Wednesday, 13th December 2017. 3:44:04pm ET

 


Movie: Cronos
Company: Lions Gate
Format: DVD (10th Anniversary Edition)
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 11/28/03

I recently got a chance to check out Lions Gate's 10th anniversary dvd edition of Cronos, a stylish, slow-paced, award-winning vampire flick (although the vampire bit is somewhat downplayed and by no means traditional) from Mexico by Guillermo Del Toro, the renowned director of Blade 2 and Devil's Backbone. Having never seen the film before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, although the reviews I've read and things I've heard about it set my expectations a little high. That being said, the film was a little more average than I was expecting and ended up being a slight disappointment.

The film centers around the story of an elderly antique store owner and his granddaughter. After finding and accidentally using a 400-or-so-year-old device designed to prolong the life of anyone who uses it, an even older and more sickly rich man who's been looking for the device (and even has the sought after instruction manual) comes to claim it...err, actually, sends nose-obsessed henchman/relative Ron Perlman to do the job for him. Meanwhile, the store owner finds himself feeling younger and repeatedly using the Cronos device, unwilling to give it up while also suffering the side-effects of the device. The story often focuses on the relationship between the store owner and his granddaughter, whose parents apparently died some time ago. Perlman's character is largely used for comic relief, although the running joke about his obsession with his nose and the breaking of and plastic surgery on said nose, usually comes off as dumb rather than amusing. While I admire the restraint and artistry of the film, it is perhaps too toned down, resulting in a fairly uneventful, slow-paced, and often predictable movie that tries to tiptoe around its main story events to varying degrees of success.

The film often does succeed in creating a quaint, downplayed moody atmosphere. Things generally have something of an old-school horror film look and organic vibe. The DVD transfer is quite good. The music isn't particularly exceptional except, perhaps, in the scenes that use diegetic music consisting of traditional Latin music forms. The sound transfer is well-done, although there were a few noticeable clicks and pops.

Despite the odd fact that the introduction and back story segment is in English, most of the film is in Spanish with the main exception being the dialog of Ron Perlman's English-speaking character. The DVD gives several subtitle choices, each with a few forgivable mistakes in the translation. Note that the girl on the cover of the DVD, which perhaps suggests a much sexier movie than this really is, appears nowhere in the film, and we're instead treated to less pleasing images of a topless elderly man. As for extras, the DVD has the usual assortment of commentaries, a "making of" segment, and photo/art galleries.

To sum things up, Cronos is a film with a classic horror look/vibe, independent sensibilities, and a somewhat interesting concept and storyline. However, it does have numerous shortcomings, and the fact that it won nine Mexican Academy Awards does not exactly bode well for the Mexican film industry. It's a decent, atmospheric, quaint horror film that's worth checking out, but it's ultimately far less exceptional than many critics and fans would have you believe.


Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement

Radio Grave Concerns Ezine

Listen now!
Banner
Banner
Advertisement

Keep GC strong !

Maintaining Grave Concerns Ezine takes time and money.
To help, you can donate one time:

Or, help with a monthly gift:


Grave Concerns Ezine Grave Concerns Ezine

Who's Online

We have 144 guests online

Podcast

Podcast Feed

Free Downloads

Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement