Top ten memorable scenes: #9 Pan’s Labyrinth

by Toby Woollaston

At number nine is the pale man scene from Guillermo del Toro’s excellent Pan’s Labyrinth.  This film was a pleasant surprise to me, but lot more brutal than I was expecting … not such a bad thing considering its subject matter.  Pan’s Labyrinth is a visceral journey through Ofelia’s (played by Ivana Baquero) troubled mind and gives a very thoughtful account of the way she deals with the horrors of war.  I chose this scene from many that were extraordinary in this film.  Despite being constructed around the classic “look behind you!” trope this simple scene is so much more when viewed in relation to the rest of the film.  It cinematically paints Ofelia’s mental allegory for her real world desperation, her struggle with temptation, and the evil that ensues.  I found the pale man to be a unique yet familar horror, and one that twangs on the nightmarish “I see you at all times” motif.  You can see the clip here.

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