This isn’t Twilight and this isn’t True Blood, this is plausible vampirism? If ever such a thing could possibly exist. From Guillermo del Toro, comes his first full length feature, Cronos. You may be familiar with Hellboy and the instant classic that is Pan’s Labyrinth, but Cronos was the launchpad for one of the most visionary directors of our time. Cronos features Federico Luppi (The Devil’s Backbone), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), and Claudio Brook (The Exterminating Angel). Cronos has proven over time to be a worthy opponent against Bram Stoker’s numerous interpretations and Let the Right One In as the prime examples of vampirism on film.
Jesus Gris (Luppi) an antique dealer nearing the end of his time stumbles upon a golden scarab. When Gris accidentally triggers the scarabs mechanisms, it drives several tiny spikes into this body. Soon after, Gris begins to suffer symptoms that are similar to that of a vampire. When Angel (Perlman) purchases a statue from Gris which once held the scarab, he returns it to his uncle Dieter (Brook) without the life altering device. Dieter is nearing his death bed and has tried numerous times to retrieve the scarab. When Dieter uncovers that the scarab has been withheld from him, he becomes excessively angry and sends Angel on destructive missions to recover it. As time passes, the changes the scarab inflicts upon Gris become increasingly more visible, painful, and strange.
Cronos will seep into your brain and force you to ask questions you never thought you would ask yourself. Can blood ever be that appealing? Could I ever murder to sustain my own life? What if I didn’t have a choice? Del Toro takes the audience back to the world of fantasy and makes the realm seem real if only for a couple of hours. With Cronos, del Toro proves that simplicity is sometimes the best policy and that when turned into something not of this world, love and kindness remain, not just a monster. Luppi achieves great strides as a caring guardian while dealing with the monstrous traits exploding from his body and mind. Perlman delivers a performance that is worthy of the audiences sympathy, even though at times he is menacing. Overall, Cronos is a well acted and superbly directed film worthy of the most cold blooded individuals.
Cronos: 7.5 out of 10.