REVIEW FROM THE VAULT: EL ORFANATO (THE ORPHANAGE)

 One of the great horrors of our time, with some amazing new horrors about to come out with Insidious 2 and (the supposedly horrible remake of) Carrie I was visiting the old site and thought I would repost this article on the new site. It is a superb yesteryear-making and styled film of superb horror. Guillermo del Toro presented (and produced) this scary “haunted house” film that I still worship – time for a re-watching this week – but have to wait until the parentals leave, mum just can’t do horror films :). 

The scary haunted house story is alive and well and can be managed with brilliance if given to a talented team. This scared the shit out of me!! If you watch it you must watch at night, by self with all the lights off and I will even lend you my black cat (Dark) to jump out of bloody no-where and help dirty the undies! I nearly skinned him at 11pm last night.

Laura (Belen Rueda) spent the happiest years of her childhood growing up in an orphanage by the seaside, cared for by the staff and fellow orphans whom she loved as brothers and sisters. Now, thirty years later, she returns with her husband Carlos (Fernando Cayo) and Simon (Roger Princep), their 7-year-old son, with a dream of restoring and reopening the long abandoned orphanage as a home for disabled children. The new home and mysterious surroundings awaken Simon’s imagination and the boy starts to spin a web of fantastic tales and not-so-innocent games. As the opening day draws near, tension builds within the family. Carlos remains skeptical, believing that Simon is making everything up in a desperate bid for attention. But Laura slowly becomes convinced that something long-hidden and terrible is lurking in the old house, something waiting to emerge and inflict appalling damage on her family.

 

Guillermo Del Toro, Belén Rueda, Geraldine Chaplin, Mabel Rivera, Fernando Cayo, Montserrat Carulla, Andrés Gertrúdix, el orfanato, the orphanage, the orphanage review, the orphanage movie, horror film, Sergio G. Sánchez, Juan Antonio Bayona,
EL ORFANATO (THE ORPHANAGE) – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW FROM THE VAULT

 

Produced by Guillermo Del Toro (PAN’S LABYRINTH, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE) you know you are in good hands, anything this guy touches turns to gold. OK – Hellboy wasn’t exactly award material but the visuals were brilliant. Am unsure of the director’s (Juan Antonio Bayona) work but teaming up with Guillermo cannot be a bad thing, especially on the tail of Pan’s Labyrinth. The cinematography is beautifully crafted and sets an amazing tone throughout the entire chilling film. The acting is superb with the lead (Belén Rueda) keeping you spellbound during the entire film as she slips into an internal madness as it appears to everyone else. It has a slight original Omen feel, mixed with a bit of The Others and stirred with a small pinch of the 6th Sense and there a few jump scares so be warned if you have a pace maker!

 

Guillermo Del Toro, Belén Rueda, Geraldine Chaplin, Mabel Rivera, Fernando Cayo, Montserrat Carulla, Andrés Gertrúdix, el orfanato, the orphanage, the orphanage review, the orphanage movie, horror film, Sergio G. Sánchez, Juan Antonio Bayona,
EL ORFANATO (THE ORPHANAGE) – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW FROM THE VAULT

The film opened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 20, 2007. It opened Spain’s Sitges Film Festival on October 4, 2007. The film opened in limited release in the United States on December 28, 2007. It went into wide release in the U.S. on January 11, 2008. The Orphanage was chosen by the Spanish Academy of Films as Spain’s nominee for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, but ultimately did not end up as one of the five final nominees in that category.
The Orphanage was immensely successful in Spain after an $8.3 million four-day launch from 350 screens. The supernatural mystery picture was the second highest-grossing debut ever for a local movie, the biggest opening of the year and 168 percent larger than the worldwide success Pan’s Labyrinth.

Don’t expect to see the massive visuals of Guillermo’s directing work, this is more subtle and beautifully handled for a film that makes you sit there saying “it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie” as a mantra to protect you from the boogie man. The sad news about this film is that they sold the rights to Universal Pictures to allow them to make a train wreck US version that can be just as shit as The Eye, The Ring and the soon to be appalling Shutter. Limited release in Australia in a few weeks and out now on DVD for the rest of the world.

 

5 Pops

 

 

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