It shouldn’t scare anyone to find out that Guillermo del Toro has thoughts on the similarities between fairy tales and horror movies. Why should it? He’s allowed to have some thoughts on the subject. After all, the director of The Shape Of Water and Pan’s Labyrinth has made a career out of horror movies with a Grimm worldview.
In this exclusive clip from the Blu-ray for Antlers, del Toro, who produced the film, elaborates on how both fairy tales and horror are branches from the same tree. “In horror, you use elements that are fanciful or poetic or almost fairy tale like,” del Toro says. “Horror and fairy tales are one single tree trunk and two different branches.” He goes on to describe Hansel And Gretel, the story of a witch that wants to eat the flesh of two kids, as “not exactly soothing.”
For fans of Antlers, the extra insights from the film’s producer might be reason enough to pick up the Blu-ray. Directed by Scott Cooper (Black Mass, Out Of The Furnace), the movie has the stateliness of one del Toro’s Oscar-winning creature features—though goes much harder on the grim realities of being stuck in a fairy tale.
The A.V. Club’s film editor A.A. Dowd left the film with a mixed opinion, praising the technical feats and heavy-hitting cast. It’s the genre-mandated metaphors that dragged the whole thing down. Dowd writes:
There’s a pretty good monster movie lurking somewhere beneath the oppressively depressive skin of Scott Cooper’s Antlers. It peeks its head out here and there—just like the monster itself, a hoofed ancestral beast the film catches only in quick glimpses, in what you could call a variation on the classic Jaws tact of getting more from less. The trouble here is endemic to the present age of creature feature: Everyone involved wants the monster to be more than a monster. Once upon a time, there was subtext in these films. It has since been swallowed whole by fearsome oversized metaphors.
Antlers will be available on VOD on December 21 and Blu-ray and DVD on January 4, 2022.