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Booth's Blog - The Hideously Beautiful Pan's Labyrinth
By Emily Booth, Saturday 12th April 2014
As you may already be aware Horror Channel is proud to announce its network premiere of Pan’s Labyrinth on Saturday 19th April at 9pm and while most horror fans and film fans in general will have already seen this (if not what the devil have you been doing?!) I wanted to take this opportunity to give you my take on this hideously beautiful film and bring del Torro fans up to speed with the director’s exciting movie news for 2015. Read on!

Pan’s Labyrinth is one of those rare films that not only tops the ‘Best Horrors of all Time’ lists but also the 'Best Films of all Time’ lists! A strange hybrid of childhood fantasy and adult horror its unusual for a film like this to even exist – you can count similar films on one hand; The Company of Wolves, The Orphanage, Spirited Away, the French film Innocence – The Dark Crystal?!! So this exceptional film makes for repeat viewings, it is a must see and a must keep.

For those who are unaware Guillermo del Torro made Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) as the ‘sister’ film to The Devil’s Backbone (2001) While his first film explored the horror of the Spanish Civil War through the eyes of a young boy and is more of a traditional ghost story, Pan’s Labyrinth shifted its focus to a young girl, and how her mind might cope with being thrown into a world of war, violence and monstrous step fathers. The result is mind blowing.

Never before have I seen such creative genius behind the monster designs of this film. If you’ve never encountered ‘The Pale Man’ before your in for one hell of a nightmarish surprise. Like a monstrous version of a child eating paedophile the image of the baggy skinned eyeless naked killer shuffling towards you will haunt you for life. Guaranteed.

There’s a very dark horrid and serious side to this film too, don’t expect a slightly more morbid version of David Bowie’s Labyrinth! The ending to this film is devastating, sad and unforgettable. There are scenes in this film involving prisoner of war torture that are among the most uncomfortable and emotional you are ever likely to see.

The man pulling the strings is of course director Guillermo del Torro, and since Pan’s Labyrinth we’ve waited in anticipation whenever he’s brought out another film. However, since Pan’s, del Torro has mainly served up Hollywood action that has never come close to the bone of his Spanish language films of earlier years.

Until now it seems! I for one am hoping the director is bored of terrible projects such as Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark (Producer) and actioners Hellboy and Pacific Rim with the directors return to uncomfortable horror in Crimson Peak (2015) a ghost story set in England which he’s describing as a return to his Spanish roots and promises to be ‘shocking, kinky, gothic and scary.’ All of those words have me wetting my pants – I’m there!

So while we may have to wait until 2015 for another Guillermo del Torro tour de force with Crimson Peak, Pan’s Labyrinth has so far, in my opinion remained his best film ever, so make a date on Saturday April 19th and watch this one off horror.


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