El Orfanato

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One more film review and then I’m on a hiatus for a few days while I head to LA for Halloween Horror Nights!! So psyched about Eli Roth’s Hostel maze. I mean, seriously.

Anyway – last night I re-watched El Orfanto (The Orphanage), which was produced by Guillermo del Toro, and is the feature directorial debut of Juan Antonio Bayona.

The movie is about Laura, who foolishly decides to move her husband and young son back to the seaside orphanage she grew up in. Her plan is to make a home for 5 or 6 other children, and share her abundance of love. or something.

Unfortunately, Simon (Laura’s son) immediately starts “making friends” with some invisible kids from his imagination…or maybe not. This causes Simon to act out and be a brat, ruining Laura’s grand opening party, and injuring her in the process. Simon then promptly disappears, and Laura spends the next 9 months searching for him with obsessive drive. And then she gets a brilliant idea! Hey! Let’s contact the ghosts and ask them where he is! AWESOME.

Oh. Wait.

The atmosphere if this film is simply AMAZING. Even though there’s very little blood, Bayona effectively employs sneaky spirit tricks and ghosty drive-bys with an expert hand. And let’s talk about that kid for a moment, shall we? Is that not the most frightening mask ever created? LOOK AT THAT THING. Every time I even think about it, I get the wigs. And, the ending is freaking terrifying — in a very depressing, very “ohmyfuckingodwhat” kind of way.

Definitely recommended if you’re into ghost stories. Definitely NOT recommended if you have kids…as I imagine this would be a very, very, very devastating film for moms.

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