Movie Information

In Brief: Guillermo del Toro's first feature film, Cronos, is one of the more audacious debut works you're likely to find. It's a rethinking of the vampire film -- and unlike most rethinkings, this one really brings something new to the table. The film boasts all the horror tropes -- and adds some new ones -- but it's also bitterly funny and finally quite touching. There's really nothing out there quite like it.
Genre: Horror
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Claudio Brook, Tamara Shanath, Margarita Isabel
Rated: R

This makes the fourth time I’ve written about Guillermo del Toro’s Cronos (1993), and at the moment I don’t have very much to add to what I’ve already said. In what I think is my best summation on the film, I wrote, “Mexican writer-director Guillermo del Toro does not begin and end with the masterful Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), as is brilliantly evidenced in his first feature film Cronos (1993). One of the most intelligent—and strangely moving—horror films ever made, Cronos gets my vote for del Toro’s second best film to date. In fact, it’s a film that is enhanced by reassessing it after seeing Pan’s Labyrinth. The two films not only share the same writer-director and cinematographer (Guillermo Navarro)—as well as at least one actor (star Federico Luppi shows up in Pan)—they’re not dissimilar in tone or feel either. This is especially true concerning the use of a little girl—and her perception of the world—as central to both stories. While Pan is a fuller, more expressive work, there’s much to be gotten from this earlier work. Over the years, there have been a number of claims (usually by publicists) about movies that have “reinvented” the vampire story. In the case of del Toro’s Cronos, however, the claim is 100-percent true. Yes, Cronos is a vampire movie with a couple of the standard elements (blood-drinking, sunlight and the old stake through the heart), but that’s about the extent of it.” The whole review is here:

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Cronos at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 11, at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library). Info: 273-3332,


About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.