Saturday, October 15, 2011

Scariest Characters in Cinema #19 - The Pale Man

Of all the amazing monsters and strange creatures born from the imagination of Guillermo del Toro, the Pale Man is the most frightening. Although Pan's Labyrinth is more of a dark fantasy than a horror film, we meet del Toro's scariest creation during 12-year-old Ofelia's quest to complete three tasks the titular faun has assigned her to prove she is the reincarnation of the princess of the underworld. She is sent to retrieve a dagger from the lair of the Pale Man, a tall, gaunt figure with drooping white skin, sharp teeth, and clawlike fingers. Most disturbing are his eyeless, featureless face and the eyes that are set, instead, in the palms of his hands. When Ofelia disregards one of the faun's instructions and plucks a grape from the Pale Man's banquet spread, he gets pretty pissed about it. He wakes up, bites the heads off two fairies who were helping Ofelia and stalks her down the long hallway to her exit; Ofelia barely escapes.

The Pale Man's appearance only takes up about five minutes of running time, but he's unforgettable. On one level, he's a great metaphor for the decadence of fascist Spain during WWII, the movie's setting. On the other hand, he works because HE BITES THE HEADS OFF OF FAIRIES, he has a horrible, unnatural howl and, when he raises his hands to his face to see, the image has a perfectly uncanny quality. He's like a Fuseli painting brought to life, the horribly perfect end result of some strange alternate thread of evolution. And he's not going to share his grapes; he's saving them for later.


viagra online said...

None of them - they're all a bunch of horror characters.
Mine would definitely be Travis Bickle from 'Taxi Driver'. He's such a real character, and his progression to insanity and erratic thinking is truly terrifying - you never know what will happen next.

Anonymous said...

Travis Bickle isn't scary. He's heroic.

Anonymous said...

A full movie a orphanage filled with abused children who finds a way our through 6 task to unlock the code of hate on the earth. each time a difficult task is completed your see changes. ONE such task the food improves in the markets, the flowers blown. The personalities of the adults become kind and concerned. the weather becomes sunny bright warm. The furniture and town is new. There at school and their parents return as if never leaving. sylvia tina! SLUMBER chalk task that goes to dangerous adventures. Under water in the belly of the beast in clam is the pearl. Dungeons of Doors of doors of doors to narrow and slanted to describe lost of control to bent and broken hidden keys. Frozen blue castle, Furniture everything made of blue ice. The sword that pierce Jesus.

Anonymous said...

The film is rich with both Eastern and Western Esoteric symbolisms and implications, and IMO the Pale Man's feast where Ofelia retrieved the blade resembles "The Feasts of Chöd" in the Tibetan tantric tradition: "The practice of chöd, or “cutting through,” is a Tibetan Buddhist meditative practice in which a person’s hopes and fears—as well as the three poisons of desire, anger, and ignorance—can be cut off at the root and abandoned. "

"Chöd, like all tantric systems, has outer, inner and secret aspects. They are described in an evocation sung to Nyama Paldabum by Milarepa:

External chod is to wander in fearful places where there are deities and demons. Internal chod is to offer one's own body as food to the deities and demons. Ultimate chod is to realize the true nature of the mind and cut through the fine strand of hair of subtle ignorance. I am the yogi who has these three kinds of chod practice."

Source of reference: