Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Movie still
This afternoon I saw Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) at the Elgin Theatre. Director Guillermo del Toro and the star, 12 year-old Ivana Baquero introduced the film.

Pan’s Labyrinth is a fabulous mix of horror, drama and fantasy. It takes place in 1944, just after the Spanish civil war. Ofélia (Ivana Baquero) and her pregnant mother go to live with the evil Captain Vidal, Ofélia’s new stepfather. Captain Vidal is only interested in his unborn son and destroying the remaining rebel forces.

Ofélia can’t stand her new stepfather and retreats into a world of fantasy and what a world it is! Guillermo del Toro has a dark and creative mind that comes to life in a frightening way on film.

The monster in the picture above might not look like much but wait until you see this film. I’ll be having nightmares tonight. I haven’t been that creeped out since I saw Nosferatu (1922) as a kid.

Guillermo del Toro is the guy that directed Blade II and Hellboy so I knew there would be some gore. During his introduction he was apologizing for the violence in the film, blaming it on a messed up childhood. If he didn’t do such an amazing job of directing he would probably be in an asylum somewhere.

His writing and direction is excellent. Everything comes together perfectly to create a highly entertaining film. The sound mix is absolutely chilling and completes the film. There are also some really nice transitions from one scene to another. This is one to see on the big screen. ***

On the way out of the theatre, I noticed this short guy with blonde hair. Vincent, Hellboy, Ron Perlman was beside me and he’s tiny! He’s going to be filming Hellboy 2 with Guillermo del Toro.

Films are rated from 1 to 4 stars.

Posted in 2006 TIFF and Movie Reviews at 9:15 PM