As our definition of the “uncanny” and “fantastic” have changed, it’s important, I think, to consider the changes that the world has gone through in the time that the genre has matured, and the new mediums that have sprung up and reacted to the old colonial order. The magical realist mode is not merely post-modern anymore, but is itself beginning to draw on post-modern art for its sources of colonial critique. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, I believe, is a perfect representative of an evolved magical realism, one that takes into account new signs and symbols created by post-war pop culture, but that doesn’t stray from the essential critique of colonialism and chauvinism inherent to the genre.
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