Dark, dreamlike and dangerous, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth is a fairytale every bit as scary and moving as they were always meant to be. In both the real world - civil war-riven Spain - and the fantasy underworld she discovers, our heroine Ofelia must battle against the most twisted, nightmarish evils to survive. Transcendent, passionate, full of beauty and endlessly affecting, this is without question the movie of the year.
Ofelia is journeying to meet her facist stepfather, a ruthless captain chasing leftists in the hills of Northern Spain, with her painfully pregnant mother in tow. Unknown to Ofelia's stepfather, the leftists have secretly infiltrated his household. This electric intrigue elegantly ties into Ofelia's other, mythic, journey in which she follows an insect into a labyrinth and then receives quests and promises from Pan the mysterious faun. Ofelia's retreat offers no respite from the real-world danger and fear. Drenched in mud, blood, rain and tears, and met on all sides by skin-crawling creatures, she must rely on her wits and her heart to prevail.
"COMPELLING FROM FIRST TO LAST"
Del Toro's trademark visual flair gets its finest ever chance to shine, rendering the tale onscreen so perfectly that the subtitles are barely needed. Every actor - most notably, Ivana Baquero's wide-eyed Ofelia and Sergi López's vicious, glittering Captain – excels. Compelling from first frame to last, Pan's Labyrinth never misses a chance to wrench, quell or quicken your heart: this visionary project propels Del Toro into the highest league of filmmakers. There can be no excuses. See this film.