Set during the Spanish Civil War, a bookish and curious little girl is taken up to the mountains by her sickly pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, who is the fascist captain of a military camp. Lonely and book-hungry, the young girl finds herself transported into a fantasy world, where she meets her guide, a faun, who reveals she is the long lost princess of his world. She needs to perform 3 tasks to prove she is worthy of her title before she and her unborn brother can come back to her kingdom. All while trying to avoid the nightmare of the war going on around her.
Dark, twisted and beautiful, this entwines fairy-tale fantasy with war-movie horror to startling effect. The idea that the most horrific monster is man himself even in a fantasy world where there are creatures that eat children speaks volumes about the world we live in today. Guillermo del Torro has crafted an exquisite fable about the innocence and the price one pays to preserve it. If only he had directed The Chronicles of Narnia.