the shape of water

For centuries, writers have been transfixed by monster stories. The most common monsters are from the 20th Century films: Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, the Wolfman, King Kong. But the ancient greeks had Medusa and the Minotaur. The Nords marvelled at Fenrir and Jormungand. The Chinese spun tales of Zhulong and Juiwei Hu. Humans have always been fascinated by the terrible creatures lying around each corner and, perhaps more fascinatingly, the aspects of their humanity.

Even more of a marvel is the evolution of monsters and love stories. Often, monsters would steal young women and were seen as cruel antagonists. They even were commonly metaphors for female impurity. However, over time, the idea of monsters being romantic leads grew and has become a new trope in literature and cinema. One of the earliest, most popular examples of this is the iconic, classic tale of Beauty and The Beast.

While Beauty and The Beast is a leader in this romantic subgenre, other films such as Twilight, Warm Bodies, and The Shape of Water have also been modern staples of the “finding beauty in ugliness” love stories. Though only these few are mentioned, there are countless more tales expounding upon the topic. However, one might wonder, how does such an odd sub-genre come about?

(more…)

1