Laberinto del Fauno, El (2006, SPA/MEX) C-119m. *** D: Guillermo del Toro. Starring Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Doug Jones, Ariadna Gil, Alex Angulo, Federico Luppi. Outstanding fantasy drama set in 1944 Spain, where there is still resistance by guerrilla groups, even after the Fascists won the Civil War. An adolescent girl is brought to a Fascist camp along with her sick, pregnant mother, who is now married to the camp's general, ultra-sadistic López. Amidst these troubles, the girl enters a fantasy world, where a Pan (or Faun), a spirit of the forest, tells her she is a long-lost princess, whose soul will be immortal if she passes three tests. Excellent combination of war and fantasy/horror themes (as done before by del Toro in EL ESPINAZO DEL DIABLO in 2001). Compelling and intense, superbly written by the director, a must-see. Oscar-winning cinematography by Guillermo Navarro. English title: PAN'S LABYRINTH.

© Ron Altman