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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Frederico Luppi
Ron Perlman
Claudio Brook
Tamara Shanath.
Directors
Guillermo del Toro.
Screenwriters
Guillermo del Toro.
Running Time
92 minutes

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Cronos
Guillermo del Toro's terrifying vampire mini-masterpiece


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Plot
A 16th century alchemist builds a device called the Cronos that enables its user to live forever - although it also gives them an inconvenient lust for blood. When the device resurfaces, it is accidentally picked up by an antiquarian - unaware that a dying millionaire will do anything to get his hands on it.


Review
This debut feature from 29-year-old Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is a witty, stylish and imaginative variation on the vampire movie.

In a bravura prologue, a 16th Century alchemist constructs a weird clock-like device which enables him to live on into the 1930s before he is killed in a collapsing building. But the discovery of a corpse suspended upside down in his apartment suggests his bid for immortality has been bought at the usual price - the sacrifice of human blood - and that whoever comes into possession of the Cronos is in for a hard time of it.

Cue the arrival of Jesus Gris (Lubbi), an old antiques seller who runs a shop in Mexico with only his granddaughter for company. After a stream of beetles escape from a hole in one of his statues, he discovers, nestling inside, the Cronos - an encrustation of gold, spun around a living vampiric insect which feeds off his host by stabbing metal spikes into their veins. Jesus soon clamps the creature to his chest and begins to surprise his family with his sprightly air and youthful looks. The plot involves a battle for the Cronos fought between Jesus and a dying cadaverous industrialist, and the scenes in the industrialist's chamber - which looks like some sort of hi-tech morgue - provide some of the strongest and most authentically baroque images in the film.

Otherwise, especially towards the end where del Toro slips into more familiar genre territory, the imagery has a trashier feel. But with spot-on pulp dialogue, simple, poetic imagery and gothic sound effects, this is nothing short of a near-masterpiece.


Verdict
This is a wonderfully baroque, gleeful subversion of the days of Hammer. A unique, terrifying mini-masterpiece.


Reviewed by Steve Beard

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Cronos
Empire Star Rating

tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104029/]Cronosuillermo Del Toro`s directorial debut is a beautiful and thrilling horror fairy tale about the century-old Cronos Device, that should give the one who posseses it eternal life. A well built-up soty and beautiful effects and make-up, this is a blue-druk of Del Toro`s style that we`ve gotten familiar with. Luckily, the Criterion blu-ray offers the optional original Spanish intro, wich I`ve opted for when watching the film. After the film was over I`ve al... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 21:12, 12 February 2011 | Report This Post


a great twist on the vampire film ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bobbyperu at 22:22, 24 October 2007 | Report This Post


a great twist on the vampire film ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bobbyperu at 22:22, 24 October 2007 | Report This Post


Epic

Hauntingly Good ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by indysid at 23:25, 15 July 2007 | Report This Post


Epic

Hauntingly Good ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by indysid at 23:25, 15 July 2007 | Report This Post


CRONOS is a brilliant masterpiece, although it is not as good as PANS LABYRINTH or THE DEVILS BACKBONE but its still a masterpiece!!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by casino at 16:46, 21 March 2007 | Report This Post


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