Jesus Gris is the owner of an antique store and lives with his wife, and his granddaughter. One day a man comes looking for something, the strange attitude of the man leads Jesus to an old statue that happens to contain a curious jewelry insect that turns out to hold a horrible secret.
CLICK HERE and Watch More Horror Movies for FREE!
Originally titled “The Cronos Device”, this is the first feature film that the acclaimed and increasingly renowned Mexican film director Guillermo del Toro brought into the silver screen. It was also the first film to be coproduced with US funds by Lionsgate. Guillermo brew a very powerful in imagery and sometimes poetical film that give the vampire genre a twist. Since those days Del Toro showed remarkable talent for film direction, he managed to film with resourced that appear to be hard to raise in his country those years and was also his mayor shot as a makeup artist as he says he spent years developing his creature and Special FX shop. The story is one of the most original monster flicks and it’s a good pick to know GDT’s powerful visual imagination
The film opens with a prologue about an alchemist who is found after an old church fell down; in the brink of death with a broken timber through his chest saying “suo tempore” (at its time). As the story unravels, Jesus Gris and his family are presented to us. Jesus is an old man antiquarian that one day gets visited by a man who is looking for a statue, an archangel. As the man acts suspiciously, Jesus gets curios about the statue. He opens it and finds a curious piece of jewelry and as he takes a look at it in the company of her granddaughter, the piece is a mechanical beauty, is like scarab made or gold and features crablike legs, the piece that was designed by Mexican artist José Fors and crafted in real gold. So as the man Is examining the piece, it suddenly grabs onto his hand making him bleed, leaving him a puncture in the palm of his hand.
Then one day a big man, Angel (played by Ron Perlman), comes and takes the statue. Days later, Jesus comes into his store to find that somebody has trashed everything in it and a small letter. He then goes with a box in his hands to meet the man who ordered the act: a decrepit and ill man named De La Guardia (wonderful actor Claudio Brook) who craves the possession of the device. As they argue about it, the man discovers that Jesus has been in contact with the piece and asks him to give it to him. Jesus in then enforced to leave the place and leaves the box behind, the box happens to have the locks for the store inside it.
That night Jesus is attacked by a powerful thirst and an itch on his hand and find himself craving for a raw steak, and this only passes after he uses the device once again, now on his chest.Next morning, Jesus feels and looks younger, even his wife notices it and she happens to like it. So as time passes, Jesus finds himself using the device in a compulsive manner and as he does so he also notices other changes, sunlight bothers him and the wound in his chest starts oozing a strange sticky fluid.
This is when the real “deal” unfolds as Jesus is about to be cremated, he wakes up and walks out from the place and ends up dwelling on the streets and his skin starts changing and falling off. In his confusion, Jesus goes to De la Guardia to find out what is happening. De la Guardia explains that the device is supposed to give eternal life and shows him the alchemist diary. De la Guardia tells Jesus to peel his skin off to reveal his true nature. As he does so, we discover his new skin. De la Guardia tries to kill Jesus but as he is about to receive the last blow, his granddaughter hits De la Guardia with a cane making him fall. Blood starts coming pouring and Jesus gives into taking his blood. And as they are about to leave (Jesus and his granddaughter), Angel arrives.
As the tension starts rising, Angel and Jesus fight each other at De la Guardia’s building rooftop only this time, Jesus has learnt about his condition.
For a first time director, this is a remarkable genre film, Guillermo really knew what he wanted and as you can hear in the commentary over the film, he dedicated much of his attention to work on the color palette, the general tone of the story and in coding the entire feature.
This film is a good variation over the vampire genre with a very unique visual style that might satisfy more than one.