Movie Review - Pan's Labyrinth
Hey look! Another fantasy movie about a young girl with a sick mother who must go into a fantasy world to make things right in the real world! Where have I seen that before? Oh, yeah, Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s Mirrormask. At the time I thought it was just a “pretty good” movie, but after watching Pan’s Labirnyth I have come to the conclusion that it was a very good movie indeed.
It’s not that Pan’s Labyrinth was a bad movie, not by any means. It just lacks the delicate intricacies that makes Mirrormask so wonderful.
For one thing, much of the tension in the viewer is built by two “cheap” ways. One, we are shown characters doing gruesome things to others or to their selves. Director Guillermo Del Toro really did his best to make his audience wince. Repeatedly!
Secondly, our heroes make deeply stupid, pointless mistakes. This really annoyed me when I was watching the movie. How could I feel bad for our hero when she did something that she was specifically warned not to do, and, while she was doing it, there was a horrible monster in the room that was clearly going to wake up by her action?
The movie is saved by the truly touching end, but even then I feel the audience was cheated. Although this point is debatable, I believe that the very last few scenes really made it obvious to the audience that there was no fantasy world. In a movie of this type, ambiguity is a better choice.
Anna's rating: C+ (Wait for the DVD, or rent Mirrormask instead)