Cronos (1993) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Producers: Arthur Gorson, Bertha Navarro, Alejandro Springall, Bernard Nussbaumer
Writers: Guillermo del Toro
Date Released: May 13, 1993
Federico Luppi as Jesús Gris
Ron Perlman as Angel de la Guardia
Claudio Brook as Dieter de la Guardia
Tamara Shanath as Aurora Gris
Margarita Isabel as Mercedes Gris
Mario Iván Martínez as Alchemist
Rating = 3.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about an old antique dealer who discovered a 450-year old mechanical device hidden in an archangel statue. This device is known as the Cronos and can give renewed strength and eternal life to the bearer. The antique dealer Mr. Gris accidentally used the device while an old patriarch of the De La Guardia Enterprises was looking for it as a cure for his terminal illness. De La Guardia apparently has the book of instructions on how to properly use the Cronos. Together with Gris’ granddaughter Aurora and De La Guardia’s nephew Angel, they try to take hold of the device and end up with a bloody battle and gruesome transformations.
As with any GDT movie, his directorial debut was also scary, has an amount of blood, and creatures. The most notable ones include the close-ups of when the Cronos stings the skin, the insect inside the device, the licking of blood from the floor, the sequences when Gris came back to life and removed the lip stitch, and the scenes where he peeled his dead skin to reveal the marble one, and the sucking of blood.
The Grave Review
Cronos is the very first movie directed by Guillermo del Toro. It was the beginning of something great for his career with this movie garnering a lot of good reviews.
The casting of Ron Perlman as the annoying and nose-lift addicted villain made this movie use English and Spanish in the dialogues. Aside from him, the other characters also showcased great acting skills. Even the child who only had one line in the entire movie was able to portray a loving granddaughter ready to protect his grandfather.
In terms of story, it was a good idea to show a prologue about the alchemist, although it lacks explanation regarding the actual Cronos device which houses an insect and how it gives eternal life. There were several times that the insect was shown wriggling inside the device with all the rotating gears, but that’s it. The user’s physical transformation was also not explained other than having a white marble skin.
On one hand, it was interesting to discover that the person who uses the device starts to exhibit vampirism symptoms such as being undead or rising from the dead, burning under the sunlight, thirst for blood, and renewed youthful strength. This can pass as a vampire origin story. The involvement of the child from start to end also differentiates this from other horror movies.
Speaking of child participation, the mix of family drama on both sides and the horrors of searching for eternal life made this movie amazing. The ending is also good in the sense that it was open ended and a bit vague seeing if Gris eventually died after having destroyed the Cronos.
Overall, this movie is recommended for fans of Guillermo del Toro and his works.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Cronos (1993) three and a half graves out of five graves.
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