16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something different..for fans of Let the right one in and the device in Hellraiser
I was given this as a present as a fan of horror and I really was not sure what to expect. I wouldn't say it was horrific and it does take a while to get going and the pace is not full steam by any stretch, but I really enjoyed this for it's depth and non reliance on gore to tell a story which really stays with you. You will recognise one of the main actors in it from...
Published on 10 Nov. 2010 by Tom
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He thinks it will help him live longer.
Cronos is written and directed by Guillermo del Toro and stars Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Claudio Brook and Margarita Isabel. Music is by Javier Álvarez and cinematography by Guillermo Navarro. Plot finds Luppi as aged antique dealer Jesús Gris, who finds a weird scarab like mechanical device in the bottom of a statue now in his possession. It's an item of...
Published on 10 April 2011 by Spike Owen
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He thinks it will help him live longer.,
Cronos is written and directed by Guillermo del Toro and stars Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Claudio Brook and Margarita Isabel. Music is by Javier Álvarez and cinematography by Guillermo Navarro. Plot finds Luppi as aged antique dealer Jesús Gris, who finds a weird scarab like mechanical device in the bottom of a statue now in his possession. It's an item of some importance, especially to a rich dying business man and his thug nephew. But once the scarab unfurls itself and becomes at one with Jesús, there's no going back, nothing will ever be the same again.
A unique debut feature from Mexican filmmaker del Toro that riffs on the Vampire formula whilst dabbling in grue and darkly comic values. While it's hardly the near masterpiece some 90s critics proclaimed it as, it's a hugely enjoyable film if taken as a pulpy fun horror picture. Toro plays on the fear of insects and the fear of death itself and then cloaks his film with Gothic mysticism; adding in some eye catching images as he goes. The cast are fine, Luppi is supremely cool and unflustered, while Perlman does a good thug portrayal as "nose job in waiting" Angel. The sound department also come up trumps, while Navarro's photography lends an ethereal beauty to proceedings.
Good, solid and interesting in the main, with flashes of greatness dotted along the way. 7/10
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated, but a solid sign of the greatness to come!,
'Cronos' is a good film for Del Torro fans who, like me, wanted to see where it all started.
Make no mistake, this film is not great at all and with getting on for 20 years having past, it does look and 'feel' a little dated. There are, however, early glimpses of the proceeding genius of Del Torro. There is some fairly mild horror, some black comedy, some touching bits and the odd moment of madness. (Think 'Pans Labyrinth' all those years later)
I'm suprised that this is labelled as a 'vampire' movie. Whilst there are hints that the lead character has vampyric instints, it certainly isn't a film based soley on the vampire theme. 'Cronos' is actually a strange mix of 'returning from the dead', fantasy and revenge.
On the contray, I loved the way the grandfather/grandaughter was portrayed and there are definitely hints of 'The Orphanage' by means of the cuteness of the kid and the interaction between them.
If 'Cronos' wasn't directed by Del Torro, I'd probably dismiss it as average at best. However, knowing what we know now, this film is worth a look, even though it might not be in the same league as some of his truly great subsequent work.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A quite good movie, but an awful DVD edition,
I'm a great fan of Guillermo Del Toro, he's one of my favorite directors and i'm always looking forward for his movies (will he ever direct "At the mountain of madness"??) with great expectations, so i just couldn't pass the chance to buy Cronos from Amazon, since it was his first movie and the only one that i have never seen. Well, to be precise he directed 2 more movies before it, but i'm pretty sure that they were never released on DVD, or at least they are impossible to find, so i suppose that i should simply forget about them.
As many reviewers before me pointed out, it's true that this movie is slow and it's not even remotely scary, but nonetheless it's an interesting twist on the vampires' theme. About 500 years ago an alchemist invented a device that could grant eternal life (or at least prolong life for hundreds of years), but at a price. The alchemist died in an accident and the device was lost, but a rich man, deadly sick, learned of its existence and now it's trying to find it at any cost, with the help of a ruthless man (played by Ron Perlman). An old man, an antiquarian, accidentaly finds the device and activates it.
