Guillermo del Toro names which of his movies you should watch first

The Shape of Water

Guillermo del Toro has directed eleven movies since making his feature-length debut on 1993’s Cronos, and he’s got a twelfth coming to Netflix next year when his dark, fantastical stop-motion spin on Pinocchio arrives, but you can generally take an educated guess as to what his output will entail.

There’s going to be sumptuous production design, detailed world-building, plenty of Gothic trappings, accomplished performances, and more than likely a role for either Ron Perlman or Doug Jones. With two Academy Awards under his belt for writing and directing The Shape of Water, del Toro may be a prestige filmmaker these days, but he’s also the guy that helmed Blade II and pitted giant robots against giant monsters in Pacific Rim.

Inevitably, the latter two didn’t make the cut when del Toro was conversing with Collider, who asked him to list which of his projects people should seek out if they’re looking to get an immediate understanding of what makes his creative mind tick.

“I would say that, either Shape of Water or Pan’s Labyrinth would be great primers of what I do. But now, Nightmare, if they could watch two I would say, Pan’s and Devil’s Backbone or Shape of Water and Nightmare Alley. Those are sort of the alpha and the omega, of what I do.”

Based on the box office numbers, most people have steadfastly failed to see Nightmare Alley, but maybe the incoming black-and-white cut can drum up some extra business, while all of the rest are easily available to source on either streaming or physical media.