terry Gilliam, 1985)
  • Nosferatu (dir. F.W. Murnau, 1922)
  • Freaks (dir. Tod Browning, 1932)
  • Eyes Without a Face (dir. Georges Franju, 1960)

Not only should all of these films make their way into your Halloween must-watch list, but they're also incredibly nutritious for all students of film. Each one is a classic in its own right, but they also represent a haunted perversity that we don't often see done well in cinema. The fact that these films have become so iconic, especially Brazil and Freaks, is a true testament to the imaginations of their incredibly talented and visionary directors.     

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Your Comment


Surrealism is one of my favorite Genre.
Thanks for this video.

October 12, 2017 at 12:26AM

Sameir Ali
Director of Photography

Eyes Without a Face is so unique. Films from the 60s are still very relatable.

October 12, 2017 at 7:39AM

Jan Becker
DP, Director, Producer

I remember Brasil as it was today. Amazing De Niro's role. The whole movie was really... weird? But it was deep as well. I liked it!

October 12, 2017 at 10:06AM