Hey movie fanatics, it’s me Slick Dungeon. I’m still working on my 2021 movie challenges and I watched one that hit two categories for me. Pan’s Labyrinth is a film set in a fantasy world as well as a movie that was made in a country I do not live in. There will be mild spoilers for the movie below so consider yourself warned.
Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark fairy tale set against the backdrop of the start of Franco’s reign after the Spanish civil war. It was a very bleak time for the country. The film focuses on Ofelia, a young girl who is thrown into a new and unsettling world when her pregnant mother marries a captain in Franco’s army. They move to the countryside where Ofelia discovers a magical land of bizarre creatures and strange events.
Unlike most fairy tale films, the creatures in this film do not look friendly and inviting. The faun of Pan’s Labyrinth is no cute faun from Narnia. These creatures can be quick to anger and one gets the impression they are capable of great violence.
Just as gripping is the story of Ofelia and her mother who are simply caught up in events they cannot control. The film is very emotional and the ending is one the viewer will certainly remember.
I have not been a great fan of Guillermo Del Toro films but I can see why this would be considered one of his best works. There is a fair amount of death and gore in this movie and there were moments that made me cringe watching it. Toro does not shy away from the darkness in this film and it’s shockingly refreshing to see a film maker do that.
My only small complaints about the film are that at times the pacing is a little slow and the motivations of the creatures in the fantasy land are not very clear. But those complaints are not enough to make this anything less than a brilliant film.