Pan’s labyrinth, or El Laberintho del fauno as it was originally called in spanish, is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican Dark Fantasy film, directed by acclaimed Mexican director Guillermo del Toro. He is well know for making films in the fantasy genre and with this life-long obsession for fantasy and monsters I can assure you that you will find your fair share of that in this movie too. He himself said in an interview “This movie deals with brutality an innocence with children in war and how they cope with this situation. They sometimes will create a fantasy world that is as real for them and sometimes just as scary or dangerous as the real world to escape their situation”. This is the most beautiful way I can put it here to describe this movie.
It is set during the tail end of the Spanish civil war and focuses on a young girl name Ofelia. She often retreats into her own fantasy world to escape reality, as her mother brings her to see her sadastic stepfather. He is the commander of a garisson stationed somewhere in rural Spain as is there to quel the last of the rebellion that is still going on in the mountains. Not long after Ofelia arrives a strange fearie visits her and tells her to come with it. The fearie shows her an old labyrinth and once she gets in, a faun greets her there telling Ofelia she is the long lost child of a king and that in order to return home she must complete three tasks. This leads her into a strange and unusual world far beyond the human realm.
This movie is just a beautiful fairytale for grown-ups and many people consider this movie to be Del Toro’s masterpiece to which I could not agree more.