Friday, January 4, 2013

Review: Cronos (1993)

This is my favorite Guillermo del Toro film. I really like Hellboy and its sequel, but The Devil's Backbone didn't do much for me. Mimic isn't even really his movie since it got screwed with so much, which explains why it was disappointing, and I have yet to see his director's cut. I enjoyed Blade II though and Pan's Labyrinth had some amazing moments (like the scene with the Pale Man that preys on kids), but nothing comes close to Cronos for me. Maybe Pacific Rim will change that (I can't fuckin wait), but Guillermo's first feature is a masterpiece, turning the vampire movie on its head, and it also has my favorite Ron Perlman performance. He's so much fun in this movie. I was afraid Cronos might be a bit boring, but it wasn't at all. At 94 min, the time flies by, but besides the excellent pacing, what makes it work so well is you care about the characters. Essentially, it's the story of a grandfather and granddaughter finding a device that grants immortality but at a cost. Of course, they're not the only ones who want it. Soon two men come looking for it: an obsessed, rich madman who is dying and his psycho nephew. The real heart of the story is the relationship of the grandfather and granddaughter, but I'm sure I should emphasize again: it's NOT boring. It's just a damn good film with beautiful cinematography, an excellent score, outstanding performances, etc. Sure, it's not really scary, but that obviously wasn't the intention. Just watch it. This is the kind of movie Hollywood would never make now. You got to have young attractive stars especially in your horror films. An old man as the lead? Not happening. It's a shame too, because this is what we're missing out on. What's really ridiculous is the other poster for the film. Guess what it has on it? A hot semi-naked girl who isn't even remotely in the movie. That's marketing for you. I'm partly to blame too since I did think it might be boring, but in my defense, that is because The Devil's Backbone almost put me to sleep (I wasn't tired, and I was actually looking forward to it... the characters and the story just didn't hook me). Cronos is amazing though so if you haven't seen it, hunt it down. It might still be on Netflix although they screwed up the framerate when I saw it on there, but I'm definitely buying it the next chance I get.

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