Modern gothic maestro Guillermo del Toro ("The Devil's Backbone") weaves a fertile narrative tapestry about Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), a whimsical little girl uprooted with her ailing pregnant mother Carmen (Ariadna Gil) during Franco's postwar Spain to go live with Carmen's cruel new husband Captain Vidal (Sergi Lopez). When mother and daughter arrive at the rural abandoned mill Vidal has converted into a military headquarters for his troops, Ofelia escapes the oppressive atmosphere by exploring an old garden labyrinth where she meets a strange faun (Doug Jones) who assigns her tasks to prove her royalty as a princess. Ofelia's dark fantasies are matched by the barbaric reality around her. Inspired by C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia," "Pan's Labyrinth" is a deeply personal treatise on the defense mechanisms that children use to deal with war and death.
Rated R. 120 mins. (B+) (Three Stars)
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