‘Pinocchio’, ‘Pacific Rim’ and Guillermo del Toro’s films with religious references

In addition to the influence he has received from mythologies, legends and fairy tales, Christian symbolism has played an important role in the filmography of Mexican director Guillermo del Toro.

Shaped by the traditional Catholic religion in Mexico, extreme notions of sin, guilt, and penance were ingrained in a young Guillermo del Toro. Over the years – and also over the movies, from mimic Y Blade II until The alley of lost souls Y the cabinet of curiositiesthe acclaimed filmmaker embraces the power of spirituality and the necessity of belief in the supernatural.

In an interview in nprthe creator of the vampire series The Strainrecognizes that “There is a spiritual dimension, to be sure, both in our world and in our existence. What I don’t like is organized religion”. In this sense, as critic Mark Kermode describes it, the Mexican filmmaker is “a divided soul,” a non-practicing Catholic interested in sacrifice and redemption.

Atheist, agnostic or believer? Beyond his personal views or beliefs, Guillermo del Toro’s films, in addition to being full of fantastic and supernatural images (such as The Pan’s Labyrinth Y the shape of water), they possess a religious symbology to emphasize the perennial battle between good and evil as a philosophical, theological and moral conflict.


‘Chronos’ (1993).

Del Toro’s first feature film, Chronosnarrates how Jesús Gris (Federico Luppi) comes across a device that grants him immortality. The “chronos” device resembles a golden beetle when fully operational and uses blood engineered through machinery operated by a small insect. Although Jesus struggles with the immorality of his new lifestyle, in the end he chooses the safety of his family and sacrifices his own life for theirs, an allusion to the biblical Jesus Christ.

Revolution Studios

‘Hellboy’ (2004).

In hellboyduring the scene of the birth of the main creature, the presence of a rosary is emphasized. Later, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) wears that same rosary, owned by his adoptive father, Professor Broom (John Hurt). In the climax of the film, Agent Myers (Rupert Evans), uses the rosary to remind him who he is: although he is destined to usher in the apocalypse, Hellboy is able to resist his fate and decides to do the right thing.

Warner Bros.

‘Titans of the Pacific’ (2013).

Idris Elba is Stacker Pentecost, a gruff but compassionate general, in Pacific Titans. We are facing a force for good in a world devastated by otherworldly giants. In the case of the Pentecost family, they are heralding a new era for the previously defunct Jaeger pilot program. The surname is not free, as it refers to the holy day of Pentecost, which is part of the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Easter and signals the end of the festive season along with the birth of a new church.

Legendary Entertainment

‘The scarlet summit’ (2015).

the scarlet summit it is full of enigmatic and attractive characters, including Edith (Mia Wasikowska), Lucille (Jessica Chastain) or Alan (Charlie Hunnam). But in a religious sense, Thomas Sharpe stands out, incarnated by Tom Hiddlestonwho has a strong association with the Apostle Thomaswho initially doubted the resurrection of Jesus, just as Sharpe doubts and later becomes convinced of his love for his new wife, in addition to the ghosts she claims to see.

netflix animation

‘Pinocchio’ (2022).

At the beginning of pinocchioIn del Toro’s latest film, Geppetto (voiced by David Bradley) finishes carving a crucifix for his hometown church. That icon continues to be a motif throughout the film; further on, the puppet leaps to the front of the church and playfully imitates the posture of Christ, not realizing that it is tiptoeing into sacrilege.

‘Pinocchio’, ‘Pacific Rim’ and Guillermo del Toro’s films with religious references