Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona. Written by Sergio G. Sanchez. Produced by Guillermo del Toro. Staring Belen Rueda and Fernado Cayo.
Spain’s official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008).
It’s beautifully terrifying what Bayona does with color and light in this Spanish ghost flick. The premise is nothing new. An ex-orphan moves her family onto her old stomping grounds, when her son starts seeing something no one else does. It’s like a cross between Poltergeist and The Others. It’s nothing like the Sound of Music.
There were parts that felt slow, but only because some scenes kicked you in the pants.
Bayona aptly manipulates what you can see and what you cannot. He masters it in a scene that reminds me of the Poltergeist (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it). It’s the source of The Orphanage’s terror and suspense. A fellow film patron swimmingly reviewed two scenes amid the ghostfest as, “Awwwww, HELL no!” and “Bitch is CRAZY!”
The movie pleases: 8.5/10