Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth ★★★½

This dark fantasy stars Ivana Banquero as a young girl in Francoist Spain who has to complete three tasks set by a mysterious faun, while her brutal Falange officer stepfather hunts down rebels in the nearby woods.

Director Guillermo del Toro creates a stunningly imaginative story that mixes the strange, uncanny fantasy world with the violent, destructive real world, and it feels incredibly original. The special effects are really well done, and help draw us into events taking place. Particularly memorable was the sequence with the Pale Man, which was incredibly creepy and disturbing.

It was very bleak and there was a lot of quite harrowing violence, with the real world taking up a lot more time than I was expecting. I’m not sure if I quite enjoyed it, but I really liked the style and ideas conveyed. Nevertheless, the film was a visually stunning and powerful dark fairy tale that shows the evils of Fascism and the wonder of imagination.

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