Cronos
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This surreal variant on the classic vampire tale is the directorial debut of Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, who garnered international acclaim and several awards. The film tells the story of elderly antique dealer Jesus Gris (Federico Luppi, in a role originally written for Max Von Sydow) who, with his eight-year-old granddaughter Aurora (Tamara Shanath), discovers an ancient artifact secreted within a statue obtained from the estate of a 16th-century alchemist. Unbeknownst to Gris, the device -- which resembles an ornate, gilded mechanical beetle -- houses an immortal parasite which… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Guillermo del Toro's feature debut is an arch twist on the vampire tale."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"You have to admire the style, sincerity, and overall sense of craft even if you don't fancy the comic-book gore."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"A compelling, complex and wonderfully atmospheric film from Mexican director Guillermo del Toro that is as much about religion and the nature of cinema as it is a horror story."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"A low-budget horror/fantasy with some rough edges, Cronos reveals the dark genius of Guillermo del Toro's fecund mind."
‑ Christopher Lloyd, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
"Guillermo del Toro says, "Cronos is an exploded view of my brain.""
‑ Glenn Heath Jr., Slant Magazine
"Cronos surprises with its sophisticated and spirited look at a tale straight from the crypt."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"A most startling genre piece: tender, imaginative and wholly its own."
‑ , Time Out
"Stylishly dusted with musty mysticism, Cronos never sinks its teeth to the bone, but despite some grumbling plot-cogs, del Toro's hallmarks -- tragic heart, splatty body horror, prickly insect-fear -- all gestate wickedly."
‑ , Total Film
"Many of the aesthetic qualities and thematic devices that Mexican director Guillermo del Toro would employ in later movies are already on the boil in his debut feature, Cronos."
‑ Simon Foster, sbs.com.au
"The truly child-bound perspectives of The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth are still to come, though Aurora has flights of del Torian wonder."
‑ Matthew Sorrento, Bright Lights Film Journal
"While the film's first half entices with its secrets, the second half falls into a predictable narrative that refuses to even suggest possibilities."
‑ Achy Obejas, Chicago Tribune
"A very stylish and sophisticated Mexican variation on some age-old themes."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"A charming horror movie, if such a thing is possible."
‑ , Film4
"Del Toro conjures up a delightfully potent atmosphere and motion for it, born no doubt of a real appreciation for such things."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"... a weird, heady alchemic brew of antiquated clockwork mechanism, mutant organisms, demented villains driven by a greed for youth..."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Parallax View
More reviews for Cronos on Rotten Tomatoes

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