Guillermo del Toro is a cinematic auteur who would be quite happy directing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. You probably couldn’t say the same of Michael Haneke or Jean Luc Goddard. Auteurs are men usually desperate to Say Something, but del Toro seems to be content to say, “I [heart] Games Workshop” (that confirmed bachelors’ emporium of miniature troll figurines and multi-sided dice). He makes movies that are, unashamedly, designed for people who grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons back in the 1980s. Hellboy II: The Golden Army is a movie that seems ready made to be a board-game.
Se7en has a lot to answer for. I’ve lost track of the number of movies featuring principled serial killers juxtaposed with society-as-a-moral-toilet. This is all a step on (step down?) from Silence of the Lambs. There was goodness in Silence, and not all the world had gone to hell. But for the new generation of serial killer movies (the sons of Se7en), it’s not enough that the killers are depraved – the world around them seems to guarantee they’d turn nasty. Waz looks at the world and (bar Melissa George) sees nothing it likes. Every scene seems to take place in a morgue or a urinal. Even algebra has turned violent.