Some love him and some don’t, but Guillermo Del Toro for the record does make films that folks seem to talk about. With his love of magical realism, dark fantasy, and comic book flair, his films seem to grab a large cult following if not the large audience both he and producers seem to expect. Not surprisingly there is a running joke that his name is attached to everything under the sun but with his type of imagination, it’s not surprising.
His 2006 film, Pan’s Labyrinth, was one of those genre films that seemed to break the mold and get a critical response more positive than most. Being a period piece, the idea that the lead character may be an unreliable narrator, and the film’s fantastical setting could just be something within a young girl’s imagination gave it more a literary panache than the normal genre film. In some ways it was less a genre film than it was marketed as.
Dark Discussions’ co-host, Abe, chose this one as a potential topic for the podcast and our listeners agreed by voting for it in our user choice poll. Joining us is author Kristi Petersen Schoonover who, just as co-host Mike, had never seen the film until right before recording the episode. Now nine years since its release, here another take on what some say is Del Toro’s best film.