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A clock-like mechanism, created and hidden hundreds of years ago, turns up in the antique shop of Mr Gris. This comes to the attention of a Mr de la Guardia and his nephew, who have been looking for the device for many years, believing that it has the powers to make the user immortal. Gris and his daughter against the de la Guardias – a chase starts that leaves many victims behind…
Firstly, I enjoyed the multi-linguistic setting of the film. Through the mix of Spanish and English, a certain ancient atmosphere is evoked, maybe because it reminded me of Salvatore’s multi-coloured rants in “Name of the Rose” (the same Ron Perlman as here the nephew, so no wonder I had to think of that). Gris is a noble-looking man, with a proud headfull of white hair and very erect demeanour. Of course, in the face-off with the mad millionaire he can only lose, but he does it in style. He has to suffer a lot in this film, not only pain, but also being thrown around a script that cannot really decide whether it wants to be a thriller, crime story, action flic, horror movie or surreal metaphor on mortality and finiteness of existence. The actors are the highlights, and if you stick to them, you can survive the less plausibel or sensible plot developments. I love Ron Perlman, and will watch “City of Lost Children” right away again! As for the director, Snr del Toro, of course he showed his talent here, but he also showed that he is not always perfectly clear what style of movie he intends to make – and instead of merging styles into a new one, it sometimes appears he is content with having them stand next to each other (the horror-zombie movie and the thriller here, the war story and the fantasy tale there, at Pan’s Labyrinth). Still, an entertaining experience for the lovers of slightly weird movie nutrition.

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  1. By Crimson Peak (G. del Toro 2015) | thomas4cinema on 11 Jan 2016 at 11:34 am

    […] Toro’s movies in general, but I am not what you would call an unambiguous fanboy. While I loved Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, I stayed lukewarm on his Pacific Rim and Hellboy […]

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