Surpassing the Realm of Originality

Guillermo del Toro's Cronos demonstrates endless humanity

By Valerie Berumen
Published on LatinoLA: December 12, 2001

Surpassing the Realm of Originality

One of the most impressive Latino films that I have seen is Cronos (1994),

Director by Guillermo del Toro, this is a film that surpasses the realms of originality in both the story-elling sense as well as in the way it was produced and marketed.

Cronos is a Mexican horror-fantasy that takes a bizarre look at vampirism, told as rather a love story. Although there is some gore in the movie, it is really about the overwhelming power of love of a child towards her Grandfather, and vice versa.

An aging antique dealer discovers an ancient amulet, and is allured by it powers to restore youth and give life eternal. Once bitten, he develops a craving for blood and grows younger with each drink of blood.

As the dealer becomes more dependent on the amulet and human blood, a dying millionaire narrows his search for the same trinket and discovers it in his antique shop.

The millionaire is a heartless bastard, and is willing to do anything to get his hand on the amulet, including murdering anyone in his path.

As the dealer's addiction grows, he is torn because realizes he desires the blood of his innocent granddaughter. In horror, he sacrifices himself, and destroys the Cronos trinket, for the love of his grandchild.

This shows that even the undead can demonstrate endless humanity, sin egoismo. It makes you wonder who the real monsters are.

Now, the way it was marketed and launched was completely innovative of a Mexican director. This movie was launched from the very beginning in Spanish with English subtitles, and also in English, in a way that was all together very cool.

In my opinion this method is alleviating languages barriers is ingenious.

I believe that if more Latin films are launched in the form they would get more recognition, much faster.

Rather than for a Latin film needing to go all the way around the world to create a "buzz" for itself, eventually make it's way back to Hollywood, why not just go straight to the source and target Hollywood from the get go?

In conclusion, I would like to give Guillermo del Toro a standing ovation for creating this film in the period that he did. He is most definitely an innovator and a pacesetter for Mexican and Latino directors the world over.

Thank you Mr. Del Toro.

About Valerie Berumen:
Valerie Berumen can be reached at vberumen@ipsmso.com

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