When many people think of Guillermo del Toro and monsters, they likely think of gothic atmosphere and a very specific undercurrent of creepiness. However, they also probably recognize that there's an absolute beauty that characterizes the monsters who inhabit his worlds. That is the feeling at the core of his latest project, The Shape of Water, and the brand new red-band trailer for the upcoming film truly brings the delightfully enchanting love story to life. Check out the trailer below to see for yourself.

Not exactly the type of story one would immediately expect from a movie focusing on a Black Lagoon/Abe Sapien-esque creature, is it? The Shape of Water centers on a young mute woman named Elisa working at a secret government facility in Baltimore in 1962. Soon discovering that the facility houses a mysterious, fish-like creature from South America, Elisa eventually forms a profound bond with the supernatural being and takes it upon herself to free it from its forced captivity. What follows is a race against time to stay one step ahead of the hapless government officials who set out to recover the beast and punish whoever free it from its tank. This trailer shows plenty of dark imagery and visceral moments (hence the red-band label), but the core dynamic between Elisa and the monster remains the fundamental throughline of this story.

If that early footage of The Shape of Water is not enough to get you excited about Guillermo del Toro's upcoming film, then the sheer amount of buzz associated with the project might do the trick. A handful of critics have already had the opportunity to see the film at early screenings, and many have begun to hail it as one of the director's best pieces of work in years -- even going so far as to compare it to Pan's Labyrinth. That's high praise, to say the least, and it arguably bodes well for the film's future with other critics and mainstream audiences.

In addition to the creative vision of del Toro and the strong word of mouth, The Shape of Water has also assembled a phenomenal cast of performers to bring its charming story to life. With Godzilla actress Sally Hawkins in the lead role, the film has enlisted the acting chops of Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, and Richard Jenkins to fill out its supporting cast. Additionally, Guillermo del Toro has once again teamed up with Hellboy veteran Doug Jones (who provided the physical performance for Abe Sapien) to bring the physicality of The Shape of Water's creature to life. In fact, this almost feels like a version of that ill-fated Abe Sapien spinoff movie, doesn't it? The sheer number of the fantastic ingredients present in this movie is mind-boggling, so we will just have to wait and see how it all comes together when the film finally makes its wide theatrical debut!

The Shape of Water will debut in theaters on December 8. Until then, take a look at CinemaBlend's movie premiere guide for more information on the rest of 2017's biggest film releases and let us know what you think of The Shape of Water in the comments below!

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