5 Great Movies That Didn't Have to Speak English 

By Darrin Jones / March 20

2. Pan’s Labyrinth
Now I have a feeling most if not all of you have heard of this one. You have probably already seen it and probably already like but I’m putting it on my list anyway because it is just that good. This is a masterpiece from Guillermo del Toro and if you’re not familiar with him as a director, he is probably the closest representation of a spanish Tim Burton you will find.

See what I mean?
He creates the finest in dark fantasies, creature effects, and melancholy stories and Pan’s Labyrinth is no exception. The film takes place in Spain after the Spanish Civil War. A young girl and her mother are heading to an out of the way mill to live with the mother’s new husband who is a military captain. The magical realism immediately takes root as the girl is led by a fairy into a labyrinth where she meets a faun--a half man, half goat creature. The faun believes the girl to be a mystical princess that has been reincarnated as a human. And what really makes this world so vibrant is that Del Toro uses costumes and animatronics whenever he can.

This scene is as real to the audience as it is to the characters.
While this magical fairy-tale is taking place, all around her brutal military actions and abuses of power is happening. Rebel farmers are trying to overthrow the abusive captain while her mother is growing gravely ill. The film is just terrific at mixing the girl’s Wonderland-like escapades and fantastical adventures with these horrible post-war struggles. It’s a perfect use of magical realism which Del Toro is famous for. The moments with the mystical creatures and folklore villains are intense and scary but the real terrifying incidents come from the sociopathic captain as he descends further and further into power-hungry madness.

Some how this guy...

...is a scary as this guy. 

How is that even possible?!
It’s hard to explain just how well the direction of Pan’s Labyrinth is; you truly feel for the characters and are afraid for the girl as she has no safe place to turn. The fantasy portion is just as dangerous and frightening as the conflict happening throughout post-war Spain. If you haven’t seen it, see it. If you’re a Del Toro fan, see it twice.

Jump to: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5


  1. I thought Pans Labrynth was in Mexico.

  2. It takes place in Spain during their civil war.