I might have seen Guillermo del Toro's Cronos a whole lot later than the rest of my fellow horror-freaks did, but when it came to The Devil's Backbone, I was there on opening day ... and I just loved it. Sure, sure, Mimic has its moments, Blade 2 is bad-ass, and Hellboy rocks multiple dimensions -- but I think El Espinazo del Diablo is the Mexican flickmaker's finest piece of work by far.

And to say that the pre-release fest-buzz on Senor del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth is "positive" would be kind of like saying Taco Bell makes you have to go to the bathroom "mildly." In a fourth quarter swollen with great-looking movies, Pan's Labyrinth stands up as one of my hardcore gimme-gimme titles, right up there with the new films from Christopher Guest, Martin Scorsese and Darren Aronofsky.

Del Toro fanatics have kept us abreast of the various teasers, clips and trailers that are careening through the interweb, but CHUD.com has scored a great little exclusive: The debut of the domestic trailer for Pan's Labyrinth. And it's pretty darn awesome. (You can tell the trailer was made for American audiences because there's no dialogue in it. If there's one thing that American moviegoers hate, it's when their movie characters speak in foreign languages.)

The movie is about a young girl who uses her (rather impressive) fantasy world to escape from the harsh realities of Spain circa 1944. I've been extremely vigilant about avoiding spoilers on this movie, so that's all the plot synopsis I can offer. But if this thing's even half as good as The Devil's Backbone, I may just have to write Guillermo an email full of love.