Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies

What genre is pan's labyrinth?

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Answered 2009-06-12 16:14:34

The question of genre in cinema (and indeed other media) is in essence subjective, and often hotly debated in films that blend elements of many different film types such as 'Pan's Labyrinth'. Overall most would agree that the film could loosely be labelled 'fantasy' if you want the short answer, however the intricacies of the rest of the film could also support theories calling it a wartime drama (interestingly told from the perspective of a child like in 'Life is Beautiful'); Horror (blood and gore elements such as the slashing of Vidal by Mercedes and the death of Ofelia); adventure (the three tasks set by the faun to Ofelia calling to mind tasks set to heroes in Ancient Greek mythology); thriller (the sequence where Ofelia is chased by the monster underground and fumbles to draw a door with her chalk is shot using techniques classic to this genre) etc. Personally I'd call it a parable, as does director/scriptwriter Guillermo del Toro. Ofelia's preoccupation with Fairy Tales at the outset supports this theory too as she would be familiar with the darker elements of stories by Hans Christen Anderson and these are reflected in the gruesome nature of her imaginings. Also there seems to be a sense of a moral at the end of the story being that Ofelia only passed the true third test by refusing the spill the blood of her baby brother.

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