Search - Cronos on DVD

Actors: Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Claudio Brook, Margarita Isabel, Tamara Shanath
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
R     2003     1hr 34min


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Actors: Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Claudio Brook, Margarita Isabel, Tamara Shanath
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Creators: Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Springall, Arthur Gorson, Bernard L. Nussbaumer, Bertha Navarro, Francisco Murguía, Jorge Sánchez
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/14/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 14
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 3/9/2019...
This is not what I was expecting. The subtitles at first were a bit annoying but bearable once the stellar plotline started going. There was a switch between English and Foreign language, which was pretty neat. Impressive performances by all the actors including the little girl. A must for horror fans!

Movie Reviews

"My name is Jesus Gris. My name is Jesus Gris."
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 03/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"For some reason I developed an early low opinion of Mexican horror films and have since avoided them. Fortunately I didn't realize Cronos was Mexican ans so got to see this truly unusual film directed by Guilliermo del Toro. While it will never win a place on the heights there's a surprising amount of inventiveness and imaginative film work in something that probably has one-tenth the budget of the average Hollywood failure.

Imagine, if you will that a European alchemist fled Europe to Mexico in the 16th Century. Gaining appointment as the Governor's clockmaker he set about making a machine that would prolong his life. He succeeds and lives until a building collapses on him in modern times. His estate is broken up and sold and the real story begins when an antique dealer, Jesus Gris (Federico Luppi), acquires a statue of an angel. In it he finds a golden scarab-like machine. One with horrific powers that Jesus inadvertently activates.

Seeking the scarab for his own purposes is Dieter de la Guardia (Claudio Brook) and his last remaining relative Angel (Ron Perlman). They will stop at nothing, but a repeatedly foiled by the scarab's power over Jesus. Another key player is Aurora Gris (Tamara Shanath) who has no lines but seems to preside over the life and death drama that plays out before her.

There are a few grim and violent moments, but, for the most part, Cronos gains its momentum from its atmospherics. Imagine a screenplay written by Poe and directed by Fellini with echoes of Don't Look Now and you will have a sense of the film's feeling. Colors are dark, sets are detailed, and the minimal special effects are telling. Especially the insides and operation of the clockwork scarab.

The film is as much about the value of life as it is a horror or suspense story. Clumsy at some times and subtle at others, the message gets through with an ending which leaves just enough in question to haunt the viewer. The approach is novel, a very different twist on the vampire genre, and I found myself liking it more the longer I watched it. Definitely worth viewing.
A sad horror film that focuses on character not on slashers
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 09/26/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Guillermo Del Toro's modern Grimm's Fairy Tale "Cronos" focuses as much on character as it does horror. In many respects, it's a throw back to the horror comic books or movies he watched as a kid updated. Antiques dealer Jesus Gris (Federico Luppi) gets more than he bargains for when he covers a ornate gold "beetle" at the base of a decorative angel. He and his devoted granddaughter and wife discover the promise of immortality but also the horrible price one must pay when given a "gift" such as this.

Rich industrialist Dieter de la Guardia (Claudio Brook) has his brutish nephew Angel (Ron Perlman)searching for the device himself. Only Dieter knows about the history of the device, what it can do and the consquences of using it. When Jesus resists Dieter's offer for the device, it also puts his family in peril.

A rich, allegorical horror film that recalls the classic films of the 30's and 40's with its focus on character and the consquences of their actions at the expense of endless blood and gore, "Cronos" is a thoughtful, sad movie that demonstrated the considerable talents of Del Toro ("The Devil's Backbone", "Blade II", "Hellboy"). It's got its moments of gross out gore but Del Toro focuses his story on the delicate relationship between Jesus, his wife and granddaughter.

The film is presented with the original Spanish voiceover presented in English. After that, the film is a mix of Spanish and English as Dieter and Angel speak both sparingly throughout the film while Jesus and his family speak nothing but English. It would probably help to have on the subtitles if you don't speak English during the film as it switches back and forth pretty consistently.

The presentation and look of the DVD is very good capturing the nice textures and colors of the original film although it can't hold a candle to the high definition transfer of "The Devil's Backbone" that recently came out on DVD. Extras include an interview with Del Toro with clips from his very first short films made when he was a teenager up to and including his first 16mm production. There's also an interview with behind-the-scenes footage of Federico Luppi (a thoughtful and talented actor)from the production. There's also an Easter Egg included as well. Look for the Lion's Gate logo and click on it for a nice little surprise. We get a photo gallery and commentaries from both Del Toro and the film's producer. Del Toro's commentary is in English while the producer's commentary is in Spanish.

A haunting, atmospheric debut from Del Toro that deserves to be seen. It's not exactly a horror film (and why Del Toro is referred to as a horror film director is beyond me), it's more of a fantasy/suspense story with horror themes."
A New Bite On An Old Mythology
Tressa L. Breen | Gardner, MA USA | 12/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A new vision of the vampire myth involving an insect trapped in a device that grants immortality (with a price of course), an innocent grandfather, his all but silent granddaughter, a human monster and his victimized nephew.

An elderly antiques shop owner, Jesus Gris, and his granddaughter, Aurora, discover an unusually device in a four hundred year old Archangel statue. Gris inadvertently triggers the device which begins a change in him that not only slowly makes him more youthful in look and energy but infects him with an addict's consuming fixation for blood. Unfortunately for Gris, he is not the only one with knowledge of the device's existence and power, and he becomes the target of the dying businessman De La Guardia's desire for immortality at any cost and his violent nephew Angel.

Loved this film! Loved it! I've always had a thing for vampires and I really enjoyed this new view of the vampire mythology. This isn't just a new story of vampirism though, it is also a tale of family. The love, devotion, and acceptance of family is beautifully shown through the grandfather Jesus and granddaughter Aurora, as is the dark side of family, with it's violence, abuse and victimization, as shown through the obsessed De La Guardia and his nephew Angel.

Ron Perlman is absolutely superb as Angel. He takes what could have been the average brute/thug character and gives him humor, depth, and the ability to evoke sympathy and, almost, forgiveness, from the audience. If you want to introduce a friend to Ron Perlman's work, consider doing so with this performance.

Frederico Luppi and the late Claudio Brooks are also entrancing in their performances as Jesus Gris and De La Guardia, respectively.

Favorite line (narration describing the death of the cronos device creator): "His skin was the color of marble in moonlight."

The DVD extras and commentary are wonderfully enjoyable in and of themselves (how they shot the interior of the cronos device and what happened to it later...eeeewwww, that the thirteen cronos devices used in the film were stolen on the last day of the shoot, that Ron Perlman did accidentally connect, fist to face, at one point with Frederico Luppi, etc). Guillermo Del Toro's commentaries are as spellbinding as his films."