Online Exclusive: Guillermo del Toro Explains Why Kids are Great for Horror Movies

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Del Toro with "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark" director Troy Nixey at the New York premiere.

The filmmaker co-wrote and produced Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, out this weekend.

And if rumors are to be trusted, he’s also working on 50 other projects at the same time. In an interview with TIME’s Gilbert Cruz, del Toro sets the record straight: He, along with Chuck Hogan, has completed the third book in The Strain, a vampire trilogy, and it’ll be out in October. He’s also scouting locations for the movie Pacific Rim. But del Toro adds, “I don’t want to misconstrue it. I am [busy]. I have forsaken weekends for the longest time. But, that said, I’m not nearly as busy as the Internet would make you believe.”

On the subject of creepy kids in horror movies, he says:

Kids are a great conduit to the world of the unseen. In folklore and in fables, and by consequence in horror stories, the kids are capable of seeing things that adults cannot, and no matter what they say, because they are socially and chronologically marginalized, nobody believes them. It is an ideal situation in which to create a very resourceful character that has literally the entire world turning its back on it.

Why he admires Walt Disney:

The aspect of his life that interests me is a man that wills an entire medium into being legitimate as a storytelling tool, somebody that is a world creator … I really believe there will never be another Walt Disney … He was almost inhumanly capable of keeping track of so many things. Imagine, this man was doing parks, movies, television, toy lines, before fax and email — he was multitasking before multitasking existed.

To find out why del Toro can’t go back to Mexico, why he has a separate house from his family and why he always wears black subscribe to TIME All Access and get the full Q&A.

Frances Romero is a writer-reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @frances_romero or on Tumblr. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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