I saw Pan’s Labyrinth tonight with Alex and Roy. It got an 8.5 on IMDB so we figured it’d be a good movie to watch. Thing is, the description mentioned that it was a movie about a girl living in her own fairytale world to cope with the horrors of World War 2 happening around her. This is factually correct but implies that it’s a happy shiny bright fantasy tale you could watch with your kids – occasionally impinged on by a little WW2 action here and there, but basically something similar to Mirrormask or Chronicles of Narnia. Not quite.
The real world featured in the movie is inhabited by Ofelia, a young child. Her mother married a fascist captain in the army and this man is personally responsible for almost all scenes of death, executions and torture in the movie. You’d expect the girl to escape to a fairytale world that is happy and shiny… But it’s not. In her fantasy world she is a long-lost princess of an underworld who has to perform three gruesome tasks to return to her own domain. And it’s far from shiny or happy. It’s beautifully rendered though, some of the best fantasy graphic work I’ve ever seen. Especially Faun, her guide through these tasks, is great to see move around the screen.
So I’d say it’s a good movie, maybe not worth quite an 8.5 but still definitely worth watching.