Starring: Ivana Baquero, Sergi Lopez, Maribel Verdu, Doug Jones
Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
Written by: Guillermo del Toro
Length: 1 hour 58 minutes
Release Date: 2007
In 1944 Spain, where a young girl’s father does unspeakable things due to a fascist regime so she retreats into a fairy tale world.
The movie takes place at the end of World War II, where some fascists don’t really like that the war has ended. They still want to control everything by rationing off food and medicine to the people of Spain while killing off the last of the resistance fighters. A Captain has holed himself up in the woods where he has receive reports there are still fighters around. He recently married and impregnated a woman so he can have an heir. She is very late into her pregnancy when he demands she come to the abandoned mill he has made his temporary home because his son should be born where his father resides. She brings along her eight-year-old daughter Ofelia.
Ofelia lives inside her books that are filled with fantasy and fairy tales. She sees a flying bug and calls it a fairy. When she arrives at the mill, she does not like the Captain, but loves the labyrinth next to it. The fairy that she saw comes to her and shows her the way to the heart of the labyrinth where she enters into a magical world filled with fauns and other magical creatures. They talk about how a princess once ruled their world, but ran away forgetting her past. They are convinced that Ofelia is their princess ruler, but she must prove herself by completing three quests.
The first quest was something that you would find in role-playing game and was hilarious to watch. I loved the parts of the movie when she was in her fairytale world since it was so beautiful and magical, even when she was in the gross roots of an ancient tree fighting with a giant toad. There is another monster who has no eyes on his face, but in the palms of his hands. It seems he can only see if he puts his palms up to his face and looks out. He was creepy, but also funny at the same time.
The other half of the movie dealt with the Captain and his brutality in fighting the resistance. He was extremely violent and he was extremely cruel. Most of his scenes were very disturbing. It made sense that his world was so very cruel to explain why Ofelia would want to escape it to the other, much prettier world, but I still wished more time had been spent in the pretty world compared to the ugly one. The fantasy part would make the movie rewatchable for me, but I’m not sure how many times I can rewatch it thinking about all the Captain scenes.