Fueled by fond memories from her childhood, Laura (Belén Rueda) persuades her husband (Fernando Cayo) to help her revamp a seaside orphanage into a facility for disabled children. But soon after the couple moves in, their son, Simón (Roger Príncep), begins exhibiting disturbing behavior. As Laura tries to understand Simón’s increasingly malevolent actions, she becomes drawn into the house’s terrifying secrets in this unnerving chiller.
Rating: 9 out of 10
I haven’t seen a smarter, more gripping ghost story in a long time. Maybe ever.
I was blown away by “The Orphanage,” a Spanish film produced by Guillermo del Toro that has loads of haunting visuals and scary moments. But more than anything it has a smart script that never takes any easy ways out and has a strong ending that leaves you challenged in your emotional reaction to the film.
The film winds and weaves, leaving us curious and interested. We care about the characters because they have been developed around reactions and emotions we would have in similar circumstances. The old orphanage is a wonderful backdrop in a seaside, remote town in Spain. The environments and camera style add dimensions onto the layers of dark visuals and curiosities that surround the characters. This is not a gore-fest, rather a thriller that is smart in all the right places.