Monday, February 4, 2008

El Orfanato - The Orphanage

Movie name: El Orfanato
Year of release: 2007
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Stars: Belen Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Princep, Mabel Rivera, Geraldine Chaplin
Genre: Thriller, Horror
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
Juan Antonio Bayona's first feature is a ghost story that mixes elements from "The Devil's Backbone" (directed by Guillermo Del Toro, one of the executive producers of this film) and also "Dark Water" (both the Japanese and American versions). It follows the story of Laura and her family, who move to an old house which used to be an orphanage (where Laura had been adopted years earlier). Laura's young son communicates with invisible friends, and within that house he comes in contact with plenty more. When he disappears, Laura sets out to get in contact with another universe in hopes of bringing her son back.
This story also brings elements from Christophe Gan's "Silent Hill" to memory, however Bayona goes for a more grounded approach - this is a more heartfelt ghost story, one where the chills come from genuine suspense and not from some gruesome shots ("Hostel" this is not).