In a Binary World, You Can’t Have Angels Without Monsters

The moment we divided the world into opposites, we opened the gates of Hell.


Any good movie fan knows that Guillermo del Toro loves his grotesques — it rarely takes more than a glance to realize you’re watching a film from his universe. Really, though, it’s our universe, and del Toro’s fascination with monsters has little to do with making horror movies. His monsters spring from that half of the Western psyche that moves in darkness instead of light, night instead of day, and embraces evil instead of good. Our Western investment in a binary reality of opposing opposites is the bottomless well from which his monsters arise.

It might cross your mind after watching this video to wonder if Eastern cultures have monsters, since their comfort with duality would eliminate a need for the embodiment of opposites, as del Toro notes. They do

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