Bleak, dark, macabre, obscure, plain, dull, uninspired. This is barely an original recreation of the vampire myth by drinking from many sources. Stylistically there is an abuse of dark and monochrome ambiance. Del Toro is still developing a trademark mood which will be used as a backdrop in future more mature films. Cronos feels like the first effort of a well-intended nerd who needs to leave his bedroom more often.
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.
Some nice ideas but mostly very plain, bland and uninteresting. In Pan's Labyrinth I liked the sentimental aspect, in here the child character didn't do anything for me. The whole exploration of vampires/eternal life could have been great and original, but the execution fell flat.
This film offers something a little bit more exotic to the typical vampire story. From the beginning of the film I was hooked and not entirely sure what to expect. Although the second half left me feeling disappointed as I feel that It digressed into something very predictable, and neglected to ever expose the true secrets of the device. This is a shame because the mystery of the device is what really set this apart.