Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Orphanage

Foreign Film from Spain - Spanish Title: El Orfanato
Language: Spanish [with English Subtitles]

Genre - Thriller/Mystery
Year Released - 2007
Running Time - 105 minutes
Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona (who is going to be directing the upcoming film Hater, based on David Moody's novel)
Written by Sergio G. Sanchez
Cast Includes:
Belen Rueda as Laura (the mother)
Roger Princep as Simon (the son)
Fernando Cayo as Carlos (the father)

Rating: 5 Skulls

Plot Summary:
With fond memories of the seaside orphanage where she was raised, Laura persuades her husband to help her revamp it as a facility for disabled children. But once they move in, their son Simon begins to exhibit dark and disturbing behaviour.

As Laura tries to understand Simon's increasingly malevolent actions, she becomes drawn into the house's terrifying secrets.

Presented by Guillermo del Toro [Pan's Labyrinth, Blade 2, the Hellboy films, and the upcoming Hobbit films!] this film tells a tale of love and a story of horror [as the tagline for the film so elegantly puts it]

It has been rumored that Bayona may direct the film Eclipse [part 3 of the Twilight Saga] I do not see this happening, as he has currently received the rights to direct Hater - due in 2010 - but if things change, Bayona would be a perfect choice for Eclipse, what with the Antediluvians [I forget their name] in Italy and all [for those who have read the books, then you know what I am referring to]

Anyway, Bayona would be a perfect choice because of the fact of his great directing - The Orphanage is beautifully shot and very atmospheric. Bayona utilizes the scenery, etc all around to create an amazing atmosphere, which would work perfectly for Eclipse.

The Good Shepherd Orphanage

Whoa, I totally lost my train of thought there - that works out though, as I really shouldn't tell you too much about this movie.

Just know that it is not horror [per say] though it is horrific in the fact of a mother & father losing their child. You see, Simon is adopted and plays with imaginary/invisible friends, but they may not be so imaginary after all. After one of his 'friends' tells Simon that he is adopted [something his parents were waiting to tell him, once he was a little older, as he is only 7 years old] Simon gets into an argument with his mother and runs off [the circumstances around all of this are actually pretty creepy]

Anyway, after Simon runs off, he cannot be found, and therein lies the mystery of the film - What happened to Simon?

There is so much more to this film than I am telling - this is one of those films where it's all about the story, and it is awesome!
[for those who know me, then you know that I adore Pan's Labyrinth - I thought that it was one of 2006's best films! The Orphanage is just as good, if not better!]

Here's the trailer:

I highly recommend this film!
*For those of you with Netflix, it is currently available to watch Instantly!

I should also tell you that, once again, we Americans think that we should re-make this film. What a terrible idea! It is perfect as it is! So, see this version before it becomes tarnished by a senseless re-make.



iMike said...

Great review. This movie kicked major ass! It was damn creepy too!

thebonebreaker said...

I agree 100% Mike! :-)


Wings said...

Gonna add this to Neflix now, and with the "watch instantly" thing, I may just watch it tonight!

What is up with the creepy bag on his head though??? That is messed up!

Bo said...

When I recently heard someone complain about how "horror films suck now", this was one of those films that I referenced, along with [REC], Pan's Labyrinth and others. Then, he backtracked, to "American horror movies suck", and I brought up Dance of the Dead, Jack Brooks, and Splinter.

Looks like you've been on a roll with great movies lately!

thebonebreaker said...


I watched it Instantly, where-as I should have just bought it, knowing it was going to be great! :-)
Let me know what you think, after you've watched it!

Bo, you argued your point with excellent films - though I still have yet to see [REC] and Splinter - I concur wholeheartedly with the other films.

I have been on a roll lately - let's hope it continues, as I have two Independent films that are on their way to me now [my fingers are crossed] ;-)


Tom G said...

I've had this film on my list of flicks to check out for a bit now. Your review has me bumping it up the list.

Smirking Revenge said...

I loved this film. One of the best things I watched last year. And no, you will not get me to play 1,2,3 knock on the wall especially if ghosts are involved. Even I, have my limits. *grin*

thebonebreaker said...


Same here - I had this sitting in my Instant Netflix Queue [knowing that it was going to be good] just saving it for "one of those days"

You will be glad that you bumped it up!

Starbuck, I hear ya! ;-)


Ryan Harvey said...

I liked, but didn't love, this one. However, I agree: NO REMAKE!

Stac said...

God, I loved this movie. I cried so hard at the end that I had a tissue over my mouth so I wouldn't bother my roommate who was watching something for one of her film classes.

It was gorgeous, and heart breaking the same way that Pan's Labyrinth was. It's at the top of the Amazon list for me! This and the Repo sound track! ;)

I would LOVE if this director directed Eclipse. It's my favorite of the books, and I would love to see that melancholy beauty this director gave The Orphanage carried over to Eclipse.

thebonebreaker said...

Ryan, thanks for the comment! :-)


I completely agree - the film had a fantastical [is that even a word?] ending which was extremely moving. . .

Eclispse is my favorite of the saga as well, and I too would love if Bayona decided to direct the film!