🌸Michael Zak🌸’s review published on Letterboxd:
It’s been years since I’ve seen this, and my god, what a beautiful movie. This may just be one of the best, true fantasy movies ever made. The reason is you could lift the fantasy element out of the story, and the story of a post Civil War Spain where fascism spreads like a virus would still be as thrilling. You would still feel the terror and anxiety thar Ofelia feels every day, not knowing if she or her mother are safe. But damn, then you add impeccable fantasy with truly great and fleshed out lore? Holy shit. It’s mind-blowing: Id say movies like this are the reason why cinema was created. This is true wonder and light, danger and darkness, myth and reality playing on celluloid.
And I feel like that is where a lot of fantasy or sci Fi movies go wrong most of the time. Their stories can’t exist without the fantasy element. The story is too reliant on the lore, or the special effects and whatnot. It’s why those movie are usually all spectacle and no substance. Pan’s Labyrinth is the exact opposite. It’s 75% soul and 25% spectacle. The spectacle is there to add to the story, not make it. And that is something you can only get from a true master storyteller like Guillermo Del Toro.