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Both show what can be achieved when Guillermo del Toro grounds his fantastical vision in reality; Pan's Labyrinth is the more mature work, however.
I've heard Pan's Labyrinth is actually a follow up to The Devil's Backbone. Interesting. I could actually see correlations between the two. Both are fantastic, but Pan's Labyrinth was exceptional.
Devils Backbone does nothing for me. It doesn't work as a ghost film, it doesn't work as a coming of age film, nothing. While Pan's Labyrinth is an incredible, moving dark fantasy. Clear winner.
Although I really liked the concept and the setting of "The Devil's Backbone," it's really no competition here. "Pan's Labyrinth" is the clear winner.
Devil's Backbone is special because without it I believe we never would have got the wonder that is Pan's Labyrinth. Nonetheless, Pan's L is del Toro's masterpiece and clearly the winner.