A gothic fairy tale set against the postwar repression of Franco’s Spain, Pan’s Labyrinth unfolds through the eyes of Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), a dreamy little girl who is uprooted to a rural military outpost commanded by her new stepfather. Powerless and lonely in a place of unfathomable cruelty, Ofelia lives out her own dark fable as she confronts monsters both otherworldly and human.
I really couldn’t determine what audience “Pan’s Labyrinth” was made for. It is a very dark fairy tale story akin to Brahms’s Fairy Tales but much darker so it wasn’t aimed at kids. It isn’t scary so it wasn’t aimed at the horror fans. OK, so we have a drama, with a child imagining a fairy tale to escape the post-war repression all spoken in Spanish with English subtitles. I just can’t imagine who this film appeals to.
It didn’t even meet the Exhibitor’s standards because they handed out “Re-Admit” cards to the entire audience. The card stated “We apologize that your show did not meet our standards.” Well let me tell you that “Pan’s Labyrinth” doesn’t meet Dove’s Standards either. It is not a family film and does not receive The Dove Seal. We suggest you search your way through the labyrinth of theatrical films currently playing and find one that meets your standards and don’t get trapped watching this one.