Pan's Labyrinth

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Year Released: 2006
Rating: 2.0

One of the dumbest teenage girls in recent movie memory (Ivana Baguero) - and there are a lot to choose from - drifts off into a fantasy world (to avoid confronting the grim reality of Spain circa WWII) and meets Pan (Doug Jones), who assigns her to do various tasks which she screws up horribly. The anti-Franco, anti-abortion messages are there - but quite muddled - and Sergi López's commander is so consistently evil he becomes banal. The fantasy storyline (with creepy fawn Pan and a monster with eyes in his palms that can't bring himself to dig into the fantastic buffet in front of him) easily trumps the parallel 'reality' storyline, and there's arguably way too much of the latter and not enough of the former. Nice to see Maribel Verdú again, by the way - she needs more work.