Orphanage, The (WS/DVD)
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Orphanage, The (WS/DVD)
The Orphanage centers on Laura (Belén Rueda) who purchases her beloved childhood orphanage with dreams of restoring and reopening the long abandoned facility as a place for disabled children. Once there, Laura discovers that the new environment awakens her son's imagination, but the ongoing fantasy games he plays with an invisible friend quickly turn into something more disturbing. Upon seeing her family increasingly threatened by the strange occurrences in the house, Laura looks to a group of parapsychologists for help in unraveling the mystery that has taken over the place.]]>
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Please be aware that the film is in its original Spanish soundtrack with English subtitles, so you don't have to be one of the dull malcontents who slam the film by leaving one-star reviews because you are too lazy to read. Thanks!
Those are amazing things for any movie to pull off, much less a movie that is squarely focused on telling a horror story that hinges on malevolent ghosts. Definitely not your standard American horror movie, and very much worth the effort to watch, subtitles and all. I was talking about it and watched it with a large group of teenagers. Several were on the verge of tears, at the end, while the rest couldn't stop talking about how smart and sad the movie was.
With the possible exception of a brief moment at the very end of the movie, there is nothing fantastical in The Orphanage. The house in which most of the movie is set is both beautiful and anxiety provoking, with its size and many doors. Although it is restored, an awareness of its past and decay is created through small details - doors with lead-glass windows, old furniture and other pieces stored away. For me it achieved the ambience that del Toro's latest movie, Crimson Peak failed to reach despite its extensive, "in your face" effects. Like Pan's Labyrinth, there is a lot in this story that is tragic, however the tragedy is never exploitative. For example, we learn early on that Simon is HIV positive, but what we see is a seemingly healthy boy doted on by his mother, Laura (the main character). When he goes missing, Laura remains convinced that his is alive when all others have given up hope. Despite the orphanage being the happy place of her childhood, its distant and recent past come to haunt her (and the viewer) as she shifts her focus from restoring the home to finding her son. The movie's resolution is logical, chilling, and entirely satisfying. Definitely worth seeing.
This movie isn't meant to be scarry or horrory, it's more meant to provide you with a strange and tense ambiance, very much like in the movie "The Others". I highly recommend it, amazing acting, beautiful camera work and pictures, original story-line and deep characters and always this very peculiar aesthetic: it follows the codes without being expected, and manage to bring chills without ever falling into the overused and ridiculous usual gimmicks of ghost movies -> a masterpiece worth watching with no doubts!!
the DVD played very nice, no problems, good sound and the picture is clear, good price as well.
I like a lot the place where this movie was shot, the acting is very good, this is not the typical bloody over the top movie, but is a horror film for people who appreciates a good conceived story line, which includes terror, but also romance and sweetness/sadness.
Top international reviews
It’s Spanish, for a start. I don’t know why I always give foreign films more leeway when it comes to acting terms. Maybe it’s the subtitles that mean I can’t really tell a ‘good’ foreign actor from a ‘bad’ one. But, the acting certainly seems well up there to me. It’s about a couple who have adopted a young boy and move back into an old orphanage to refurbish it and open it up for taking on new children. However, things go more than a little wrong when their son starts developing ‘imaginary’ friends and then vanishes completely during the opening event and, no, they don’t find that he’s been taken into the TV, ala, Poltergeist.
See? Nothing particularly new there, but it’s the film’s overall tone, direction and acting which elevates it about the – literally – thousands of similar clones which infest DVD bargain buckets at your local petrol station. The setting is great and I’ve already mentioned the acting. But it’s simply the foreboding feel of dream and despair that keeps you watching.
Basically, if you like your ghost stories slow-burning and creepy (and don’t mind subtitles) then give this one a go. It moves slowly to a sensible ending and doesn’t have any hordes of CGI monsters or major action sequences, so don’t be expecting a horror marathon of epic proportions. Just expect something subtle and dark.
Laura and her husband have returned to the former orphanage she left as a child with the intention of reopening it as a home for disabled children; her adopted son has imaginary friends, but this soon becomes a problem which leads to Laura discovering a sinister secret from the building's past.
This is a beautifully filmed, creepy and well-paced film, the plot is ultimately quite moving – only the truly churlish would judge it harshly – it isn't a horror film, but a subtle and well-crafted supernatural tale.
The UK DVD release has no extras; it's a Spanish film with English subtitles as stated clearly in the product description above - so please ignore the negative reviews from people who can't be bothered to read.
If you liked other films by Guillermo del Toro, particullary Pans Labyrinth you will like this
Sound quality was very good through the full HDMaster Audio system, with just enough emphasis in the music score to keep you on the edge of your seat.
I'm not experienced or arrogant enough to make any comment on the individual aspects of the film apart from to say that the overall experience was a thoroughly good watch, with a few twists and some slightly disturbing images that I was hoping for from a horror film.
*semi-spolier alert* There was one detail in the story about 1/5 of the way in which I thought odd, and it transpired that this oddity was a deliberate and key detail in solving the puzzle.
The film colours were distorted so it looked like the charactors and scenery were like pop art.
The film was ok if you enjoy reading the subtitles
Film is about a women who unravels following her sons disappearance but is she haunted or crazy (or both?!) If you like a thriller this is for you.