Guillermo del Toro is obsessed with monsters, everybody knows that. But aliens? Eh, not so much. In a statement perfectly consistent with his magical worldview—and his high aesthetic standards—del Toro says in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he’s totally seen a UFO in his lifetime, and that it really wasn’t all that impressive. Specifically, he was let down by the design of the craft, calling it “cliché”:
You sound like a complete lunatic, but I saw a UFO. I didn’t want to see a UFO. [LAUGHTER] It was horribly designed ... I was with a friend, we bought a six-pack. We didn’t consume it and there was a place called Cerro del Cuatro, “Mountain of the Four,” and outside, in the periphery of Guadalajara. We said, “Let’s go to the highway.” We sit down to watch the stars and have the beer and talk. We were the only guys by the freeway.
And we saw a light on the horizon going super-fast, not linear. And I said, “Honk and flash the lights.” And we started honking ... And it went from there to here — like 1,000 meters away — in less than a second and it was so crappy. It was a flying saucer. So clichéd, with lights going like this. It’s so sad. I wish I could reveal they’re not what you think they are. They are what you think they are.
Del Toro does add that the whole experience was completely terrifying—and not just because of the extraterrestrials’ trite design sensibilities. “Seriously, I have never been that scared ever in my life,” he says. Coming from the guy whose imagination birthed Pan’s Labyrinth’s Pale Man—and who has also seen a “sighing ghost,” as he told a group of film students back in November—that’s a pretty serious statement.