Cronos

Cronos Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 65 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Jesus Gris discovers a mechanized scarab that causes a need for blood to those who are stabbed by it.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Cronos is a horror genre film about vampires - but one so well conceived and executed that it satisfies both mainstream and art-film expectations.
  2. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    90
    Cronos surprises with its sophisticated and spirited look at a tale straight from the crypt. [22 Apr 1994]
  3. An offbeat and in some ways, more daring variation on vampirism
  4. 75
    For all its absurdity Cronos generates a real moral conviction.
  5. [It] may not be your cup of tea, but you have to admire the style, sincerity, and overall sense of craft even if you don't fancy the comic-book gore.
  6. 67
    Cronos is a thoughtful, intelligent film, and as a horror movie (which is, I think, its main mission in life) it's genuinely disquieting.
  7. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    25
    The picture, which marks the debut of Mexican film maker Guillermo del Toro, is a dull hybrid - a ponderous art film crossed with a vampire story. [06 May 1994]

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. May 10, 2015
    10
    The gold debut of Guillermo del Toro. Masterful work in every detail, stunning visual sense."Cronos" is a rare piece of cinema art,horrorThe gold debut of Guillermo del Toro. Masterful work in every detail, stunning visual sense."Cronos" is a rare piece of cinema art,horror combinate with philosophy drama and give amazing expiriance to remember. Cronos" rare work of art, was born in the combined horror and philosophical drama, which in result gives you an unforgettable experience of watching the film. Expand
  2. JasonV.
    Jan 23, 2008
    9
    Great twist on the vampire film, with some great black humour from Ron Perlman.
  3. ElizabethA.
    Aug 8, 2008
    9
    Thoughtful and beautiful! Guillermo del Toro is a truly amazing director. His character development adds such meaning to his films. You Thoughtful and beautiful! Guillermo del Toro is a truly amazing director. His character development adds such meaning to his films. You can't help but care about what happens to them! He takes time to tell a great story! Expand
  4. Nov 4, 2014
    9
    This movie was marvelous. It was a really interesting and original story. It also had a remarkable group of casts especially Federico LuppiThis movie was marvelous. It was a really interesting and original story. It also had a remarkable group of casts especially Federico Luppi and Ron Perlman. Ron had added some comedy scenes to the film too. The progression of the film tends to move in a slower pace but it does not make me felt bored at all while watching. I loved the soundtrack that played at the final part of the film, it was great and really improved the mood of the scene. Director Del Toro did a fabulous job in directing this movie. It would be awesome if the movie talked more about the history background of the device and its maker.
    Overall, Cronos is amazing and those who prefer a not so scary, no shocks, no nudity scene, not too gory, slower pace type of horror movie, this is the right one for you.
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  5. Sep 17, 2016
    9
    Guillermo del Toro has always had a flair for the fantastical and that was ever on display in his directorial debut, Cronos. A vampire filmGuillermo del Toro has always had a flair for the fantastical and that was ever on display in his directorial debut, Cronos. A vampire film about an unsuspecting man who discovers a device that will give him eternal life, Cronos is a film with considerable heart, but also a terrific atmosphere, special effects, and a knack for making you feel unsettled. Of his works that I have seen, del Toro makes horror-esque films and often dabbled on the outskirts of the horror genre. Cronos is the most horror of any of them, but it is not the type to leave you scared and afraid to turn off the lights. Instead, it is the type of horror film that lingers in the air and in the mind.

    With a compelling premise and well thought out mythology behind this mysterious cronos device, Guillermo del Toro creates a sense of mystery that quickly turns into dread as you discover what secrets this device holds. Creating this stiff, atmospheric tension, del Toro's debut never produces outright scares, but it does create significant tension. As Jesus Gris (Federico Luppi) begins to explore the device and transform before our eyes, the film is incredibly tense and retains this sense of mystery, as the film's mythology and explanation of events is ever evolving as we learn alongside Jesus what this device is truly capable of. The unique backstory aside, however, the film does largely stick to typical vampire genre tropes when it comes to the daily life of a vampire. However, del Toro executes these tropes very well and makes them feel fresh and new, in large part thanks to the backstory.

    In terms of the writing, it is typical del Toro fare. Smart and well crafted characters who are very well developed and relatable. Particularly, del Toro manages to wring significant pathos out of this film, particularly when it comes to the relationships between Jesus and his wife and his granddaughter. Truly moving, this is the human core to all of del Toro's fantastical films and, as he will later do to perfection in Pan's Labyrinth, he executes it flawlessly. This is not some hollow vampire film. Instead, it is one with a heart and soul, which is always appreciated.

    The film's special effects are another one of its major strengths, namely when Jesus is becoming a vampire. The decaying flesh, the ripping of dead flesh, and the full transformation, are really impressive. This is make-up special effects at their very finest and given the film's release date, this work is thoroughly impressive. How they managed to make them look this believable and never silly is a true accomplishment.

    Overall, Cronos is a terrific film that showcases the skill Guillermo del Toro already possessed at the time of his debut, as well as hinted at even better things for the director. With a consistently tense and mysterious atmosphere, Cronos is a vampire film that strikes its viewers in the heart with its tension, unsettling events, and emotion.
    Expand
  6. Oct 7, 2011
    8
    This movie had a lot of good things going for it. First it had a great cast. Federico Luppi was a great character for the film and he reallyThis movie had a lot of good things going for it. First it had a great cast. Federico Luppi was a great character for the film and he really did an excellent job as main. Also I find it kind of ironic that his name is Jesus. Tamara Shanath, who played the little girl, had such a strange character, but she really pulled it off. The others were good too, but I will only mention Ron Perlman because he brought some nice comedy to the film as well. The story was pretty fantastic. It was like they combined being a vampire with being a zombie; but they put their own little twist on it. The twist made the story good from start to finish. The movie wasn't as scary as it was interesting. It may not make you jump in your seat, but it still gives off the horror vibe. Take it all in and it will seem creepy to you. Guillermo del Toro wins awards for reasons and this is just one of the films to show it. Expand

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