Kjersti Flaa: So, I was just wondering,
what is your personal relationship to supernatural things?
Guillermo del Toro: Well, I'm Mexican, so,
you know, like, the opening of the movie,
the ghost with the girl? That happened to my mother.
Flaa: Really? Del Toro: She told me, when I was a kid,
She said to me that her grandmother died,
and she came at night, and she smelled her perfume,
heard her clothes moving.
And she felt the bed sinking,
and she felt her embrace her from behind,
and I -- it stayed in my memory.
And I myself have had two encounters with ghosts in my life.
And they were real. I'm not a believer,
like, crazy believer. I am a skeptic.
But these two things were real. I heard ghosts.
Flaa: What happened? Can I ask?
Del Toro: I heard a murder in a room in a hotel in New Zealand.
it was a haunted hotel, and I --
I, often, when I travel, I stay in haunted hotels.
I like that. But, in New Zealand, I asked specifically for that room,
and I heard a murder in the middle of the room, with nobody there.
Flaa: That is scary. Del Toro: It was very scary, but,
I was watching "The Wire" on dvd.
I was not, like, in a seance with candles.
I was watching Stringer Bell.
And all of a sudden, I hear this murder, in the middle of the night.
And we were the only people in the hotel.
It was closed.
And, only eight people in the entire hotel.
So, it was not somebody making a joke, or in the next room.
Flaa: But you are -- so you are drawn to scary things, though.
Del Toro: Oh, yeah. Flaa: 'Cause you, kind of, go to these haunted--
Flaa: Do you like being scared? Do you like that feeling?
Del Toro: I actually don't like it while I'm being scared,
but I like the memories.
Flaa: And afterwards, when you're finding it.
Del Toro: Oh, yeah, then I like it.
Flaa: But you like scaring audiences, obviously.
Del Toro: Well, I like to creep them out, you know?
I think that, more than --
As a producer, I produce movies that are more horror,
like "Mama", like "Orphanage",
but as a director, I always try to --
do things that are not normal with the genre.
I try for you to...
kind of, look at the ghosts in a different way than normal.
They start being scary, and then little by little,
you find other aspects of the ghosts, that are different, you know.
But I try to make the humans very scary, you know?
I think humans are the scariest thing we have in the world.
Flaa: But there's -- I think there's always a fine line
between making something scary and funny.
Del Toro: Yes. Flaa: 'Cause it can get comedic.
Del Toro: Oh, there is -- there is -- Not only, there is a fine line,
I think that that line needs to be pushed to the limit.
And, it's the same -- look:
scary, funny, or sexy, are completely subjective things.
Like, somebody can say to you,
"This is the funniest thing I've ever seen,"
and you go, "No."
Or, "This is the sexiest thing I've ever seen,"
and you go, "Really?"
And the same with horror.
It's a personal boundary.
So, it -- there's never a movie that works for everyone.
Not 'The Exorcist,' not 'The Shining,' not 'Alien,'
There's always somebody that goes, "Really? I didn't find it scary."
Same with jokes, and same with the erotic material.
Flaa: But how do you know when it's just scary,
and not -- do you watch it a lot of times? Show it --
Del Toro: You can only have one audience that you trust, and that's you.
If it's scary for you, or creepy for you, then that's it.
Other than that, it's very difficult to calibrate.
You know, somebody will find it scary.
Somebody will not.
Somebody will go, "That was not scary."
Somebody will go, "It was really scary."
And they're both right.
Flaa: Thank you so much, it was a pleasure to meet you.