To be honest, this is by far the worst of Del Toro's movies. This doesn't mean that it's a bad movie at all, in fact it's quite good if you're not put off by slow movies and if you aren't craving for a horror movie (which is not), it's just that it can't hold a candle to his later works.
Now the bad news. This DVD edition is just awful. I don't know how they could make such a mistake, but the interlacing of this movie is completely wrong and my DVD player (which never had a problem with hundreds of movies) couldn't deinterlace it properly. The result is that everytime something moves on the screen, you can see clearly that the image of the moving parts breaks up in many thin horizontal lines. As if this wasn't enough (i just couldn't stand it and i really don't understand how no one noticed this, unless everyone saw this DVD on a CRT TV...), there is a lot of black crushing, i.e. in darks scenes, which are the majority in this movie, it's hard to distinguish the details in dark areas. For example in a scene with Ron Perlman his dark jacket is one with the black background! And the age of the movie obviously doesn't help with the perceived definition/details. Also there are NO subtitles for the English spoken parts. This movie contains a weird mix of Spanish and English, but only the parts spoken in Spanish are subtitled.
I would have rated this movie 3 stars, but this DVD edition is so awful that it detracts terribly from the score. I see that Amazon is selling a Blu-Ray edition of this movie now, but the price is just too high and frankly i don't know if i'll ever watch this movie again.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something different..for fans of Let the right one in and the device in Hellraiser,
I was given this as a present as a fan of horror and I really was not sure what to expect. I wouldn't say it was horrific and it does take a while to get going and the pace is not full steam by any stretch, but I really enjoyed this for it's depth and non reliance on gore to tell a story which really stays with you. You will recognise one of the main actors in it from Hellboy (Ron Perlman), clearly impressed Guillermo with his acting in this film. The plot is a nice twist on the original vampire story and the device and idea behind it is fantastic. I won't say too much as it would spoil the film for you, but it's well worth it and builds nicely. Gets you jumping in just the right spots. The acting is pretty good and the film gives me the impression it is set in the 1980's, even down to the credits style at the start and the score in it. I did think it would be in spanish for some reason with subtitles but it wasn't. This had no effect either way, but I do appreciate a good horror. Effected me in the same way as Let The Right One In [DVD]  (the original) and the device made me think back to Hellraiser  [DVD] a bit. All in all a great film with an interesting twist at the end. Don't be put off by the pace, it's just right, but be patient and you will be rewarded.
I would not say that this is strictly for Horror fans in a similar way to 'Let the right one in' wasn't. Horror fans should not expect too much in the way of gore, it's more about the device and the story. So when I say Hellraiser, i merely mean the device, not the gore aspect, just to clarify. :)
Oh and just one other point to make. The DVD front cover scene is not featured in this film at all. Merely for effect. :) Unless there was an extra on the DVD I missed. Actually I will check out the extra's tonight to see if there is any. Will update tomorrow.
3.0 out of 5 stars A vampiric "Christ",
This review is from: Cronos - Special Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
"Cronos" is Guillermo del Toro's irreverent version of Jesus Christ's
death and resurrection, replete with the bloody images of suffering,
so common in the imagery of Catholicism.
The director himself explains as much in the two extensive interviews
included in the Blu-ray. The protagonist, Jesus Gris, "Grey Jesus",
is accidentally addicted to the vampiric parasite, which resides inside
a scarab-shaped artifact. The parasite's secretions impart immortality,
and a craving for blood. When the thug Angel de la Guardia, "Angel Protector",
kills Jesus, he is resurrected, and he is transformed into something no
longer human. The film encapsulates Guillermo del Toro influences and
preoccupations, such as Universal monster classics, Hammer horror,
horrid, deadly insects, etc.
There are strong elements of Mexican melodrama in the film,
and scenes of grotesque Mexican humor. It has a slow, deliberate pace.
The special effects are cheesy, but effective.
The amazing golden artifact was minutely crafted by professional jewelers.
