review for Cronos on AllMovie

Cronos (1993)
by Cavett Binion review

The simple, straightforward plot of director Guillermo Del Toro's Cronos is given resonance by a rich, intriguing mythology which emphasizes the grotesque, parasitic aspects of vampirism, stripping away the romantic aspects of the myth to define the vampire as essentially a highly-evolved form of parasitic insect, which the Cronos device itself clearly resembles. Del Toro too often resorts to rather heavy-handed allegory -- the saintly Jesus Gris dies, descends into a "hell" of indignity and base desires (exemplified by a nasty scene where he resorts to lapping blood from a bathroom floor) and rises again to protect his granddaughter from evil -- this wild fantasy is still anchored at a very sensitive, human level, thanks to excellent performances and a low-key, non-exploitative approach.