Pan's Labyrinth

"What happens when make-believe believes it's real?"

Pan's Labyrinth takes place in Franco-controlled Spain around 1944. Ofelia, the main character, is traveling to a new home with her pregnant mother where she will meet her new stepfather, Captain Vidal. He is the father of the unborn child. Vidal is under Franco’s command and is assigned to deal with any rebels. Ofelia has a very active imagination and believes that fairy tales are real. Towards the beginning, she sees a stick insect and instantly believes it to be a fairy. It turns out that she is right. The creature comes to her bedroom while she is sleeping, transforms into a fairy and leads her to a labyrinth near a mill where her stepfather is stationed. There she meets a faun, whom the film is named after. Pan believes Ofelia might be the reincarnation of Princess Moana, the daughter of the king of the underworld. The faun gives her three tasks that she must complete in order to prove so. One of three tasks is particularly dangerous and involves a child-eating monster with eyes in the palms of his hand.

Adding to the danger is the revelation that her stepfather is a brutal sociopath who shows no mercy towards his captives, even if they include his own housemaid. Another obstacle is that her mother becomes more and more ill as the story progresses, and Ofelia is more concerned with saving her than completing her tasks. The three tasks will help her escape the perils of the mortal world by opening the portal to the underworld. Ofelia must decide if the sacrifices she must make are worth it to escape the clutches of her evil stepfather.

Pan’s Labyrinth is a hauntingly beautiful, inventive and decidedly adult take on the fairy tale. Although the main character is a young girl, there is enough gore and horror to make it less than kid friendly.

R
| 2006 | | 8.2/10
Cast
Studio
Director
Guillermo del Toro
Language
English
Pan's Labyrinth

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