After scoring the most Academy Awards nominations this year, The Shape of Water took home the top prize
Starring Sally Hawkins, Viola Davis, Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon, and Doug Jones, the film told the story of a mute woman (Hawkins) who worked in a government research facility and saw the abuse of a bizarre aquatic creature (Jones). Feeling like a monster her whole life due to her lack of speech, the woman strikes up a connection with the creature and plots his escape.
For those audiences who may have only checked out The Shape of Water due to its accomplishments, we know exactly which films you should check out next!
'Creature from the Black Lagoon'
Some called Shape of Water an homage, some called it a sequel, and others called it a reboot, but the connection between del Toro's film and Creature from the Black Lagoon is so strong that we wish this film could have been an actual installment into Universal's Dark Universe of films.
During an expedition into the Amazon, a group of researchers crosses paths with the remains of a bizarre animal, leading them to go further into the dense forests. Their expedition delivers them exactly what they were looking for, as they come face to face with the aquatic humanoid creature, resulting in violence.
The creature design of Shape of Water is clearly a tribute to Creature, with the film's plot feeling like an alternate continuation of the monster movie. If you liked del Toro's film, you're sure to love one of the final entries into the Universal Monsters' roster.prevnext
The Shape of Water isn't a traditional entry into the horror genre, but del Toro's background, overall premise, and terrifying performances at least classifies the film as "horror-inspired." If you prefer a much more macabre love story, Crimson Peak is sure to both delight and horrify.
In hopes of obtaining funds for his corporation, a failing businessman woos the heir to a massive empire, marrying her and bringing her back to his estate in which his sister also resides. Upon arrival, the heiress begins to notice odd behavior from her new husband and begins to learn surprising information about him, all of which he attempts to explain. The more time she spends at the estate, dubbed "Crimson Peak" for the red clay upon which it sits, the heiress must uncover the truth of her husband's history, thanks to some suggestions in a supernatural form.
One of the best gothic romances of the decade, not only does Crimson Peak offer audiences both heartwarming and heartstopping moments, but we also get to see one of Doug Jones' most frightening performances as various ghouls appearing throughout the manor.prevnext
Another Guillermo del Toro classic, Pan's Labyrinth was the first of his films to earn recognition from the Academy thanks to its blend of real-world political situations and escapist fantasies.
In hopes of avoiding her villainous stepfather, a young girl explores his massive mansion and comes across a stone labyrinth, thrusting her into her own real-life fantasy. When transported to another realm, the young girl encounters a variety of majestic creatures that test the worth of this "princess" to see if she's worthy of ruling over their kingdom.
Del Toro's earlier films had leaned more heavily into the horror genre, with Pan's Labyrinth finding the perfect balance between fantasy and reality, earning the film the Oscar for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.prevnext
Fans of Guillermo del Toro's horror films might have been left wanting more out of the film's more disturbing themes, yet for those disappointed, The Lure's tale of mermaid love might have more carnage to sink your teeth into.
After witnessing a rock band playing music on a nearby beach, two mermaids follow them on shore and head to the club where they normally perform. The mermaids, who are capable of sprouting legs, begin to serve as backup singers until their stage presence begins to overshadow the rest of the band. While one sister falls in love, the other gains a thirst for blood, putting the duo in a precarious position to either stay on land for life or head back into the ocean.
If you had hoped The Shape of Water had leaned into the absurdity of its premise, The Lure is sure to delight with its bloodshed and frequent musical breaks.prevnext
Amelie is far from being a horror film, but one of the most endearing elements of Shape of Water is its exaggerated reality, which mirrors our own world while also feeling like we're looking like something out of a fairy tale, much like the events of this 2001 romantic comedy.
As she attempts to struggle with her own loneliness, the shy waitress Amelie (Audrey Tatou) turns to those around her in hopes of bettering their lives in whatever ways she can. Whether it be setting up romantic dates for her friends or returning a box of mementos to an old man who used to live in her apartment, Amelie sees herself as a superhero, of sorts, often allowing her imagination to take charge of her daily life.
The sense of whimsy on display in Amelie is truly a delight to behold, creating a mood for the audience not regularly seen on the big screen. To watch the film and not fall in love with the main character and her charm to some degree has yet to be accomplished.prevnext
'Gods and Monsters'
One of the subplots of Shape of Water features Richard Jenkins character, who has seemingly lost his job due to his alcoholism, hoping to strike up a romance with a man who works at a nearby diner. Ian McKellen was reportedly considered for this role, possibly inspired by having previously portrayed a similar character in Gods and Monsters.
There are many similarities between Jenkins' character and McKellen's performance as director James Whale in this 1998, with Whale seemingly being ostracized by his peers due to his homosexuality and his fond reminiscing of a time in which he was accepted for his accomplishments, regardless of sexual orientation.
Drawing in yet another connection to Shape of Water, Whale is the director of classics like Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, and Bride of Frankenstein, with Gods and Monsters featuring appearances from some classic horror icons.prevnext
The strength in Sally Hawkins' performance in the lead role comes from her subtlety and vulnerability, while Michael Shannon's performance as a government agent tasked with dissecting the creature is a role of furiosity. Take Shelter offers another phenomenal Shannon performance, yet also offers a much more sympathetic character.2comments
After having recurring nightmares about a cataclysmic storm approaching, a man begins to sink all of his money into building a storm shelter for his family. The rest of the town crows curious about these premonitions he's been having, making him decide between his own reality and the one being described to him by the rest of his family.
Shannon is often considered one of the most compelling contemporary actors, but is often a film's antagonist. Take Shelter offers a powerful performance like the one featured in Shape of Water while also delivering a tale of devotion and commitment as his family struggles to understand what he's suffering through.prev