In Review: The Shape of Water (VOD)

At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.

Synopsis: At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.

Review: Much like most people. I heard many great things about ‘The Shape Of Water’ earlier in the year but was unable to check it out at the cinema due to life getting in the way. Then when it won four academy awards one of which was for director Guillermo del Toro I took note and made a point to try and see it once it landed on Amazon as a rental and I’m glad I did.

The film is very much a modern fable insofar as it deals with racism and people in general who are marginalized from society for whatever reason. In fact the main character. A deaf lady called Elisa is somewhat that character that I think most people will relate too.

The film’s story sees Elisa making friends with an amphibious creature, which has been taken from its natural habitat by the US Government for experimentation. They hope to learn about its biological makeup in hopes that it clues them into figuring out how to simulate some of the creatures abilities to breathe both in and out of water for the astronauts. But the scientific stuff is led by the sadistic Richard Strickland who takes great delight in torturing the poor creature.

When Elisa sees that the creature is being tortured she reaches out to it and over a period of time she befriends it and sneaks into the lab when no one is there to share food and talk with it.

This is a wonderful film with some great performances. Doug Jones is awesome as the creature and brings a lot of physicality to the role and Sally Hawkins is absolutely brilliant as Elisa. Rounding out the cast are Michael ShannonRichard Jenkins, and the wonderful Octavia Spencer who plays Elisa’s workmate and friend Zelda.

‘The Shape Of Water’ is full over really nice moments. There is a scene near the beginning where Elisa is home with her friend Giles (Richard Jenkins). They are watching television and switch channels to a musical and the two share a little fun dance by moving their feet to the music while sitting down.  There’s a dream scene later on in the film where Elisa dreams that she is dancing with the creature.

Overall. This is a fantastic film, which is very deserving of the awards that it earned. It’s a film that manages to explore both the light and dark side of human nature and provides a few light comedic moments along the way. If you haven’t seen it yet. Then we highly recommend that you make an effort to do so.

The Shape Of Water
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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