The Macksey Journal


Classic monster fiction such as Frankenstein and Dracula portray monsters as creatures that can never be fully accepted into the world that surrounds them, despite their continuous efforts to enter society. As early as the publication of Frankenstein, there is an emphasis placed on the sympathetic plight of the Monster, who longs for a world that can accept him. Ultimately by the end of these famous novels and later films, most of these monsters are defeated. Films especially in the 21st century have reinvented and revisited these classic monsters in a new light, in a way that addresses the inherent liminal nature of the monster. The films of Guillermo del Toro, such as "Hellboy" and "The Shape of Water" demonstrate how there is often a connection between the monster and the outcast, such as the orphan, the differently abled, and the unfamiliar to overall society. By having his protagonists recognize that the differences between themselves and these often frightening creatures are in fact minimal, del Toro's films allow for a new and beautiful interpretation of historically feared creatures to come to light. This paper suggests that with the films of Guillermo del Toro and more diverse voices in the filmmaking world in general, monsters have changed from something used to espouse xenophobic or other discriminatory beliefs to ones that can be understood and sympathized with.