director Guillermo del Toro
It had been a decade since I saw Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth on its initial release in the theater. Like a lot of people, I’ve considered it his best film, certainly a partner to his 2001 The Devil’s Backbone.
I generally enjoy del Toro’s work, though his more commercial stuff seems thin on substance, if aesthetically pleasing and occasionally pretty fun. I follow him on social media and even got to go see his collection of stuff at the LACMA Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters.
In 2007, my kids were 6 and 3 so I didn’t take them to see Pan’s Labyrinth at the time. I’ve long thought they might enjoy it, but only just now got around to sharing it with them.
I was surprised that my daughter was sort of nonplussed about it. I’d thought she would dig it more. My son, as is his wont, fell asleep early on but wanted to watch it again.
I think it holds up pretty well. The aesthetics and story are nice, the performers solid. It’s a dark fairy tale about childhood, escapism and fantasy. The CGI doesn’t hold up as well, but it never does if you ask me. Maybe it’s not as deep or rich as it could be, but I’d still call it his most complete film.