Last night I had the misfortune of viewing Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, an experience I would gladly take back. It wasn't that the film was blatantly anti Franco's Spain and laughably pro Communist. That I could live with; that I was prepared for. I was ready to look around that to see what there was to offer. Turned out to be very little. It was possibly...no, definitely the most disgustingly violent movie I have ever seen. It's been a long time indeed since I've had to turn away because I could not make myself watch. Of course fairy tales are often violent; Grimms' fairy tales are filled bloodshed. Even Hans Christian Anderson has violence in his tales. But not like this. There was no point to the violence, unless it was to say that Franco's Spain was a hell of oppression and moral depravity. There is no beauty in del Toro's work, only a freakish parody of beauty, as if he were the little boy from Anderson's The Snow Queen (a real fairy tale) who saw everything through a twisted perspective of hideousness. Twisted, perhaps, is the best word for the movie. It was a vile depiction of what might have been an adult's nightmare, but could never be an adult's fairy tale. Christianity was abandoned with a vengeance and paganism was glorified as the remnant of a long ago and maybe more peaceful era. What was left of any moral at all was a flimsy attempt at heroism. Ironically, it gave out a dimly Christian message at the end, as though the writers suddenly realized that pagan ideals are not conducive to strong moral points. In all, I was not so much disappointed as saddened. It left me thinking..."I really wish I hadn't seen that."
From Catherine_Creagan - 21.5.07