On Saturday at 3:15 p.m. ET, we’re showing one of our favorite movies of all time, “Pan’s Labyrinth.” In the film, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro returns to the phantasmagorical cinema that defined such early fare as the uber-creepy “Cronos” and the even way more creepy “The Devil’s Backbone.” Don’t worry, when it’s in the hands of Del Toro, that creepiness is a good thing.
“Pan’s Labyrinth” is a haunting fantasy-drama set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. It details the strange and magical journey of an imaginative young girl who may be the mythical princess of an underground kingdom. But is she a princess? Or is her imagination helping her escape her reality? After all, her mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil), recently married a sadistic army captain Vidal (Sergi López) and is pregnant with the cruel military man’s child. So the shy young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) is forced to entertain herself as her recently-formed family settles into their new home nestled deep in the Spanish countryside. As Ofelia’s bed-ridden mother lies immobilized in anticipation of her forthcoming child and her high-ranking stepfather remains determined to fulfill the orders of General Francisco Franco to crush a nearby guerrilla uprising, the young girl soon ventures into an elaborate stone labyrinth presided over by the mythical faun Pan (Doug Jones). Convinced by Pan that she is the lost princess of legend and that in order to return to her underground home she must complete a trio of life-threatening tasks, Ofelia sets out to reclaim her kingdom and return to her grieving father as Vidal’s housekeeper Mercedes (Maribel Verdú) and doctor (Alex Angulo) plot secretly on the surface to keep the revolution alive.
The film is Del Toro at his best. Pairing childhood’s horrors with fantastical creatures that both thrill and enthrall. If you havne’t seen it, you must. If you have, you know you want to watch it again, so tune in at 3:15 p.m. ET on Saturday.
“Pan’s Labyrinth” airs on IFC on Saturday, Apr. 14 at 3:15 PM ET and on Monday, Apr. 16 at 3:30 AM ET