Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Orphanage (2007)

Although it was released as a companion piece to THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE and was even presented by Guillermo del Toro, the similarities between the two films end at the setting and spiritual beings. THE ORPHANAGE begins with a couple moving in to the wife's former orphanage with their sick son and the intention to re-open its closed doors. After her son mysteriously disappears, she fears his imaginary friends may be terrifyingly real when strange happenings begin taking place within the home. Will the spirits help lead her to her missing boy, or do they have some other evil intent? Though the scares are relatively few, strong performances by each of the leads, dark labyrinthine sets, and a haunting score each contribute to an overall moody atmosphere and constant state of tension. The film received international acclaim following its release, and while I recognize that it displays better than average filmmaking, I am still relatively unimpressed by it and find myself wanting more out of the story. I can't help but feel like the film is an imitation (though be it a good one) at every turn, but I do like the fairy tale theme that resurfaces at the end. THE ORPHANAGE is a good film and should be seen, it is just no where near as frightening as it had been made out to be.

Rating: 8/10.
Number of views: 2.



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7 comments:

  1. This was a snoozer. I thought the end was pretty dull; I was all like - is that it?? Laaaame, sucka. DEVIL'S BACKBONE = far superior, if you insist on a Latin ghost-child movie.

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  2. Ha, Latin ghost child. Yeah, I did see it coming, I have to say.

    Great write up.

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  3. I liked this one Carl, but I do have to agree that it wasn't all that scary. It played out more as a drama with some supernatural elements than a horror flick.

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  4. If I have to be honest, I fell asleep both times I tried watching this one. The ending really is what kills it for me. Decent enough set up, dragging middle, then disappointing end. I cant dispute that Bayona is a decent filmmaker, but he needs to prove himself in his next film.

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  5. I have had this one in my Netflix queue to watch for a while, and keep passing it over.

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  6. I completely agree with you. It seemed like just because it was incredibly well shot and acted that it suddenly became a great horror film, despite a story that was rather lackluster at times. It's a good film, but not one I'm likely to ever watch again. Plus, I didn't care for the ending.

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  7. I adore The Orphanage, watched it many times. Although, I would say Pan's Labyrinth is more of a companion film to Devil's Backbone, than The Orphanage is.

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