Unsung Heroes Of Horror: Javier Botet And Doug Jones
Javier Botet is a Spanish actor best known for his roles as Tristana Medeiros in Rec, Edith Brennan(aka Mama) in Mama, the ghosts of Enola/Margret/Pamela in Crimson Peak, the four armed creature Myrtu in The Other Side of the Door, and the Crooked Man in The Conjuring 2.
Botet is a physical actor, often contorting his spindly body in impossible ways. His elongated features and thin frame are a result of Marfan Syndrome, a disorder of the connective tissues. Botet has used his condition to give us amazing performances within the horror genre. Unfortunately, studios have often turned his characters into CGI creations. Although the surreal movements are Botet’s, the CGI can be jarring within the context of a horror film. I would love to see this talented actor’s performances enhanced by performance makeup more often. Below is a screen test for the film Mama, showcasing the incredible movements of Javier Botet.
A former mime and contortionist, Doug Jones knows how to act with his whole body. Few can rival his level of physical acting. Because of this, he is the ideal actor for any role requiring heavy makeup. He has been in numerous blockbuster films such as the Hellboy franchise and popular tv shows such as the Flash. However, most moviegoers would not recognize Jones, because his most defining roles have been under heavy makeup.
Under the direction of filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro, who he has a long standing friendship with, Doug Jones has portrayed his most iconic roles. The first would be as Abe Sapien, a paranormal investigator who just so happens to be a merman, in the film adaptation of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. Though Doug Jones played several characters throughout the entire franchise, Abe Sapien is the standout. Abe is Hellboy’s yin to his yang, making him the perfect partner for the demonic hero.
Doug Jones would once again collaborate with Del Toro on his smaller, but critically acclaimed film, Pan’s Labyrinth. In the movie, a young girl stumbles into an ancient maze, running into a mysterious fawn (played by Doug Jones). The fawn gives the girl three tasks to complete in order to reclaim her immortality and throne. Though Jones’s performance as the fawn is spectacular, it is overshadowed by his far more sinister and grotesque role as the Pale Man. With an eyeless face, hands sporting the missing eyes, and pale skin that droops from his bones, the Pale Man is an instant terror. A combination of Del Toro’s imagination and Jones’s physical acting, the Pale Man horrified audiences as he chased the young girl who had dared to enter his realm.