Its interior, and the parasitic insect, were designed by del Toro himself.
The film begins, with a narration of the story of the 16th century Alchemist
who constructed the golden artifact. This is in English and is not subtitled.
Actors Ron Perlman and Claudio Brook mostly speak in English.
This also is not subtitled. Handicapped people, like this reviewer,
will be watching pantomime, for extensive segments of the film.
As watched on a 46" LCD screen, this is a mediocre Blu-ray transfer,
which does not do justice to the film's beauty.
The extras also include sketches and storyboards of the film, and production
stills. One star off, for the omission of English SDH, and the mediocre image.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cronos review.,
Cronos is very much for the fans of director Guillermo del torro, for it shows how he started and how his style of story and the actors he uses to great effect. The film itself does give a new way of life being made to last longer by ways of using blood, which is diffrent from the old vampire stories. Its a slow moving film, and some what a bit predictable in its long winding ways, but i do say it is great for the fans of the director of this film.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey to the Underworld,
A film which lost something within the plot. Whilst an interesting rework of the myth eternal youth, it had that European angst echoing throughout, the main issue was the one dimensional character of the baddies ie Perlman. Whilst he is goaded by his father into inflicting cruelties, whilst inhabiting a super rich lifestyle, the rationale just appeared absent. Why not just disappear?
So the old man who is having his body taken away piece by piece craves eternal youth and chases down our hero, a former cuddly grandfather who is known as the Grey Jesus. Increasingly as he succumbs to the spell of the supernatural his age dissolves and he becomes younger. But there is always a price. Aurora his grand daughter is the person who saves him from himself.
The photography and scene capture is awesome, the story has a few holes showing daylight within it, but the acting is brutal. Whilst a very good début, there are too many gloss overs which are fine within a franchise where the levels of expectation are low, but within a film which could offer so much more, it required further work which was undertaken within Pan's Labyrinth.
4.0 out of 5 stars Something different,
Guillermo del Toro makes his directorial debut with this great little horror film. I say little because at 92 mins this, for a change, is a film that does not overstay its welcome. Essentially its a vampire story, which is done with considerable flair and style, and featuring a great performance from Federico Luppi as the antique shop owner who finds an antique which does considerably more than just increase your bank balance.
A good supporting cast, including Ron Perlman, add some black comic moments. What it doesn't have is any explosions, car chases or over the top moments in general. It certainly has a lot in common with much older gothic horror films, and indeed Boris Karloff gets a mention during the film. Coincidence? I think not. The film has a style and pacing that wouldn't have been out of place 40 or 50 years earlier.
The film is in Spanish with English subtitles, but there are large chunks of the movie in English as well (for which there are no subtitles)!
The extras include a directors commentary and an interesting interview with Del Toro as well. Overall highly recommended.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting twist on the vampire theme,
A partially subtitled film, that gives a unique twist to the standard vampire formula.
This is my first Toro film and will watch more of his films.
What i dont understand is... why on earth this film is rated 18.
Its simply not 18 material. Final destination 3 has more blood and gore, Dog soldiers has far far more swearing and blood. (both rated 15)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great 90's horror-drama,
Quite a dated film now (in 2011) but a great horror spectacle from the great Guillermo del Toro. This was his first film and a taste of things to come for the Spanish genius. As expected with GdT it has a solid story, a good cast and plenty of sinister and dark power elements in this horror based drama tale.
Cronos is about an old Antique dealer who finds a special insect shaped object inside a statue he receives. The piece (shaped like a scorpion with an insect inside it) injects the man, slowly transforming him into a Vampire. He is then a slave to the device as his family suffer seeing him change. All of this happens whilst a dying millionaire (and his henchman Ron Perlman) search for this desired artefact.
A great 90's horror-drama with the GdT sprinkling of magic throughout. GdT combines compelling stories with top-notch acting and a handful of suspenseful and dark moments.
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Cronos - Special Edition [Blu-ray] by Guillermo del Toro (Blu-ray - 2011)
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