I have a private theory, Sir, that there are no heroes and no monsters in this world. Only children should be allowed to use these words.
Alfred De Vigny
The monsters of our childhood do not fade away, neither are they ever wholly monstrous
John le Carré
Monsters are typically thought of as existing outside social norms and codes of conduct. They are maladapted freaks who have been rejected and spurned by the public. Either deified or vilified, monsters are constantly made separate from the rules and lives of a civilized society. Still, as has been repeatedly argued, they serve a necessary function, and because of this they may be removed from day-to-day life, but they are always present.
Amber L. Davisson
Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark fairy tale that distils his distinctive mix of fact and fantasy, poetry and politics, pain and pleasure. It’s an epic, poetic vision in which the grim realities of war are matched and mirrored by a descent into an underworld populated by fearsomely beautiful monsters -a transformative life-affirming nightmare which is the very best film of the year.
The film is set in 1944 when the Allies invaded Nazi-held Europe. In Spain, a troop of soldiers are sent to a remote forest to flush out the rebels. They are led by Capitan Vidal, a murdering sadist, and with him are his new wife Carmen and her 11 year old daughter, Ofelia, from a previous marriage. Ofelia witnesses her stepfather’s sadistic brutality and she is drawn into Pan’s Labyrinth, a magical world of mythical beings.
A large stick insect, which Ofelia believes to be a fairy, leads her into an ancient stone labyrinth, but Ofelia is stopped by Vidal’s housekeeper Mercedes, who is secretly supporting her brother Pedro and other rebels. That night, the insect appears in Ofelia’s bedroom, where it transforms to a fairy and leads her through the labyrinth. There, Ofelia meets the faun, who believes she is the reincarnation of Princess Moanna. The faun gives Ofelia three tasks to complete in order for her to acquire immortality and return to her kingdom.
Watch the trailer of Pan’s Labyrinth