P = Pale Man

Pale Man from Pans Labyrinth

I admit it – I’m in love with subtitles!

Okay, I’m really in love with the international community and their love of stories. Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican filmmaker who loves dark fantasy. He wowed Cannes Film Festival in 2006 with his movie, Pan’s Labyrinth.

I went to see the film and though it only boasted a handful of fairy creatures, it inspired my imagination. The symbolism of such fantastical creatures among the very real war intrigued me. As far as child murderers go this one is quite unique yet embodies the disdain for innocence that all child murderers hold.

Pale Man is a monster with an insatiable appetite for children’s flesh. (It’s a poor name for such a scary creature – even as an adult he makes my knees knock.) During her second quest to reassure the Faun she hadn’t completely turned human, the girl Ofelia is wary but not frightened of the naked, eye-less man. He doesn’t move or react to her obtaining her goal – the knife.

Such is the making of temptation. That is the allure of the Pale Man. It is you that awakens his demony. It’s your act of eating a couple of grapes, lured at their presence among such a wasteful banquet that seals your doom. Ofelia is blessed to have with her two fairies who sacrifice their lives for their princess. We see first hand his hunger.

Doug Jones is a true marvel to me. His ability to take on not only the Pale Man but also the Faun speaks to his multi-dimensional talent. Sure, make-up and prosthetics  helped him get into character but he brought both creatures to life.

The character of the Pale Man is so raw, so basic to our human nature that he’s truly frightening, no matter our age. The symbolism in such a character is ripe for all of us – when we don’t listen to those around us warning us that our actions will not result in good things then we’ll have to live with the consequences. And Ofelia does have to live with the consequences – her death.

AtoZ Challenge Logo smallThis month I’m participating in a writing challenge to post everyday in April (except Sundays) called the A to Z Challenge. I’m exploring my love of characters, find the full list here. Read some of my other writing posts here. What characters do you love?


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