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94% Score
by Horror Fans Based on 4 Reviews
Pans Labyrinth

In Theatre : January 19, 2007
Director(s): Guillermo del Toro

Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro delivers a unique, richly imagined epic with PAN’S LABYRINTH, a gothic fairy tale set against the postwar repression of Franco’s Spain. Del Toro’s sixth and most ambitious film, PAN’S LABYRINTH combines the historic and moral themes of his acclaimed Spanish Civil War ghost story THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE with the protean visual creativity and gripping dynamics of such previous films as HELLBOY and BLADE II. Harnessing the formal characteristics of classic folklore to a 20th Century landscape, del Toro delivers a timeless tale of good and evil, bravery and sacrifice, love and loss.

PAN’S LABYRINTH unfolds through the eyes of Ofelia, a dreamy little girl who is uprooted to a rural military outpost commanded by her new stepfather. Powerless and lonely in a place of unfathomable cruelty, Ofelia lives out her own dark fable as she confronts monsters both otherworldly and human. As Ofelia, the gifted young Spanish actress Ivana Baquero holds the screen with a remarkable combination of innocence and maturity, vulnerability and strength. Baquero is joined by a superb cast that includes international stars Sergí Lopez (DIRTY PRETTY THINGS), Maribel Verdú (Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN) and Ariadna Gil (BELLE ÉPOQUE), as well as frequent del Toro collaborator Doug Jones (HELLBOY).

A lone automobile travels a narrow road in the Spanish countryside in 1944. In the back seat, a little girl named Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her mother Carmen (Ariadna Gil) are on their way to their new home. A bright and dreamy little girl, Ofelia keeps her precious books of fairy tales close at hand, despite Carmen’s gentle admonition that it may be time for her to put away these childhood favorites. It is unlikely that such pastimes will meet the approval of Ofelia’s new stepfather, Captain Vidal (Sergí Lopez). And Carmen, who is pregnant with the captain’s child, is anxious for her daughter to get along with the man to whom she has entrusted their future.

But for Ofelia, fables of good and evil, magic and danger are more than simple entertainment. They are her window onto the world, awakening her to life’s everyday possibilities and mysteries. When a dragonfly captures Ofelia’s attention during a roadside stop, it is not a gangly insect that she follows into the woods but a glistening emerald ambassador, welcoming her to its domain.

There is little sense of welcome, however, when Ofelia and her mother finally arrive at their destination, an abandoned mill in rural Spain that Vidal has converted into a military headquarters. Though Captain Vidal is there to greet them, his annoyance at their late arrival is palpable. Indeed, there is nothing in the officer’s cold, exacting demeanor to suggest that he wishes to be a parent to Ofelia, whose own father died several years ago. What Vidal wants is the son that Carmen is carrying, not a family.

On the grounds of the mill, armed soldiers are everywhere. Charged with rooting out resistance fighters in the nearby mountains, Vidal and his troops zealously pursue any and all signs of their opponents. Thus far, the rebels have managed elude capture, though fascists have solidified their power in the region. Those local people who clean and cook for the soldiers do their work quietly, speaking only when they are spoken to. Carmen, her condition already precarious, grows even sicker and is soon confined to her bed. In this tense and fearful environment, Ofelia finds a sympathetic presence in the housekeeper Mercedes (Maribel Verdú), who shows her a rambling, neglected old garden near the mill. With its winding paths, it is a lovely place to wander, though one can easily become lost there after nightfall.

That garden labyrinth will become Ofelia’s haven, a dark refuge from loneliness and sorrow. It is a place of fantastical creatures and powerful talismans, presided over by a teasing, inscrutable Faun (Doug Jones). Here, Ofelia will come to terms with the world as she now knows it – and with the monsters that live not only in her imagination, but in her daily life.

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Related Pans Labyrinth Movie Reviews
Critic reviews are fantastic and we have many great critics but our community members ARE the horror audience and it is their reviews that really tell you if a film is worth watching.

Pans Labrynth Review by RaVeN71806

This was a great movie I loved it from start to finish the only thing I didn't know was that it was all in spanish with sub titles..it may have been mentioned on the board and I wasn't paying attention to it...but back t...
Pan's Labyrinth Review by azathoth

The film is about a girl, Ofelia, whose mom gets married to a military leader in Spain during a civil war.  The Captain wants a boy child to carry on his manhood genes, and therefore only cares about impregnating hi...
Pans Labyrinth Review by alex1176

Guillermo Del Toro's dark fairy tale is a magical and glorious cinematic achievement. It is the director's best film yet. "Pan's Labyrinth" is like "Alice in Wonderland" by the way of David Lynch. It is extremely imagina...
Pans Labyrinth Review by kontradyktyon

With a very great point of view, PAN'S LABYRINTH develops a very well told story full of fantasy, terror, drama and, yes, some gore. I strongly recommend this movie, just watched it in my home city international festival...
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