Kevin Andrew Murphy January 17th, 2007
Terry Pratchett has this bit in Hogfather about how all stories begin and end with blood, at least until they get all sugarfrosted with stuff that certain parents want to say “children want.”Â Well, as much as I liked Hogfather, both the book and the recent SkyOne miniseries, I have to say that not only does Pan’s Labyrinth both begin and end with blood, but there’s a marvelous amount of blood throughout it.Â And oh, was it refreshing.
It was also simply wonderful to watch a movie where the magic was used in service of the story, not trying to sell any variety of cute tie-in toy or get on the cover of Fangoria.
What is it?Â It’s a movie by Guillermo del Toro (who I nearly fainted on top of a few years ago at Comicon when the air conditioners gave out), in Spanish with subtitles, currently out in certain cities but going out everywhere Friday.Â Last Comicon, I had to crawl through a giant tree and stick my hand in slime to get a golden key as a movie promo, and this is the main character, Ofelia’s, first task as the fairytale unfolds.Â Except her key is cooler, she dodges bugs and toads rather than fanboys, and this all happens against the backdrop of Franco’s Spain rather than Comicon.
I don’t want to spoil anything except to say Go.Â Go now.Â Go if you’ve ever loved fairytales, especially the dark ones where wicked stepfathers are actively evil, monsters actually eat children, and virtue is its own reward.