Image: FoxSearchlight

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is something like a thriller crossed with a love story that’s told the way you might tell a fairytale. How is a deaf woman supposed to be with her one true love, a mysterious fish-man from an extinct race, if her beloved is being hunted by Cold War-era governmental scientists?

Oddly for a redband trailer—which is usually home to curses and violence not suitable for everyone—there’s a sense of lighthearted magic and imagination in The Shape of Water’s. There’s also a pervasive dread lurking in the shadows of each shot. Elisa (Sally Hawkins) and her creature companion (Doug Jones) have tender moments that are intercut with scenes of the shady government officials that are hunting them. Shore up whatever hope you have for Elisa and the creature’s future together.

The Shape of Water opens in theaters December 8.