Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth ★★★★★

Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth is one of the most singular genre mashups I've ever seen. A dark and twisted fairytale fantasy mixed with a harsh horrors of war reality. It also happens to be utterly beautiful. 

Pan's Labyrinth tells the story of Ofelia. A young girl, who along with her mother, has come to live with her new fascist army captain Stepfather Vidal. Ofelia arrives with a bundle of fairytale books. She is soon whisked away to a world of fairytale imaginings to escape the horror of her new life.

In the fantasy world she encounters a wonderful array of creatures and characters. From the faun who acts as her guide of the magical realm to the scary Paleman that has its eyes located in the palms of its hands. 

Although some of the creatures are scary none compare to the real monster, her new Stepfather. Sergi López's performance is that of nightmares. Brutal torturer and callous husband. 

Fantasy and reality eventually collide in an incredibly impactful but ultimately perfect way. The parting shot spoken to Vidal is simply brilliant.

Powerful, moving and memorable. It's a film that stays with you. I've not seen it for 7-8 years but every scene has stayed with me. Del Toro will do well to top this film during his career because this is a masterpiece.

Steve liked these reviews