lunes, 16 de agosto de 2010

El Orfanato

Those who know me know that it's Halloween year-round in my mind. So here is a review of one of my favourite haunted-house stories.

El Orfanato by Guillermo Del Toro is an atmospheric, astoundingly beautiful ghost story set in a massive colonial era Spanish Orphanage. The lavish sets in this film as well as the flawless casting of characters make it exquisite to watch.

The tale itself definitely raises the hair on the back of your neck, it's quite suspenseful, and has a very Guillermo-esque twist ending.

The main character, Laura (Belen Rueda) returns with her husband to her childhood home, the orphanage which has since been abandoned, with the intention of re-opening it to serve a few special needs orphans. The first resident is their adoptive HIV positive son Simon.

After a series of bizarre and creepy events in the old orphanage involving Simon, Laura slowly realizes that her family is not alone in the house and that there is some unfinished business that needs taking care of before she can uncover the truth and live in peace.

The film does a great job of building intensity and suspense throughout, and by the end you are really on the edge of your seat. It incorporates all of my favourite subjects; psychics, freaks, creepy haunted mansions, ghost stories, gory death scenes, and much more...

I am personally a hard person to really scare with films; I can count the number of films that have truly frightened me on one hand. By the end of most horror/suspense movies I am usually left wanting a good deal more, but this film uses the right amount of gore and horror for the overall tone, it's very fitting and has genuinely scary moments.

I highly recommend this film, make sure to turn out all the lights first...

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