As I’ve made it abundently clear that I’m a fan of Guillermo Del Toro, especially when he tackles a horror film as a passion project. While a few of these have recieved mainstream appeal, such as Pan’s Labyrinth, the few that slip in under the radar are an integral part of any horror fan’s collection.
I’ve mentioned The Devil’s Backbone before, but one of my other favourite horror stories from the master of the macabre is called The Orphanage. Yeah, even the name chills to the bone. With The Orphanage, the master of horror once again manages to craft a ghost story that is unforgettable and timeless at the same time.
Praised for not resorting to cheap scares for thrills, The Orphanage, or El Orfanto, follows a woman named Laura who, with her husband and adopted son, reopens an orphanage where she spent time as a child. Soon, however, pants need changing as the kid inevitably starts talking about his imaginary friend as a real person. When facts about the boy are uncovered by a nosy social worker who also works in the orphanage, things start spiraling out of control as strange events start happening in and around the ground.
Finely acted and well scripted, The Orphanage stands tall among other classics in the genre like The Others and Lady in Black/ It really is worth mentioning how lead actress Belen Rueda lives herself into the role. She is utterly believable as the film’s lead and carries the film throughout…which you may or may not notice, depending how many times you are brave enough to actually watch the film. It sets a clear unsettling tone right from the start…enough to give me the chills just writing about it. If you are in the mood for a happy film, this is definitely not the one for you.
All creepy, all atmosphere, definitely add The Orphanage to your must-watch list. In a time where Hollywood cares less about storytelling than making money, these are the films that we need to be supporting…the good ones!
Last Updated: June 14, 2013