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A woman (Belen Rueda) brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.
Stepping back into 2007, J.A Bayona delivered an exceptional directorial debut with producing partner Guillermo Del Toro with the Spanish chiller, The Orphanage.
What could only be deemed as a beautifully crafted haunted house horror The Orphanage is a merited cult classic that is genuinely chilling, exceptionally detailed and most importantly a clever script that delves not only into spooks but into the real terrors of loss, bereavement and parental responsibility. Not only is the script remarkable, but the cinematography is gracefully breathtaking and the movie is soaked in a constant rich tense atmosphere.
Belen Rueda is riveting here and while constantly dealing with her ghosts that are both literal and figurative, Rueda always seem to be on the edge of an emotional breakdown.
The Orphanage is an emotional horror that surely packs a punch in its final act. It has all the clichés there, but Bayona handles them with such care and elegance that at its core this haunting ghost story is not only beautiful but tremendously sad.
7.5 / 10
“Seeing is not believing. It’s the other way around. Believe, and you will see”