Faced with his own mortality, an ingenious alchemist tried to perfect an invention that would provide him with the key to eternal life. It was called the Cronos device. When he died more than 400 years later, he took the secrets of this remarkable device to the grave with him. Now, an elderly antiques dealer has found the hellish machine hidden in a statue and learns about its incredible powers. The more he uses the device, the younger he becomes...but nothing comes without a price. Life after death is just the beginning as this nerve-shattering thriller unfolds and the fountain of youth turns bloody.
I am not sure how I feel about this movie – Guillermo del Toro’s directorial debut and ‘Grand Prize’ Winner at Cannes 1993, about a magical device that can grant eternal life.
It starts out fairly interesting and the first half sets out teh relavtn characters and builds a decent plotline, even if the movie is incredibly slow. There are a lot of potentially interesting and meaty themes that the movie could choose to then delve into – ranging amongst others from medieval alchemy to a twist on vampires, to eternal life, or religion… but it just sort of goes… nowhere.
There is no depth in the story – we never learn anything about the background of the Cronos device, we never learn anything about how its current pursuer found out about it, nor how it is supposed to work. So if you choose to go for a shallow-take-it-all-at-face-value approach to the plot, at least the horror elements should be good… but there is nothing scary about this movie either.
The acting is pretty good, including a young Ron Perlman as well, but it doesn’t manage to save this movie from its shallow plot unfortunately. The character battle between the various leads is what the movie is about in the end, but in my opinion the characters are nto give any depth to make this interesting enough.
I sort of enjoyed the first half, opening up the doors to various potentially interesting paths to explore and therefore expecting something good to develop in the second half, but unfortunately it then just deteriorates into true B movie territory…