Pan's Labyrinth: movie misclassification-why I hate movie trailers


We went to see Pan's Labyrinth last night.

This is not a movie for children. This is not a fairy tale fantasy. It is about war. I was expecting something akin to Mirror Mask. It was more like Apocalypse Now.

Again I feel as if I was a victim of misadvertising. You know the kind. When a movie is sold to its potential audience via a trailer that totally spins it in a direction away from that targeted audience.

Trailers sometimes do this. Or they tell you the entire plot in two minutes making you feel as if you don't need to see the movie because you just saw it thanks to the trailer. Or they show you all the best scenes which misleads you to think that there is more great scenes to come only to be disappointed(comedies often use this).

But the trailers that mislead are the ones that probably annoy me the most because they are deceptive for the sake of a sale. Not that the other trailers aren't sales tools, they are, but some seem more informative than others. Like letting you know that this is a movie you might want to see. Pan's Labyrinth trailer made it seem like pure fantasy.

It is actually about civil war Spain. And it is really more of a war movie than a fantasy. So if you were thinking of taking the kids, think again. It is rated R which I might have overlooked because of the fantastic fantasy driven effects on the trailer. It looks very much like a fairy tale from the trailer. But it is graphic and gut wrenching in its violence. It is grisly and dark, and breaks a few rules.

Having said that, it was an awesome movie.

It makes a deep statement about the evil of war by contrasting it with the imagination of a young girl. This made it truly profound. The visuals are wonderful and the story is not predictable and formulaic. I was on the edge of my seat, holding my breath for most of it. It was thought provoking and well crafted.

I just didn't like the bait and switch.


thank you blair - while i did read the review done by ebert i still thought it was far more fantasy and much more lighthearted than you have shown it to be.

i will definitely be waiting until dvd on this one (let alone the fact that unless it gets wide release i would have to travel quite a bit to find it).

i too dislike the dishonesty that misleads - why bother, it makes no sense to me. i don't think there'd be a lack of people who want to watch war movies around, eh?

You've read about the sketchbook contest, right?

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This page contains a single entry by Blair published on January 21, 2007 1:12 PM.

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