The eagerly anticipated fantasy film from director Guillermo del Toro will open just before the end of the year, making it eligible to compete in the Oscar awards to be held early next year. Picturehouse, which acquired the film at the Sundance Film Festival, will release the film in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago on December 29 before expanding to more markets on January 12.

Pan's Labyrinth received a standing ovation at both the Cannes and Toronto film festivals this year, with del Toro and fantasy fans alike anxiously awaiting its release. The film is a dark fantasy that follows a main character who lives in an imaginary world of her own creation, which helps her deal with the horrors of real life after the Spanish civil war. Fantasy writer Neil Gaiman who wrote last year's dark and whimsical MirrorMask, which features a similar main character, was treated to a personal screening by Guillermo, and loved the film.

This is still a film that is flying under the radar for most American audiences, and hopefully it will reach the audience it deserves.