Here's an excerpt from the Murderati post (written by Alexandra Sokoloff):
When I respond deeply to a movie or book, no matter how realistic and modern it seems on the surface, chances are it’s going to have a fairy tale structure.
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, RED DRAGON, THE EXORCIST, THE GODFATHER, A WRINKLE IN TIME, STAR WARS, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, THE TREATMENT (Mo Hayder) – every single one of them is a fairy tale. And fairy tales have their own structural rules that just work for me.
I know JT and Cornelia have blatantly (my favorite approach) used fairy tales in at least a few of their books.
And yes - she talks about Pan's Labyrinth too.
I don't remember if I read this or heard this but I've always thought of the rule of three having specifically this effect: Once is chance, two might be coincidence whereas three is definitely not coincidence! (And therefore important.)
Click HERE to learn more about the 'rule of three' and to see multiple examples in fairy tales.
You can read the whole of this interesting article - which has something for both readers and writers of fairy tales - HERE.