Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is officially rated R, giving an idea of what to expect from the director’s latest effort. The visionary filmmaker is back in behind the camera for his first feature-length movie since 2015’s Crimson Peak, which featured his signature mix of fantastical elements with visceral human drama. The Shape of Water, due out December 8, will be his latest visually thrilling, slightly terrifying fable.

Del Toro has yet to return to the magical heights of 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth, which won Academy Awards for cinematography, makeup, and art direction and was nominated for three others. It remains to be seen whether The Shape of Water will captivate audiences even nearly as much as Pan’s Labyrinth — but based just on the movie’s rating, it appears that the director is going for a similar kind of movie.

Del Toro announced on his Twitter account on Tuesday that the Motion Picture Association of America has officially given The Shape of Water an R rating. Perhaps to quell concerns about the movie venturing into horror territory, del Toro later clarified on Twitter that The Shape of Water is not a horror movie but a “bit of a fairy tale” and a “fable set in early 1960’s America.”

Little is known about The Shape of Water beyond its brief official synopsis. It tells the story of a Cold War-era government lab worker named Elisa (Sally Hawkins) who discovers a secret classified experiment along with her colleague Zelda (Octavia Spencer). Co-star Doug Jones, who played fantastical creatures in Pan’s Labyrinth and Crimson Peak, revealed that he plays the experiment, a “fish man” that the U.S. government is hiding from the Russians.

Jones also said that a “love story” will emerge from Elisa’s discovery of the creature. Despite del Toro’s insistence that it’s not a horror movie, The Shape of Water certainly has to contain some mature content to warrant an R rating. It could be similar to Pan’s Labyrinth in that it depicts some disturbing violence and frightening images, but not quite to the level of pure terror. Regardless of the direction that The Shape of Water takes, the news of the R rating will likely excite del Toro’s most ardent fans.

Of course, there’s a chance that The Shape of Water doesn’t offer much in the way of freshness for those already familiar with the director’s work. But del Toro still has a knack for arresting visuals with the potential for an engrossing story to go along with them. Even if The Shape of Water doesn’t reach the transcendent form that del Toro found with Pan’s Labyrinth, the director can be trusted to make a movie that’s distinctly his.

Next: Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water Gets a Synopsis & Release Date

Source: Guillermo del Toro

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