Visionary director Guillermo del Toro creates a unique, richly imagined epic with Pan's Labyrinth, a gothic fairy tale set against the postwar era of Fanco's Spain. Pan's Labyrinth unfolds throught the eyes of Ofelia, a young girl uprooted to a remote military outpost commanded by her new stepfather. Powerless and lonely in a place of great danger, Ofelia lives out her own dark fable as she confronts monsters both otherworldly and human after she discovers a neglected labyrith behind the family home. There she meets Pan, a fantastical creature who challenges her with three tasts which he claims will reveal her true identity.
Zorro meets Lord of the Rings
- Pan's Labyrinth review by JD
This is a well crafted film with many levels. The top level is a pretty horrifying account of guerrila warfare and torture, the bottom layer a fantasy world with characters that really have to be seen to be believed. Some of the middle layers get a bit blurred but are no less interesting for it. As scary a 15 rated as you are likely to find.
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Young girl trapped in a world of fascist cruelty
- Pan's Labyrinth review by CT
Many Spanish films seem to be set in a period of Spanish Civil War. Here a young girl is trapped between that world and a more normal one of natural relationships and their care. The fantasy element she is drawn into may represent her way of resolving the conflict, but that is not without its threat, and the two meet in a final unresolvable crash. It is a magnificent film, but not for the fainthearted. But then the best fairy stories have a dark undertow. It goes with 'The Tree of Guernica', and they could be watched side-by-side.