Wow. First and foremost, this is not a children's movie. Despite the fact that the main character is a girl of eleven, Pan's Labyrinth is most definitely an adult's movie. Pan's Labyrinth returns to the darker nature of fairytales that existed before Disney gave us its interpretations – Pan's Labyrinth comes from the same world that gives us wolves that eat people, bones that sing songs about how they were murdered, husbands who kill their wives and castles of people with a single sentence.
Pan's Labyrinth can be best described as a war story with a fairytale interwoven through it all – or is it a fairytale with a war story throughout? Both storylines can be considered separate, and yet they are both completely intertwined they cannot be two different creatures. Instead, they are two sides of the same coin.
Then eleven-year-old Ivana Baquero shines as Ofelia, and it's easy to see why del Toro adjusted the script to accomodate an "older” actress. And to those unfamiliar with Spanish actors, you would be hardpressed to think of Sergi López playing anything other than dark characters – let alone comedic and melodramatic ones – after his turn as the dark and sadistic Captain Vidal.
But to me, Doug Jones shines as the Faun and the Pale Man. The fact that he learned all the lines in Spanish, and still had to be dubbed over shows the commitment he had – it was his choice to make sure the mouth movements were correct. I was excited to see him in action (again), and was delighted at the result. Forget Andy Serkis – if I need a guy in a costume, I'm calling Doug Jones.
Dark, twisted and positively beautiful, Pan's Labyrinth is a must-see.