This will always, always be a horror movie to me. Ofelia and her very pregnant mother come to live with their new husband/stepfather in Spain during the 1940’s. The stepfather is an army Captain who brutally hunts and murders Spaniards who had been exiled to France after the Spanish Civil War. Ofelia spends her days exploring the grounds of her new home and meeting many strange creatures, like fairies and a faun. The faun, believing that Ofelia is a mortal reincarnation of the Princess of the Underworld, gives her 3 tasks to complete so that she can become immortal and take her place as Princess Moanna. Ofelia fails to complete the tasks and the faun refuses to help her because she has displeased him. Meanwhile, Captain Vidal discovers that the spies have infiltrated his staff and proceeds to torture them. The faun does not attempt to help Ofelia again until after her mother dies in childbirth and she tries to escape with her baby brother into the labyrinth. The rebels end up taking control of the camp but not before Vidal shoots Ofelia and she takes her place with the King and Queen of the Underworld. The fairy-tale intertwining with the real, tragic events and alliterations to fascism makes this a horror movie to me. Plus, the eyeball in hands guy – what…? It is a beautiful movie with absolutely stunning effects but don’t go into this one thinking that it is a kids’ movie or you will come out distraught like myself.
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