The Devil's Backbone
WebsiteThe Devil's Backbone
Before Guillermo del Toro became Hollywood’s go-to monster maker/dream weaver, he stirred up the restless spirits of Spain’s not-too-distant past with The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth. A spiritual predecessor to del Toro’s cred-confirming breakout, The Devil’s Backbone establishes the horrors—both factual and imagined—from which the protagonist of Pan’s Labyrinth seeks to escape. Set amid the Spanish Civil War, the director spins a complicated, metaphorical concerning ghosts, lost innocence, facism, a fortune in gold, and a disarmed bomb, and makes it absolutely terrifying. Of course, none of the film’s scares are as frightening as the real-life atrocities they symbolize.