The debut film of [[Creator/GuillermoDelToro Guillermo de Toro]]. An old antique dealer, Jesús Gris, and his granddaughter Aurora find a 450-year-old mechanical device shaped like a scarab in the base of a statue. Gris is pierced by the device's legs and stinger and finds himself growing younger but also plagued with cravings for blood. Meanwhile, a dying businessman sends his thuggish nephew (Creator/RonPerlman) to claim the device for himself.

The film was given a Creator/CriterionCollection (number 551) release on DVD and UsefulNotes/BluRay with updated subtitles and some nice cover and booklet art by del Toro's friend and frequent collaborator [[ComicBook/{{Hellboy}} Mike Mignola]].

Several elements from ''Cronos'' will be familiar to anyone reading/watching ''Literature/TheStrain'', and vice versa -- an elderly antique shop owner, unconventional vampires and an evil old man seeking immortality, for starters.
!!Contains examples of:
* AffablyEvil: Angel is pretty charming when he wants to be.
* AlchemyIsMagic
* AmuletOfDependency: The Cronos Device, at least during the initial nights after infection. It slowly "purifies" the victim's blood and makes them a vampire in all but name. Failure to use it leads to pain and hunger, though it doesn't quell the eventual thirst for blood.
* AuthorAppeal: Religious iconography and insects everywhere.
* ClockworkCreature: The Cronos Device is operated by multiple gears and houses an immortal insect inside it.
* ContemptibleCover: Several video cases feature a young, [[ShouldersupNudity implicitly naked]] woman being stung by the device. There is no character that matches this image, nor does this event even come close to happening in the story.
* TheDogBitesBack: [[spoiler: Angel, tired of waiting for his inheritance and fed up with the abuse, kills Dieter.]]
* TheDragon: Angel to Dieter.
* DyingAsYourself: [[spoiler: Jesús decides to smash the Cronos device while he still retains his humanity rather than feed on Aurora's blood, repeating "I am Jesús Gris" to stave off his HorrorHunger.]]
* EvilOldFolks: Dieter.
* FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire
* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: Big events in the film take place during Christmas and New Year's. Though the holidays themselves aren't emphasized -- it's more subdued, "normalcy of family is gone" type of thing.
* HorrorHunger: Jesus Gris gets this after the third "sting" from the Cronos Device, lusting after blood spilt from a nose bleed in a bathroom, and later once [[spoiler:he stabs Dieter.]]
* ImmortalityInducer: The Cronos Device by virtue of infecting the person with what is essentially a non-communicable form of vampirism.
* ImmortalitySeeker: Dieter.
* LittleMissBadass: Aurora proves to be this in the end.
* MeaningfulName: It might be a coincidence, but Jesús Gris sounds very similar to Jesus Christ.
* [[NotUsingTheZWord Not Using The V Word]]
* OurVampiresAreDifferent
* TheQuietOne: Aurora does not speak for most of the film.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The US trailer spoils most of the film's major plot points.