Following the Spanish Civil War, a young girl is sent to stay with her Mother’s new husband. When reality becomes too painful for her, she conjures a fantasy world that provides her with a much needed escape from the violent reality of day-to-day life.
If you’re here, chances are that I don’t need to get too terribly in depth on the collective merits of Pan’s Labyrinth as a feature film. It is truly an exceptional picture with stunning visuals and outstanding performances. Not to mention, the effects are pitch perfect and hold up brilliantly ten years after the film’s initial festival run.
The screenplay comes to life in the vein of an adult fairy tale and del Toro’s brilliance as a creator shines through as it has in nearly ever project he has helmed. If you have somehow missed seeing this Spanish language masterpiece, you must check it out.
I cannot say enough about what a phenomenal film Pan’s Labyrinth is but my primary objective with this critique is to touch on the bonus content, so allow me to get started on that. The film’s Criterion Blu-ray release features a crystal clear, director-supervised transfer of the flick, a feature-length commentary with del Toro ported over from the previous home video release, a brand new interview with del Toro and actor Doug Jones, four existing behind-the-scenes docs, an interactive director’s notebook, footage from actor Ivana Baquero’s audition, a series of animated comics, a featurette comparing storyboards to the completed version of the film, trailers, TV spots, and an essay by film critic Michael Atkinson.
The feature lineup should be reason enough for any fan of the film to pick up this latest version of Pan’s Labyrinth. Criterion has outdone themselves, yet again. It is companies like Criterion and Scream Factory! that are helping to keep the DVD and Blu-ray market alive and reminding consumers why there is still a great case for the existence of physical media. Pan’s Labyrinth is now available on Criterion DVD and Blu-ray.
WICKED RATING: 10/10
Director(s): Guillermo del Toro
Writer(s): Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López
Release: Criterion Blu-ray October 18, 2016
Studio/ Production Co: New Line, Criterion
Length: 1 Hour and 58 Minutes