Since the 1980s, Guillermo Del Toro has been spooking audiences with his fantasy-horror directorial style, imaginative characters and strange yet mesmerising stories. His ten short films (eight still remain unreleased) were merely a teaser for the feature films that were yet to come; a career of independent and studio-driven fantasy projects that have promised creatively designed, empathetic explorations of the human condition time and time again since his debut feature Cronos in 1993. With an Oscar to his name and a reputation that tells of one of the most respected filmmakers in Hollywood, Del Toro is en route to becoming one of the most prominent and powerful filmmakers in the world (if he isn’t already).
In this edition of Ranked, we at The Film Magazine are taking a look at Guillermo Del Toro’s eleven feature films and ranking them from worst to best in terms of artistic merit, critical reception and audience perception.
Follow @thefilmagazine on Twitter.
11. Mimic (1997)
Del Toro’s first sci-fi/horror is a great example of his directorial style, with legendary film critic Roger Ebert writing “Del Toro takes the standard ingredients and presents them so effectively that Mimic makes the old seem new, fresh and scary”.
The film receives this number eleven spot due to its otherwise average audience and critical reception; as well as the fact that the film’s final cut was not approved by Del Toro himself, his version of the film being a re-release in 2011.
10. Blade II (2002)
For the second film in the Blade series, Del Toro was chosen to impart his directorial knowledge and vision onto the Marvel comics adaptation. A rare and underrated sequel, its visual effects were much more progressive, the casting praised and Del Toro’s key style inherently clear.
Its dark and unsettling difference to Blade makes this more of a horror film than a typical superhero film in an exciting and refreshing way, but with this release it was perhaps clear that the filmmaker was yet to truly find his feet in Hollywood.
9. Crimson Peak (2015)
One of Guillermo Del Toro’s most recognisable horror films, Crimson Peak is a take on the typical haunted house story with Del Toro’s trademark fantastical elements weaved in.
Big screen stars Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska make this dark, gothic romance – described by Mark Kermode in The Guardian as “sumptuously detailed” – relatable and modern despite its Edwardian environment.
This film ranks at number nine simply because of the quality of the rest of this director’s work, and marks the beginning of a section in this list in which the entries become increasingly more difficult to order.
Recommended for you: 10 Best Horror Movies of the 2010s