The story takes place in Spain, a few years after The Civil War, which ended in 1939 with General Franco emerging victorious and taking over as Dictator of Spain. The Resistance has fled into the forests, but are looking to bounce back at any opportunity. Amidst this setting, the narrative of the film intertwines the real world with a mythical world centered on an overgrown abandoned labyrinth and a mysterious faun creature, with whom the main character, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), interacts. Ofelia meets several strange and magical creatures who become central to her story, leading her through the trials of the old labyrinth garden. On successful completion of her tasks, Ofelia bears the chance to attain immortality by ascending the high throne of the underworld as Princess Moanna. Parallely running, is the story of Captain Vidal (Sergi Lopez), the son of a brave Commander who died in a battle in Morocco, who is posted on an Army outpost in the forest surrounded by the Resistance men. He takes Ofelia's mother Carmen (Ariadna Gil) as his wife, after the death of Ofelia's father. There is state control over the rations to prevent it from reaching the Resistance men hiding in the forests and amidst this he plays an evil character who is impossible to defend. Mercedes (Maribel Verdu), Vidal's housekeeper, who is secretly supporting the rebels is also supported by Dr Ferreiro (Alex Angulo) in her mission. Midway in the movie, The Resistance, in a stroke of brilliance, are able to overpower the men at the outpost and gain access to the rations leaving the Captain and his men dumbfounded. This incident in the movie, shifts the tide in favor of the Resistance. Soon after, Vidal discovers that his housekeeper Mercedes is a spy. Ofelia is locked in her bedroom, and Mercedes is taken to be tortured. However, she frees herself, stabs Vidal, and rejoins the rebels. The faun returns to Ofelia and tells her to bring her baby brother into the labyrinth. Vidal pursues her. The faun tells Ofelia that opening the portal to the underworld requires the blood of an innocent. The faun suggests a few drops of her baby brother's blood. Ofelia refuses to harm her brother; for further disobeying his orders, the faun refuses to help her. Vidal finds Ofelia talking to someone (the faun) whom Vidal cannot see. Vidal takes the baby from her arms and fatally shoots Ofelia; then, when he reaches the labyrinth's entrance, he is surrounded by the rebels who have taken over the outpost. Knowing that he will be killed, he hands the baby to Mercedes. One of the rebels kills Vidal. The movie ends with drops of Ofelia's blood falling down the center of the spiral stone staircase onto an altar. Ofelia then appears in a golden throne room. The king of the underworld says that she passed the final test, which was to choose to spill her own blood rather than that of her baby half-brother.
Oscar Cinematography 2007 (Guillermo Navarro)
Oscar Makeup and Hairstyling 2007
Oscar Art Direction 2007
Nominated for Writing (Original Screenplay) 2007
Nominated for Foreign Language Film 2007 (Μεξικό)
Nominated for Music (Original Score) 2007 (Javier Navarrete)