Cronos (1993)

R  |   |  Horror  |  May 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 18,599 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 79 user | 83 critic | 12 from

A mysterious device designed to provide its owner with eternal life resurfaces after four hundred years, leaving a trail of destruction in its path.



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21 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jesus Gris
Angel de la Guardia
Claudio Brook ...
De la Guardia
Margarita Isabel ...
Tamara Shanath ...
Mario Iván Martínez ...
Farnesio de Bernal ...
Juan Carlos Colombo ...
Funeral Director
Jorge Martínez de Hoyos ...
Narrator (voice)
Luis Rodríguez ...
Javier Álvarez ...
Bleeding Man
Gerardo Moscoso ...
Eugenio Lobo ...
Stoned Man
Adriana Olivera ...
Tango Student


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for horror violence and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

May 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chronos  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)


$621,392 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Guillermo del Toro started writing on the script as early as 1984, where it was titled "Vampire of the Grey Dawn". 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 »


[to Jesus, who is about to take the blood from her fingers]
Aurora Gris: Grandfather.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to the memory of Josefina Camberos See more »


Prisionero del Mar
Luis Alcaraz y Ernesto Cortizar
(C) 1941, PHAM Mexico
See more »

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User Reviews

Fresh, original horror film
21 December 1999 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

I can't think of many 90's films that will be remembered as classics of the horror genre, this film is an exception.

When you think of Mexican horror, you no doubt think of the El Santo Vs. the Aztec Mummy type films made in the 60s, don't get me wrong, I like them too. In interviews, director Guillermo Del Toro has said that his influences come more from American and British horror (such as the classic Universal and Hammer horror films) than from Mexico's horror tradition. Still, the film does have a distinctly Mexican sensibility, especially with it's abundance of Catholic imagery.

First time director Del Toro, cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (who would go on to do great work for Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, among oth ers), and production designer Tolita Figuero create a very unique, interesting look for the film.

All of the actors are great, especially veteran Argentinian actor Federico Luppi, who plays the main character Jesus Gris, and Luis Bunuel's favorite Mexican actor Claudio Brook, who plays Dieter De La Guardia. What really makes the film for me is it's quirky sense of humor and odd characterizations, I found scenes toward the middle of the film to be hilarious. The effective, subtle, score by Javier Alvarez also adds to the mood of the film.

The film also manages to be a very different kind of vampire story than usual, It makes me think a little bit of the "Wurdulak" segment of the great Mario Bava's film Black Sabbath. Vampire films of late have become very tiresome, it's nice to see someone take a different approach.

I think Guillermo Del Toro is a talent to watch for.

40 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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