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This was my second favorite film of 2006. (After Children of Men.) I was watching it for the second time, and it remained an incredible film. Everything from top to bottom is just about perfect.

The cast is amazing, Ivana Baquero stands out as Ofelia, she brings us into this magical world and makes us believe in it. Sergi López is devastating as Captain Vidal, a horrible, but fully truthful villain. The make-up and effects are top-notch, not for one second did they take me out of the film. Guilermo del Toro has created a masterpiece for the ages; he is simply one of the top filmmakers working today.

I was completely entranced from the moment Ofelia and her pregnant mother enter the forest to stay with her new stepfather. This magical world that she's possible the princess of, takes her out of the horrible world that surrounds her. Are her adventures real or simply an imaginative escape? It's left up to the audience to decide.

I like that del Toro jumps back and forth from serious films like this one to the comic book films Hellboy and Blade II. It shows that he wants to have fun, but also likes to make some serious art. If you haven't seen it, I'd also highly recommend The Devil's Backbone, it's along the same lines. A young boy trapped in an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War, discovers a mystery that involves the ghost of a fellow orphan, it's dramatic, but retains that horror genre edge.

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