I thought I'd do a small review for Pan's Labyrinth, since I like it so much. The first thing that I'd like to say about the film is that if you're turned off by having to read subtitles then I frown upon you, because what you don't know is that after about 5 minutes of reading subtitles you feel like you actually understand what these people are saying, rather than reading it. I don't know how this is, but it was the same deal with Apocalypto, which was also a fantasic film. Surprisingly enough, you become extremely attached to these characters. The one I became most attached to was Pan, the faun who guards the Labyrinth. Speaking of which, let's get to special effects. The special effects in Pan's Labyrinth are great, especially in the fairys, which interact with the actors as if they were real. Characters like Pan and Pale Man aren't actually special effects, but people in costumes. If you've seen the film then you know that these are highly detailed costumes, that look real. So props to the film for that.
The storyline of the film is very interesting. It isn't the cliche "save the world from destruction" storyline. The story is that there was a land unground where demons and other kinds of creatures lived, and the princess was always wondering what the human world was like. One day she went to the human world and couldn't survive, so she died. She eventually came back as a different person (Ofelia) but didn't remember a thing. She was guided one day by a fairy to Pan's Labyrinth, where she met Pan, who told her all about it. He said that Ofelia had to complete 3 tasks before she could return to her kingdom, to make sure that she wasn't mortal. Sounds interesting, right? The 3 tasks are as follows: (SKIP THIS PART IF YOU DON"T WANT SPOILERS) a giant frog was living in a tree, causing it to die, so Ofelia had to feed it 3 stones to make it puke out its insides, where she found a key. The key was used for the second task: She had to use magical chalk given to her by Pan to make a door, which she would use to get into a temple-like place, which she had to get out of before the sand in an hourglass ran out. She had to use the key she found to open a slot in the wall where she found a knife. This was a simple task, but she had to screw it up. Pan told her not to touch the feast, which was on a table in front of Pale Man, a creature in a deep sleep. She, being ignorant, took a bite, causing Pale Man to awaken. This is one of my favorite parts of the film because it's scary, and dramatic. The third task was that she had to take her newly born brother to Pan, where he would use the knife she found to take his blood, opening the portal to her kingdom. She refused, and ended up getting killed by the captain (or father).
(MORE EFFING SPOILERS) I don't know what to think of the ending. On one hand, Ofelia finally got to her kingdom, but on the other hand, Mercedes and the rest of her group were moaning and crying about her death. It works out well for Ofelia, but very sadly for everyone else. I think it was a good ending, though, to an epic film, which I highly suggest checking out. 5/5 stars.