Friday, 6 June 2008

El Orfanato

English Title: The Orphanage
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Country: Spain

Laura (Belén Rueda) moves back to an old orphanage where she stayed as a child, along with her husband, Carlos (Fernando Cayo) and son, Simón (Roger Príncep). She plans to convert her new house into a child care service, but soon encounters problems when it becomes apparent that her son's imaginary friends may not be imaginary after all.

Juan Antonio Bayona makes a masterful directorial debut with a tight script by Sergio G. Sánchez, also a first-timer in feature-length films. The movie keeps a tense pace all throughout and doesn't rely on shock factor as many of its modern counterparts so often do, instead carefully creating an ominous atmosphere, which is the kind of horror movie I like to watch. The quality of acting adds to this by sucking you in with the convincing performances. I really only had one issue with the movie, and even then it was more of a pet peeve of mine than a true flaw in the movie.

The Orphanage is quite possibly the creepiest film I have ever seen; my spine hasn't tingled as much as when I watched it. Not only that, but I could find only a few little things wrong with it. Highly recommended for horror fans.

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