"Cronos" Blu-Ray, DVD Movie Review

12/22/2010 Posted by Admin


Blu-Ray, DVD Movie Review

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Written by Guillermo del Toro, Rated R, 91-minutes.

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

Guillermo del Toro doesn’t so much direct horror films as grim fairy tales. His nightmarish creatures and naive characters exude both the curiosity of Hansel and Gretel and the reality of their lesson. Thus, his films tend to be both visually grisly and strangely inviting.

Del Toro’s first feature, "Cronos," which now is available on Blu-ray disc, explores this idea with a Vampiric twist. Jesus Gris, an antique dealer, finds a strange relic in the form of a golden bug that grants its owner immortality. Of course, Gris doesn’t know this, so when the bug bites him during his investigation of the device, he finds himself becoming more youthful and invigorated.

Recharged, Gris finds the bug to be a miracle, but it comes at a price: In order to continue this process, Gris must now feed either on the bug’s serum or fresh blood. As Gris’s problems mount, he finds himself threatened by an evil millionaire’s nephew, who also is in pursuit of the trinket.

"Cronos" moves quickly from one idea to the other, keeping the audience well informed as to what’s going on. From the opening shot, the director shows the audience the power of the device, giving them a brief prologue as to the bug’s origins. Del Toro’s narrative remains strong as he crafts succinct mythologies without forcing the cast into expository monologues.

While giving us this “once upon a time” element, del Toro brings us to his fairy tale world where innocent people fall into temptation, yet remain good. Gris’ desire to fight age eventually becomes his undoing – both literally and figuratively -- but his bond with his granddaughter keeps him wholesome, despite his grotesque appearance later in the film.

The director balances the fantasy with grisly effects, reflecting the nightmarish motifs of Gris’ decisions. His transformation from sweet grandfather to ghoulish bloodsucker is a gradual one, and as such, the film’s intensity slowly rises.

"Cronos" shows del Toro’s ability to marry such fantasy worlds. Like the violence seen in true Grim Fairytales, he doesn’t shield his characters from the ugliness of mankind. So, while "Cronos" might receive a happily ever after, it comes at an incredibly dark price.

Grade: B

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