Thursday, 21 August 2008

The Orphanage (El Orphanto) [2007]


Directorial debut of Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona, The Orphanage is an assured venture in the oft-made genre of haunted house tales. Bayona being a protégé of Guillermo Del Toro (incidentally also its producer) – who himself made some fascinating films on the bizarre and the inexplicable like The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, the Mexican auteur’s presence is palpable in quite a few scenes of this gothic horror movie. Laura (amazingly performed by the lead actress), who spent her formative years at an orphanage at a pristine god-forsaken location, has returned to the now unoccupied mansion after 30 years, along with her husband and her adopted son Simone. As expected, things soon start turning creepy with the lonely Simone befriending a bunch of invisible kids, and before long downright ugly with his sudden disappearance. Relying more on psychological explorations and deftly executed moments of high shock value, the movie succeeds for the simple reason that at the end of the day it is as much a human story as it is a supernatural one.









Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Genre: Horror/Fantasy/Haunted House Movie/Supernatural/Psychological Thriller
Language: Spanish
Country: Spain

7 comments:

1minutefilmreview said...

Agree. It's definitely a must-see for horror and psychological genre fans.

poormovietaste said...

I definitely agree with your rating. It as an amazing atmospheric horror film. The story was unique and the ending was brilliant.

Shubhajit said...

Thanks guys for your comments. This is indeed a well made horror movie. They used a seemingly over-used template to create something very appreciable and far more original than the usual movies of this genre.

sitenoise said...

Shubhajit, you're making it difficult for me to get on with watching new movies when you keep bringing to my attention movies that I already want to watch a second time. I had some problems with this film but there is no denying the creep factor nor its beautifully poetic execution.

The scene near the end, in the basement when she picks up X, the camera spinning around her ...

... golly wow!

Shubhajit said...

Returning to a movie we've liked is a nice experience i feel. So i'm glad to know that i've managed to do my bit.

And as for the points you mentioned regarding the movie, we are on the same boat on that. This isn't a great movie per se, but a very well executed one.

under-ur-skin said...

Nice film.At least as much as i cud see through my pop-corn bucket ;)

Shubhajit said...

Damn you bloody big pop corn bucket ;)