If you’re looking for a refreshing horror experience, I give you Cronos, Guillermo del Toro’s first movie. He’s the guy behind popular Shape of Water although I much more prefer his earlier movies. Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone, Hellboy, and Mimic, just to name a few. This is a Mexican production and was their submission for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 66th Academy Awards. Perfectly balancing horror and drama, it showcased del Toro as a very talented director with a bright future.
Cronos is a movie full of mystery and surprising twists. This is why I will keep the summary short and sweet. I want you to have the same experience I did. Sure, the movie is a bit rough around the edges but it oozes creativity. And it features ideas we haven’t seen before. This makes it perfect for all of those who have already seen most of the good horror movies and are looking for hidden gems. And Cronos is a diamond in the rough.
While the above-mentioned Del Toro’s movies are technically horror movies, this one is the most fucked up of them all. I mean we open with a man hanging upside down while his blood is trickling down into several pans. And the rawness of the indie production makes the scene seem even more jarring. I also love the fact that the protagonist is not some young guy but an older owner of the antique shop masterfully played by Federico Luppi.
It is the year of our Lord Satan 1535 and one man is on the verge of making something special. Something that will change everything for him. We fast-forward to the present time and a strange statue ends up in an old antique shop. The owner accidentally discovers the secret compartment in the statue that reveals a strange device. Small, golden, and made with impeccable craftsmanship, it’s about to change his life forever.
As you might have guessed, directing is phenomenal along with camerawork. The same goes for the acting, only I think Ron Perlman overacted a bit. The first thing you will notice when watching Cronos is attention to detail. Everything looks so real and tangible like we are secretly watching real people and places. This means that the pacing is going to be a bit slower so be ready for it. Finally, if you can’t get enough of small devices that can be dangerous, you already know that your next movie is Hellraiser. Also, you might want to take a look at our selection of Occult Movies.
Fun Facts: Guillermo del Toro met with Universal in late ’93, where they told him they wanted to buy the rights to this film so they could remake it. del Toro’s response was “Who wants to see Jack Lemmon lick blood off a bathroom floor?”.