on 21 February 2000
This film is from Mexico, which is actually quite well known for Vampire films, the story concerns cronos device - a bizarre blood-sucking piece of machinery invented by a 16th century alchemist, which makes immortals out of those who use it. As you would expect, this item is rather sought after, and when it falls into the hands of an elderly bric-a-brac man, who discovers its secret, he becomes the victim of a merciless, industrialist who seeks immortality too. With some excellent acting, especially from Tamara Shanath in the touching role of the old mans granddaughter, who cares for him and helps him no matter what, and some lavish camera work from director Guillermo Del Toro, this film is a visual treat and well worth a buy from Amazon.
on 30 April 2002
When I first saw this film I was expecting a fast sexy Vampire film but what I got was very different, although you may hear that this a vampire film it's not your run of the mill modern take on the vampire genre. The hero is the most unlike person, and it can be quite slow but all in all a good film, Del Toro has a talent for horror that has not been seen for a long time.
on 12 August 2002
Most people often relate Cronos to vampires, and that's true, but to a certain extent. This is often the downside of it from people expecting a true vampire movie. Cronos is in reality a somewhat subtle horror story of an old antique shop owner that finds an odd mechanical device inside the base of a sculpture. He discovers this device will rejuvenate him, but the price to dodge the natural wearing of life is an extreme thirst for blood, which soon sends him to a spiraling void which jeopardizes his simple life and his sense of self.
Cronos stands out as one of my favorite movies out of Mexico (since there's not much else to look up to), and is definitely a well-suited piece of the macabre and the dark, but in a much more stylish and simplistic tone. Definitely recommended if you enjoy foreign films or horror (in it's broadest of terms).
on 10 August 2012
I can't add much more than what has been said, but I'am adding my rating to a good film.
It says english, spanish speaking, what it means is there is both used in the film, mostly spanish with english used the odd time or a mixture of both.
Currently everybody thinks of him as directing Pan's Labyrinth or the Hellboy movies. But at the very beginning of his career, Guillermo del Toro honed his directorial skills with a truly brilliant, unique movie called "Cronos," which expertly blended alchemy, vampirism and creeping psychological horror.
Antique dealer Jesús Gris (Federico Luppi) is handling an angel statue when he finds an insectile metal object in the bottom. And it bites him, injecting him with a strange fluid. Soon Jesús finds himself addicted to the device, and he finds that it's slowly restoring his youth and strength. And during a party, he also finds that it's giving him a hunger for blood.
Unfortunately, a wealthy but dying businessman is determined to find the device, and he sends out his brutal nephew Angel (Ron Perlman) to find it -- and Angel even kills Jesús when the old man doesn't tell him what he wants to know. Jesús rises again as an undead creature who is still determined to get the device back, but now his young granddaughter is in danger as well.
"Cronos" was the very first movie that Guillermo ever directed, and it's not surprising that it feels a little rough compared to his later work. But expect lots of del Toro trademarks -- mysterious golden items, insects, weird and grotesque vampirism, religious symbolism, and favored actors Luppi and Perlman.
The entire movie is beautifully directed, and del Toro paints every scene with shadows, gold and blood. And rather than going for over-the-top spookery, del Toro mingles vampiric horror (Jesus staring hungrily at his granddaughter) with more visceral psychological horror (Jesús returns to life with his mouth stitched shut). Even the gross-outs are subtle, like when we see that even Jesús' flesh is turning white and larvalike.
Federico Luppi is absolutely brilliant as Jesús -- he starts off as a genial, kindly old man with a love of antiques, but slowly he's eaten away by his lust for blood and addiction to the device. By the end of the movie, you only see a tiny flicker of what he was. Perlman gives a similarly awesome performance as a devious thug, and Claudio Brook is great as the dying businessman.
It took a long time, but this movie is FINALLY coming out in the Criterion catalog -- it will have a restored high-def digital transfer; del Toro's early short film "Geometria"; a tour of de Toro's house; audio commentaries by del Toro and the producers; video interviews with del Toro, Luppi, Navarro and Perlman, a stills gallery; trailer; new English subtitles; and a booklet with not only a Maitland McDonagh essay but del Toro's notes.
"Cronos" is a little more toned-down than Guillermo del Toro's later work, but it's still a powerful, haunting horror movie. An absolute must-see!