Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Claudio Brook, Tamara Shanath, Margarita Isabel
This makes the fourth time I’ve written about Guillermo del Toro’s Cronos (1993), and at the moment I don’t have very much to add to what I’ve already said. In what I think is my best summation on the film, I wrote, “Mexican writer-director Guillermo del Toro does not begin and end with the masterful Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), as is brilliantly evidenced in his first feature film Cronos (1993). One of the most intelligent—and strangely moving—horror films ever made, Cronos gets my vote for del Toro’s second best film to date. In fact, it’s a film that is enhanced by reassessing it after seeing Pan’s Labyrinth. The two films not only share the same writer-director and cinematographer (Guillermo Navarro)—as well as at least one actor (star Federico Luppi shows up in Pan)—they’re not dissimilar in tone or feel either. This is especially true concerning the use of a little girl—and her perception of the world—as central to both stories. While Pan is a fuller, more expressive work, there’s much to be gotten from this earlier work. Over the years, there have been a number of claims (usually by publicists) about movies that have “reinvented” the vampire story. In the case of del Toro’s Cronos, however, the claim is 100-percent true. Yes, Cronos is a vampire movie with a couple of the standard elements (blood-drinking, sunlight and the old stake through the heart), but that’s about the extent of it.” The whole review is here: www.mountainx.com/movies/review/cronos
Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Cronos at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 11, at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library). Info: 273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com
In Brief: Guillermo del Toro’s first feature film, Cronos, is one of the more audacious debut works you’re likely to find. It’s a rethinking of the vampire film—and unlike most rethinkings, this one really brings something new to the table. The film boasts all the horror tropes—and adds some new ones—but it’s also bitterly funny and finally quite touching. There’s really nothing out there quite like it.