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Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

  Tags: blood, dark fantasy, Doug Jones, drama, Guillermo del Toro, Ivana Baquero, pan's labyrinth, violent, war

Your rating: None Average: 6.7 (15 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
9

panslabyrinth.jpg
Rating #: 
9/10
Director: 
Guillermo del Toro
Runtime: 
119 minutes
Cast: 
Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, Sergi López, Ariadna Gil, Maribel Verdú, Álex Angulo, Roger Casamajor, Sebastián Haro, Mina Lira, Federico Luppi, Ivan Massagué, Chema Ruiz, Manolo Solo, Milo Taboada


I don't know how he did it, but Spanish writer/director Guillermo del Toro managed to top his previous flicks with this brutal masterpiece called Pan's Labyrinth. By viewing the trailer you may get the impression that its a dark children's fantasy, but of course that isn't the case considering it's rated-R, and after viewing the movie it's clear that it is not intended for young viewers. For one, the violence is very bloody and brutal when the scenes call for it, and the fantasy elements aren't a big part of the film. In fact, we seem to spend more time in the real world than we do in this fantasy world that the young lead actress lives in. So, the story is set during the fascist regime in 1944 rural Spain, where we revolve around a young girl named Ofelia, who traveled with her pregnant mother and top-ranking military officer step-father to the outskirts of Spain, where they've waged war against the local rebels.

Ofelia attempts to seclude herself from the post-war chaos by engulfing herself in a fantasy world of magnificent creatures, where she's given three tasks to accomplish in order to become princess of the "underworld" and reign with her true mother and father. These tasks include an encounter with a giant toad under an old tree and retrieving a dagger from "The Pale Man" whose eyeballs are on his hands. The movie brought back memories of children's films from the 80's involving a young child who goes through adventurous tasks in order to become part of or save a mystical world. Pan's Labyrinth pretty much delivers a similar theme, but also gives us a more realistic tone and brutality that would only be seen in the real world. This masterfully-directed film successfully blends fantasy, horror, and realism to offer us an original and engrossing cinematic masterpiece that'll be remembered from years to come. The film hits theaters in the US on December 29th, so mark your calendars.

Director Guillermo del Toro delivers us a masterpiece of dark fantasy and post-war drama that only he can do. This is definitely a film that you absolutely cannot miss.

Posted on July 2, 2009 - 4:31am | FrighT MasteR

 

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