Guillermo del Toro is known for toeing the line between simply weird and out-and-out frightening. His Hellboy movies were more or less straightforward superhero tales that featured some creepy moments, while Pan’s Labyrinth, while it stars a child, is pretty scary throughout. But del Toro wants us to know that does NOT make horror movies — and his latest, while it just got an R rating from the MPAA, is, like his other projects, not horror.

Del Toro let everyone know the rating news for The Shape of Water via his Twitter today, and he seems fine with it.

That last tweet is reassuring, because it doesn’t sound like he’s going to try to change anything in the film to suit a more teen-friendly rating. He doesn’t explain exactly why his movie is rated R (he’s been pretty secretive about the whole project), but the MPAA is tricky. It might be the amount of bloody violence featured in this, which his movies often have. It is about experiments done on a monster during the Cold War.

He also wants to clarify one more time that The Shape of Water is not horror. Like Pan’s Labyrinth, it’s “a bit of a fairy tale,” with maybe a few scary elements thrown in.

Similarly, his most recent film, Crimson Peak, wasn’t a horror movie after. Rather than a ghost story, it was, as the movie itself said, “a story with a ghost in it,” which may have had something to do with its diminishing returns at the box office. Audiences who may have been expecting scares were turned off by the lack of creepy supernatural stuff (although there are some seriously scary sequences). Hopefully, advertising for The Shape of Water will go a little better, so moviegoers won’t go in expecting the kind of story that del Toro has said over and over again he doesn’t tell.

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