(Mexico, 2006, 118 minutes)
This film is one of two IFS Halloween treats from Mexican director and writer Guillermo del Toro [Hellboy, Pacific Rim (director), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (writer)]. Pan’s Labyrinth is a Horror/Fantasy/Drama set in 1944 fascist Spain . Ofelia, a young girl who lost her father, moves with her mother to live in a remote wooded area with her stepfather— a ruthless and cruel Spanish Fascist army captain. Ofelia loves reading fairy tales, and uses her vivid imagination to escape the trials of everyday life. She wanders through an ancient stone labyrinth and meets a faun, who tells her she is a princess of the underworld, and not human. The film is dark and moody, with an ominous undertone, and director del Toro artfully weaves the story between the magical fantasy of the underworld and the harsh, cruel reality of life during a war. The film has been called a masterpiece, and although it appears to be the retelling of a fairy tale, the story is completely the work of Guillermo del Toro. Pan’s Labyrinth won at the 2007 Academy Awards for Art Direction, Cinematography, and Makeup, and earned 7 Goya Awards, the Spanish equivalent to the Academy Awards.