From the visionary director of Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro, comes a new haunting ghost story... Hold on, this stuff gets crazy.
El Orfanato ... The Orphanage, a ghost story like none you've ever been privy to.
To start, there will be NO pictures In this review, because to do so would give away too much of the plot, seriously, I think the box art gives away a major plot point. I suggest you pick this up (BUY not rent, its seriously worth the $20)
Guillermo del Toro directed Pan's Labyrinth two years ago and it opened to great acclaim in Spanish speaking countries, eventually making way to America, being hailed as an "epic adult fairy tale." El Orfanato follows very much in these footsteps, but feels completely fresh.
A VERY concise plot summary:
When Laura returns to the orphanage she grew up in, she turns it into her house and adopts a young boy named Simón. Simón makes some imaginary friends, who might just be real. After a tragedy occurs, Laura must go on a search and find some answers, before an evil force sweeps away everything she knows and loves.
a more in depth plot summary:
When Laura returns to The Orphanage she grew up in, she turns it into her house and adopts a young boy named Simon, who has imaginary friends. Simon does not know that he is adopted, or that he is HIV Positive. After his mysterious disappearance, Laura must confront his "imaginary friends" that haunt her life, threatening to sweep away all that she knows and loves...
Watch this movie in a pitch black room with the sound cranked for maximum effect. I think the best part of this movie is HOW it achieves scares. There is little blood or gore, three instances of expletives, and only one "pop up" scare. The rest of the movie is simply haunting through atmosphere and thematic elements, along with great acting.
Speaking of acting, this movie is Spanish only with subtitles, which may turn some off. In my opinion though, it makes it genuine and pure, and anyways, English dubbing can completely ruin foreign films (look at Advent Children or The Host.)
This movie is obviously inappropriate for children given its scary subject matter. To put it in perspective, I haven't been scared of a movie since I saw Twister when I was five years old, but this movie made me cover with a blanket and pillow, and cringe like the little dog I never knew I was.