Day 22 – Your Favorite Horror Film
Guillermo del Toro is probably my favorite living director. It’s an absolute shame that he wasn’t able to continue on The Hobbit or At the Mountains of Madness. As demonstrated in Pan’s Labyrinth, the guy can direct the crap out of movies that require imagination and emotional intelligence. And he can make some of the scariest monsters you’ll ever see. The Pale Man scene is among the most terrifying scenes of all time. His herky jerky motion (all praises go to Doug Jones) and extremely creepy design just get to me. But he is not the greatest villain of the film. No, that honor belongs to Sergi López’s Captain Vidal. He’s a very real person and yet so evil that his facial disfigurement seems like an inevitability. Like many other great horror films, Pan’s Labyrinth features a young child as our hero, or, in this case, heroine. Ivana Baquero plays Ofelia with a mix of wonder and fear of the fantasy world and the real world that really makes this movie tick. In a movie where a homicidal man is your new stepfather and your only source of escape is an equally dangerous fantasy land the horror comes from all sides.
- The movie is, like all other GdT films, gorgeous. His camera never really stops moving, adding to the fairy-tale nature of the story. The music, too, is super great. I’ve found myself humming the lullaby around the house. Creepy.
- I feel I must link to my super-long paper about how Pan’s Labyrinth works as a version of Homer’s Odyssey. There’s some good stuff in there.