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  • Gareth Crook

Cronos (1992) - 7/10

I’ve never seen Cronos before, I’ve heard of it but only by name and have absolutely no clue what it’s about. If you’re in a similar boat, although there’s no spoilers here, I’d stop reading now, go watch it, then come back. In the 15th Century, an alchemist devises The Cronos Device. A clockwork gadget that holds the secret to eternal life. After missing for a hundred years, it’s found hidden in a statue by a grandfatherly antique dealer called Jesus (Federico Luppi). He wasn’t looking for it, but Angel de la Guardia (Ron Perlman) is. He’s not that bothered truthfully, thinks it’s all nonsense, but his uncle, who just drops the Angel (Claudio Brook) is a believer. It’s Jesus though that it latches on to and soon he finds himself at its gruesome mercy. Guillermo del Toro is a master of blending the fantastical with reality and Cronos is a great example, with Jesus thrust into a dark vampiric plot underpinned with thrilling supernatural horror. One that he’s not equipped for and one that really surprises this viewer. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, things shift as we dig in deeper. For all its grotesqueness though, it’s cut through with humour. Faced with a new reality, Jesus must lean into the darker corners of his situation to try reclaim what’s truly important in his life. It looks wonderful, every character is perfect and it deftly finds its way to its crushing finale.



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