In 1536, in Veracruz, Mexico, during the Inquisition, an alchemist builds a mysterious and sophisticated device named Cronos to provide eternal life to the owner. In the present days, the antiques dealer Jesus Gris finds Cronos hidden inside an ancient statue while cleaning it with his granddaughter Aurora. He accidentally triggers the device and soon his wife Mercedes and he note that he has a younger appearance. Out of the blue, the stranger Angel de la Guardia visits Gris's shop and buys the old statue. On the next day, Gris finds his shop trashed and Angel's card on the floor. He pays a visit to Angel that introduces him to the eccentric millionaire De la Guardia that explains the healing power and the eternal life given by Cronos. Angel is sent by De la Guardia to hunt down Gris to get Cronos no matter the costs. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Mechanical objects and special effects were carried out by Guillermo del Toro's own monster and make up FX company "Necropia" (The company no longer exists, but was functional for 15 years). See more »
When Jesús searches for Aurora after she has taken the Cronos, as he walks through two doors, he stops. Behind him, reflected in the glass of the door, is crew and equipment. See more »
An antiques dealer finds a device that gives everlasting life, but with it comes a horrible price.
Cronos follows the story of a kind hearted Mexican antiques dealer Jesus (a well cast Frederico Luppi), who one day stumbles upon a huge golden mechanical bug that when applied to specific parts of his anatomy seemingly starts reversing the aging process. However lurking in the background are a demented man (played by a very haunting Claudio Brook) who realizes the potential of the mechanical bug's power and will stop at nothing to acquire it. Assisting him in his search to get the mechanism is his maniacal son Angel (Ron Perlman in one of his best performances).
Writer/Director Guillermo Del Toro proves that he could be one of the most innovative low budget mexican directors to come about since Robert Rodriguez. The scenes showing the inside of the cronos device are very sharply done and it seems you are actually looking inside the device. To compliment Guillermo on his writing, never before have I seen such an interesting spin put on the vampire/zombie genre. And in saying that I may be giving away too much of the plot.
Unfortunately due to low production cost, the movie moves along at a slow pace and without a lot of shock. It is, however, kept strong by first rate acting, especially by Jesus' little granddaughter (Tamara Shanath), who in my opinion, if given the chance, will grow up to be a very fine actress. Which is actually a great feat for all actors involved because this movie is a cross between drama and horror and requires fine acting.
All in all, this best picture winner at Cannes is a hidden horror gem that just pours out originality, and can really not be overlooked by any true horror or movie buff. The twists come aplenty and there is enough gore to suffice any horror fan. So for any person looking to rent a mindless gorefest rent C.H.U.D. But for those looking for a horror film with a little intelligence, do yourself a favour and pick up Cronos, it's well worth the rent.
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
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