I cannot remember the correct order in which I watched del Toro’s movies, but I think the first one was his horror masterpiece El espinazo del diablo. Hellboy, Cronos and Mimic were all relatively different movies, but they all featured a very unique visual approach along with fairly interesting main story. Sometimes the balance was off, but each and every movie was really good. You would think that Pan’s Labyrinth is finally that big-budget blockbuster that we have all been waiting, but you would be wrong. Partially wrong, because the budget was $20 million and the movie turned out fantastic. With its eerie atmosphere, creepy visuals and a very intense main story, this is one of those movies that you will keep coming back to. Perhaps simply because some of the scenes are so impactful and memorable that you will remember them for a long time, but this is definite proof that Guillermo’s time is coming. He’s one of those young and talented directors that refuse to be part of the main Hollywood structure and this gives him a unique insight into movie-making. I mean the balls to dare to create a fantasy story set during the second world war with so many moving elements and to make easily understandable…

El laberinto del fauno [2006] Movie Review Recommendation PosterIt is the year of our lord Satan 1944 and his plans are coming along nicely. The entire Europe has been ravaged by war and Spain is no exception. There, Franco’s soldiers are hunting republican rebels, trying to cement his place on the throne. In all this chaos, a young girl called Ofelia and her pregnant, single mother Carmen, have finally arrived at their destination. Carmen introduces Captain Vidal, one of Franco’s strongman to Ofelia as her new stepfather and the two settle on his large estate. Soon they will discover that the mansion is hiding many secrets…

As you probably guessed, cinematography here is simply beautiful. Those long shots of the woods and all the pastel colors form this fantasy environment that you just want to escape to, no matter what happens to be living there. It’s amazing what you can do with $20 million and a skilled director. Pan’s Labyrinth has a structure of a standard issue fairy tale although it features some pretty strong visuals. We have to remember that all fairy tales actually do have that element of horror within them. del Toro blurs the line between the fairy tale and the reality, especially when that reality is Second World War and excels at creating this vibrant and intense atmosphere where you feel that something is real although it could not possibly be. So many original ideas and special effects have been used that you simply must check out this movie, enjoy.

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Cast: Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Doug Jones

Fun Stuff: After the first week, because so many parents brought small children to the film, movie theaters in Mexico placed signs on the posters warning about graphic violence.

Rating:

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0457430/

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