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From Cronos to Hellboy and Crimson Peak, writer/director Guillermo del Toro has consistently demonstrated his transformative brand of storytelling. His gothic imagery oozes deep shadows from the frame, capturing his characters and audiences in a world that although displaced from reality, feels at their greatest moments intimate, familiar, and warm. The 2006 horror/dark fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth is for many del Toro's finest hour, blending magical realism with the most balanced touch of upending humanity’s favorite conflict: good vs. evil.

By this time most people have heard of the Narco-apocalypse that has been raging in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico for the last 20 years. The warring of the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels has pushed the murder rate to top of the world charts. A declaration of war on the cartels by Mexican president Felipe Calderon and the insertion of thousands of federal troops in Juarez actually served to push those numbers even higher for a time. What is more Calderon nearly fashioned his own Waterloo when he mistakenly dismissed a group of 16 young people gunned down at a birthday party as gang members.