I finally got round to watching Pan’s Labyrinth over the weekend and was really glad I made the time.
It’s odd how I had pre-judged this film based on very little information, deciding it was a low budget fantasy film that would have my eyes rolling in their sockets from beginning to end. But in reality it’s so much more, with a couple of moments and character design that I don’t think will ever leave me. The guardian of the feast (not sure it had a name) is one of the most disturbing yet simple ‘creature’ designs that could populate my nightmares (were I susceptible in that way!)
But the backdrop of civil war era Spain offers a military and political context and antagonist much more brutal and terrifying than any fantasy creature ever could. Best of all, it leaves you wondering. And it seems that in certain corners of the online world the debate continues.
Unfortunately most of all it left me wondering how a director could go from this Spanish language masterpiece to the quite dreadful Pacific Rim. I suspect it all boils down to money as so many decisions do.