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The Devil's Backbone

Released on 08 March 2004

Featuring: Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega & Frederico Luppi

Format: DVD | Rating: 15 years & over

4.0 out of 5 (11 customer reviews) | Write a review

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From acclaimed Mexican horror maestro, Guillermo Del Toro, comes The Devil's Backbone, a truly terrifying spine-tingler combining state of the art special effects with towering performances from a combination of Latin legends (Federico Luppi and Marisa Paredes) and younger stars (Eduardo Noriega, from Alejandro Amenabar's Open Your Eyes).

A deliciously dark horror, The Devil's Backbone tells the tale of a remote Spanish orphanage during the final days of The Spanish Civil War whose young inhabitants are brutally terrorised by Santi, a decomposing spirit who stalks the building's dark decaying hallways. But, as the film builds to a grisly, explosive finale, the children learn the true story of Santi's death and rise up to vow a deadly vengeance on his vicious murderer. Produced by Pedro Almodovar and brilliantly photographed for maximum suspence by leading cinematographer Guillermo Navarra, The Devil's Backbone is a truly haunting, memorable ghost story.


  • Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • From Storyboard to Screen
  • Special Effect Shot Creation
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Interactive Menu
  • Scene Access
  • Optimum Trailer Showreel

customer Reviews

 Average rating (11 reviews)

 Creepy

| | See all deadstar91z's reviews (119)

Top 100 Books Reviewer

I picked this film up for £5 on play, and enjoyed watching it. It moves at a slow pace, but it is so mesmerizing you are completely engrossed. The acting is good, as are the special effects. Not as scary as the tag lines lead you to believe, but chilling nonetheless. Recommended to fans of Guillermo Del Toro's more recent triumph Pan's Labyrinth.

 Fantastic

| | See all DanSolo96's reviews (2)

After watching Pan's Labyrinth on DVD, I had been somewhat disappointed. Perhaps because every review I had read of it gave it 5 stars, and all my friends had said how amazing it was, I was a touch let down (although clearly it was still a very good movie).
This film however, tops Pan's Labyrinth for story, characterisation and scares (In my humble opinion at least). The story is a wonderfully tragic ghost tale about an orphanage in Spain during the civil war. Some similar themes to Pan's, but in a way I felt much more engaged with. The supernatural elements are simple, but effective, without huge displays of CGI they manage to be creepy and jumpy in all the right places.
Acting from all parties was of a very high standard, with some excellent performances from the child actors.
Well worth a look if you enjoyed Pan's or Cronos.

 Another great Del Toro movie

| | See all fragecat's reviews (14)

Probably like a few people, I've been slowly working my way through Del Toro's back catalogue on the back of Pan's Labyrinth. Cronos was a disappointment. Hell Boy was great fun. This film is excellent.

Like his other films, there are subtle sub plots running below the surface that give added life and meaning to the various characters. Great characters and story (and I thought the way the ghost was presented as a watery corpse was unique and original).

 The best in the Latin resurrection.

| | See all dracola's reviews (19)

Del Toro's best film, the best in Spanish horror alot better paced than the orphanage and genuinely creepy. Its just a shame this didn't get the publicity that pan's labyrinth got . If you liked pan's see this and see where the hype began.

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ActorsMarisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Frederico Luppi & Inigo Garces
DirectorGuillermo Del Toro
Certificate15 years and over
Year2001
ScreenWidescreen 1.85:1
LanguagesSpanish - Dolby Digital (5.1)
SubtitlesEnglish
Duration1 hour and 43 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.