Jacob’s review published on Letterboxd:
Pan’s Labyrinth demonstrated that you could still be creative and unique film in a worn-out genre. When I first saw a sneak peak of this film, I was very confused. At a glance, it looked like one of those average films that gets forgotten after you see it. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with this as it’s remarkable stunning in every way possible . Ever since I saw The Shape of Water, I knew Guillermo del Toro was an ambitious director with a unique voice. His way of bringing practical effects and environment together was incredible. This film has it all.
I was so impressed with Ivana Baquero’s character as the little girl. She did an amazing job. All the cast members were spectacular in their roles. The main villain played by Sergi López was terrifying as he was unpredictable. Doug Jones who plays the mystical creature Fauno was spectacular. The practical effects in this film are some of the best I seen. I was memorized by how some of the creatures look. It’s so realistic even though it’s someone in a suit.
The set design is also beautifully crafted. With being at a base camp in Spain, the set is located out in the woods. It brings to lots of elegant shots throughout. Another thing great is the camera work. The camera would shift through different scene so smoothly that I don’t even notice. My final praise comes from the themes surrounding the film. I loved how it’s executed with lots of foreshadowing and build-up. My only complaint comes from some of the pacing in the middle act but nevertheless doesn’t take away the excitement of what’s going on. Definitely recommended to fans of the fairytale genre.