Indeed. It was a little long and I agree with any here that the pay off for the painter’s story could easily have been achieved cutting out parts of his story. The use of the black couple going 8 t9 the shop along with the parallel story of the painter and the creature/woman romance (and the CIA operative, KGB operative is all about how isolated those who don’t conform to the standards of what is normal. The sense that they can't connect with others because of the world they live in. Like all of Del Toro's work, he managed to take something a 20th century story (sometimes its a 21st century story) and combine it with elements of the essence of fairy tales making it relevant today.