Guiilermo Del Toro's The Devil's Backbone, a precursor to Pan's Labyrinth, shares a lot of DNA with it's successor but is not quite up to par. I'm not even sure if it is a horror film. Sure it contains a ghostly little boy, but the scares are few and far between and the story is slanted far more towards the melodramatic rather than the scary.
Given how much we all enjoyed The Orphanage, which was produced by Del Toro, I felt sure I was on to a winner with this choice, however it was not to be. As always from Del Toro it looks gorgeous and there is some good stuff here, but it just never really hits a home run for me. There is something lacking, unfortunately I'm not sure what it is. It was a telling sign that Fin, Ally and myself were chatting most of the way through the film.
The acting is uniformly excellent, but I can't help but feel that the story is lacking somewhat with the result that the film isn't as emotionally resonant as it likes to think it is. I'm glad I've seen this film and I certainly think Del Toro is an interesting director, however this is not a film that I will be revisiting.