I'll have to tell you the context I was in when I watched it, for you to understand. I'm Mexican. When I watched this movie I was 15 yrs. old and the Mexican movie "industry" (if you can call it that way) hadn't a reputation for its excellent horror movies.
Cronos is a movie that was released back in a time in which mexican movies were usually flops because of the lack of support from producers, distributors and audiences alike. The movie was released in 10 movie theaters only and only in Mexico City and it was retired because movie owners considered it a failure!!! (How couldn't it be a failure with only 10 theaters showing it? Hello?)
When the movie went to Cannes and won the Critics Week Award, this event didn't change a lot the movie's fortune. I, being an avid film fan and being from a small town called Coatzacoalcos (I dare you to spell it right!)and having read a lot from it in magazines and newspapers had to wait until it's release on VHS to rent it.
It instantly became one of my all time favorites.
You have to understand... Our mexican HORROR movies were of the likes of Ed Wood movies, until Cronos arrived. Ok, I have to admit that there were three other HORROR movies on the seventies ("Even the Wind is Frightened", "The Stone Book" and "As Black as Night" all from the same director, named Carlos Enrique Taboada), but if you watch them today they have lost their FRIGHT FACTOR.
So in a Mexico with a lot of legends and folklore, the complete abssence of HOORROR movies was a curse broken by Guillermo Del Toro a young, fat man from Guadalajara that was an avid comic reader and makeup artist.
If you could read the script (which you can buy here in Mexico), you could read the pretty images that become poetic and that Guillermo handles in a way no one else can.
Poetry and horror mixed? It may sound odd, but it works...
There's a part in which the lead character looks his reflection in the mirror and asks: How do I look? And the writer (Del Toro) answers him:
A great literary scene that you can only appreciate by reading it and then watching the movie again. I swear you can almost hear the writer answering him on film!
The story follows the life of a Jesús Gris (Translated as Gray Jesus... nice game of words, ain't it?) and his discovering of an odd goldlike aparatus. How will it affect his life? Will it bring joy or misfortune? That is for you to find out.
Now... Let me explain something... A lot of people know Del Toro for movies like "Mimic" and "Blade", which I think he directed brilliantly, and I read that an Amazon client complained because on the DVD case of "The Devil's Backbone" (Another Guillermo Del Toro's preciosist film, just number two after Cronos of course, in my list of his movies)there's written:
"Vastly more stylish and frightening than "The Others""
So, he bought it and was dissapointed, because the movie didn't frighten him as much as "The Others" did!!!
Let me say this:
The HORROR genre is not necessarily a genre that will frighten you. You mean HORROR when a film has something, anything involving the paranormal... So, under this parameter, Ghost is a HORROR film. It doesn't scare you but its main premise touches the paranormal aspect. Get it?
So... All this being said...
Buy it! Sit back! And Enjoy!
Feel the security of yous house being torn to shreds...