SDCC: Guillermo Del Toro's Antlers Gets Monstrous In A New Featurette

The wait for the new Guillermo Del Toro produced horror movie, Antlers, may be longer than expected thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the film’s [email protected] panel helped to take the edge off, if only a little. Before the panel got started in earnest with both Del Toro and director Scott Cooper, fans were treated to a behind-the-scenes featurette that dug deep into the mythology and creation of the movie’s monstrous antagonist: The mythological Wendigo.

While the most prominent representation of a “Wendigo” in pop culture may be the skeletal (and entirely metaphorical) creature in NBC’s Hannibal, the actual folklore behind the creature reaches much deeper. Born from Native American history, Wendigos are allegorical spirits that “come to reconcile what people are doing incorrectly,” First Nations consultant Chris Eyre explains in the video. Take a look at the featurette–and the complete panel–bellow.

“All this rage, all this abuse, incarnates. It’s like an invocation for this creature,” Del Toro added. “It’s truly powerful, what we do to nature, what we do to each other. It is a metaphor made flesh.”

Also featured in the clip was just a taste at some of the horror that fans can expect to see in Antlers, including some disgusting mutilated bodies, animal carcasses, and, of course, just the slightest hint of the Wendigo itself.

Antlers is based on the short story The Quiet Boy, by Channel Zero showrunner Nick Antosca–but Del Toro was quick to point out during the Q&A portion of the panel that the film will deviate from the source material considerably. “You made it quite different,” he said to director Scott Cooper. “You made it like [part of] the Scott Cooper universe.” Del Toro then likened the movie to Cooper’s 2013 drama, Out Of The Furnace, about a veteran unable to adjust to civilian life. “Which is great,” Del Toro praised.

Cooper continued by explaining that Antlers will be his first experience with supernatural stories. “I wanted to be on unfamiliar ground because I think risk is one of the great pleasures of making art, or making films. I think horror is a great way for people to confront the darkness inside them indirectly. It can provide a great way for people to escape.”

“I wouldn’t have made the film if Guillermo wasn’t producing,” Cooper said. “And I said to him at the very beginning–I want this movie to be disquieting, to be tense, and for it to be absolutely terrifying. My hope is, if people happen to see my films more than once, is that there’s something very subtle here that will come to the foreground that maybe they missed the first time around.”

Antlers will hit theaters on February 19, 2021.

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