Top 25 Films of the 2000s – #7
#7 – Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Pan’s Labyrinth is one ridiculously hard movie to sum up for someone who hasn’t seen it. It’s been called a fairy tale for adults. The description fits, but doesn’t capture the haunting beauty of the film or the story. Rather than try to provide a summary, here’s what Amazon has to say:
Set in rural Spain, circa 1944, Ofelia and her widowed mother, Carmen, have just moved into an abandoned mill with Carmen’s new husband, Captain Vidal . Carmen is pregnant with his son. Other than her sickly mother and kindly housekeeper Mercedes, the dreamy Ofelia is on her own. Vidal, an exceedingly cruel man, couldn’t be bothered. He has informers to torture. Ofelia soon finds that an entire universe exists below the mill. Her guide is the persuasive Faun . As her mother grows weaker, Ofelia spends more and more time in the satyr’s labyrinth. He offers to help her out of her predicament if she’ll complete three treacherous tasks. Ofelia is willing to try, but does this alternate reality really exist or is it all in her head? Del Toro leaves that up to the viewer to decide in a beautiful, yet brutal twin to The Devil’s Backbone, which was also haunted by the ghost of Franco. Though it lacks the humor of Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth represents Guillermo Del Toro at the top of his considerable game.
This is not an easy movie to watch. It is riveting. It is emotional. At times, it’s terrifying. Del Toro knows how to build suspense and then twist, and twist, and twist.
This is the kind of movie that sinks its hooks in deep, and that sticks with you. Which is among the highest praise I can give to a film.