what is this movie about??
Just got back from seeing it. OOOeee.
A little girl in 1944 is dragged with her pregnant mother to be near her psychotic father, an officer in Franco's Fascist army, who believes that "his son should be born near his father". She is drawn into a fantasy world existing nearby, populated with fauns, fairies, giant toads and a particularly hideous monster whose eyes are in his palms. It's a rich tapestry that has to be seen to be believed.
But it's dark, literally as well as figuratively, and, from the look of the subtitles, the print I saw looked as if it was struck from a positive, as if they took the easy way to get a bunch of prints out fast. I wish I had gone to see it at a theater that had been showing it since Christmas. Its cinematography is very contrasty, with sunlight and deep shadow, and it just didn't look as if it was as good looking as it should have been (and the theater may have been playing the old game of cutting down on the lamp intensity for afternoon shows). It's also very violent and gruesome, and though it shows a world through the eyes of a child, it is by no means a children's film, though brave teens might really enjoy it.
I think it's an instant classic, a fantasy for the ages, a fitting companion piece to director Guillermo del Toro's definitive ghost chiller The Devil's Backbone. It's interesting that del Toro's friiend Alfonso Cuaron at the same time came up with his own masterpiece, Children of Men, which is similarly dark and uncompromising, both pictures of hell on earth- each with a little ray of hope.