You have probably heard this already from people way more high profile than me (like, say, Stephen King), but on December 29, please drop whatever it is you are doing (unless you happen to be, say, cradling a sweet baby or a cute doggie or your freshly-Netflixed copy of Stick It) and run — run! — to your local whateverplex and purchase one over-priced ticket to see Pan’s Labyrinth. This is an amazing, beautiful movie, you guys. Easily my favorite of the year.
I should also mention, however, that they are not fucking around with that “R” rating. You might see a preview or a poster and think to yourself, “This looks like a cuddly fantasy and I am sure there’s not a scene where a guy gets his cheek cut open and then proceeds to STITCH IT BACK TOGETHER HIMSELF using a wee needle and thread.”
You would be so, so wrong. As Guillermo del Toro said at a recent screening, if you’re expecting Harry Potter, you just might have an aneurysm. (This of course led to speculation amongst my viewing companions that Guillermo might in fact be a great choice to direct one of the later, scarier Potter flicks.)
Pan, by the way, is a wondrous, kind of creepy faun character played by Doug Jones, who Guillermo previously used as Abe Sapien in Hellboy. And he’s also the Silver Surfer! He is thoroughly amazing here as both Pan and the uber-creepy Pale Man — he does all these movement-y things that make you forget there’s an actual human actor under all of the puppetry and prosthetics.
Anyway, I’m not sure if I can fully convey how awesome this movie is, but it really grabbed at my heart and guts and tear ducts in a way that no other movie has in…maybe years. Yes, I would say years!
Also, a few phrases that are sure to be used by like 99 percent of critics describing this flick:
“A fairy-tale for grownups”
“A beautiful re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland”
“Magical realism” (or, alternately, “real magic”)
That’s actually why I made up such a cheesy header. Pantastic, people!
(Addendum: I forgot to mention that Doug Jones previously freaked your shit out as one of the Gentlemen in Buffy‘s “Hush.” Eeeeeeeh!)