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The Orphanage ()

directed by
featuring Geraldine Chaplin, Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Princep, Mabel Rivera

Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro produces director Juan Antonio Bayona's gothic frightener about a long-abandoned orphanage with a particularly troubling past. As a child, young orphan Laura spent her formative years being cared for by the staff of a large orphanage located by the Spanish seaside. Those were some of the happiest years of Laura's life, and now, 30 years later, the former charge returns to the dilapidated institution with her husband, Carlos, and their seven-year-old son, Simon, to reopen the orphanage as a facility for disabled children. However, something ominous haunts the darkened hallways of this silent, stately manor. When Simon's behavior begins to grow increasingly bizarre and malicious, Laura and Carlos start to suspect that the mysterious surroundings have awoken something ominous in the young boy's imagination. It's not long before Laura, too, is drawn into this disturbing web and the repressed memories of the past come flooding back in a terrifying torrent of tension and deeply disturbing revelations. With opening day drawing near and their situation growing increasingly grim by the hour, Carlos attempts to write off Simon's bizarre behavior as a desperate bid to get more attention from his distracted parents. Laura isn't so easily convinced of this theory, though, and soon embarks on a desperate quest to unearth the terrible secret that lurks in the old house, waiting for just the right moment to inflict devastating damage on both her and her family. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Hide synopsis

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Reviews of The Orphanage

Overall customer rating: 5.000

Why Is Span Doing So Well With Horror Films?

by mehaul on May 26, 2010

TITLE: The Orphanage (el Orfanato) GENRE: Supernatural Fantasy/Horror. subtitled CAST: Belen Rueda, Geraldine Chaplin,Fernando Cayo and Roger princep PLOT: An orphan girl becomes an adult and adopts a young boy with a deadly desease. She convinces her husband to purchase the closed building where she grew up and to turn it into a home for challenged youth. Her son goes missing and she refuses to give up hope of finding him somewhere on the premises. A supernatural link develops between a ghost world and the real one. She straddles the doorway between the two in her quest. RETURN ON INVESTMENTS: 9 of 10; The cinematography is excellent. The story is a sort of reverse Peter Pan. The character development is wonderful. The evidence presented of there being an alternate existence is presented without the usual special effects. This is just an all round entertaining experience. The subtitling doesn't distract because the conversations are so normal and not horrific. There isn't an ancient curse that needs explaining, just the beliefs we all know from within ourselves. DVD BONUS: Behind the scenes of...; making of...; Lots of inmterviews again which aren't lost in the subtitling. ADDED NOTES: Though there are plans afoot to create an English version, I think this will follow the footsteps of another del Toro enterprise, Pan's Labyrinth, and just come to us as the Spanish piece of artwork. I don't think anyone else can carry off the mother part as well as Rueda did here.

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