Guillermo del Toro made an auspicious, audacious feature debut with Cronos, a highly unorthodox tale about the seductiveness of the idea of immortality. Cronos is a visually rich and emotionally captivating dark fantasy.
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Probably the sweetest and saddest vampire movie I've ever seen. So subtle it took a little while for the fact its a vampire movie to register with me. The randomness (mostly from Ron Perlman's character) also carried a lot of weight for me. Great performances and beautiful imagery.
Saw this for a second time recently. Love how indicative of Del Toro's future films it is. There's a lot of signature touches: the countless gears a clock mechanisms, the juxtaposition of green and gold colors, and of course the child character and her relationship with her grandfather seems like a precursor to Carlos in The Devil's Backbone and Ofelia in Pan's Labyrinth.
Del Toro would end up with tighter, better developed material, but this shows how much of his sensibility had already formed by his first feature film: a mixture of fairy tales, Spanish Surrealism, comic books, offbeat humor, and Universal Horror monster make-up. An inventive if somewhat wonky vampire movie, fleshed out thematically by a compare-and-contrast of what helps make peace with dying.
Interesting early film from del Toro. I always get a sense that he's heavily influenced by Tourneur and the German expressionists, especially Murnau as one reviewer mentioned. His films have the same sense of visual flamboyance and creeping darkness tempered with a poetic and human edge wrapped up in a pulpy storyline. This is a great first effort, but only a good film. Really not enough development.
It's a fine movie. Not great, but one can see why it was Del Toro's breakthrough film. It redeems itself most through its themes and production quality (on paper, the characters are almost too simple), but it's worthy of a three-star rating, overall.