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The Orphanage (aka El Orfanato)

Released on 05 January 2009

Featuring: Belen Rueda, Fernando Cayo & Roger Princep

Format: DVD | Rating: 15 years & over

4.0 out of 5 (15 customer reviews) | Write a review

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A haunting and heartbreaking plot full of unimaginable scares and creeping, undefined dread; Juan Antonio Bayona's astounding debut The Orphanage stands as one of the most beautiful and moving horror movies in recent history.

Adopting seven-year-old, sweet natured, and imaginative Simon (Roger Princep) has awoken complex feelings in happily married Laura (Belen Rueda). Having been adopted herself and feeling a need for closure, Laura persuades her husband Carlos (Fernando Cayo) to buy the dilapidated institute where she spent the earliest, happiest, years of her life and reopen the orphanage as a facility for disabled children. As they move in to the silent, stately manor where something ominous haunts the darkened hallways, Simon's behaviour becomes increasingly reserved and malevolent. Carlos pins Simon's actions as a desperate bid to get more attention from his distracted parents but Laura isn't convinced and embarks on a desperate quest to unearth the terrible secret that lurks in the old house.

Taking inspiration from everything from Peter Pan to Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, director Juan Antonio Bayona and producer Guillermo del Toro (The Devil's Backbone) have produced a highly imaginative and well made film that induces fear throughout. With a musical score that elicits shudders from the outset and a heart-wrenching plot that filters unimaginable horror through a fairytale frame, The Orphanage is a unique, intelligent, spine-tingling, yet heartfelt horror that is as unsettling as Guillermo del Toro's Pans Labyrinth.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (15 reviews)

 In a different league of horror to the rest...

| | See all Supafly2's reviews (12)

The slowish start leads you into believing you will be safe from fright, but you'd be wrong to feel so secure, the creepy parts provide a good warm-up session for the absolutely terrifying film to come.
A simple story to follow, but the ending is quite poignant and emotional (I won't say which emotion, but nevertheless be prepared for how this pans out is not the run of the mill horror story-telling).
The subtitles are not hard to read, the dialogue is not the pulling power of this film, however. What you can take from the title is close to what you can expect in the film. But you will be suprised at certain points, and most of the time cowering in fear behind the sofa and avoiding creepy little children for months afterwards.

 very good.

| | See all emperor10's reviews (273)

as a 'horror',it certainly isnt.. more like a 'mild ghost story' with creepy parts.but as a story, its superb,and beautifully made. produced by del toro, its more of an emmotional visual film.worth owning.

 loved it

| | See all kelzbellz's reviews (8)

this film made my heart race and my temperature drop! as a big fan of horror films, this gave me everything i wanted- suspense, fear and anxiety . the subtitles were no problem and added so much to the character of the film ( wouldnt have been the same with some american accent) such a twist that i did not see coming, love love loved it! get it for halloween, u will not regret it! ;)

 Excellent

| | See all NAHBOIS's reviews (1)

This is one of my favourite movies of all time (the other one is The Green Mile) This is supernatural and scary but also so so sad. I have watched it a good few times and its a film that always stays in my mind long after I have seen it. . I have passed this onto many friends and they loved it as well - even though it is subtitled it does not take away from the atmosphere and storyline of the film.Well worth buying

 Knock Knock At The Door!!

| | See all blayboy's reviews (447)

*Producer Del Toro has worked on some major films. A year after producing Pans Labyrinth, one of the unique films of 2006 Del Toro produced The Orphanage. With expectations high this didn't disappoint.
*The Orphanage is a great film, its well made and is more of a psychological horror. There's an intense yet very sad story. Its a film that really creeps up on you. Cant understand how a film this scary is classed by some as not being a true Horror! A great film if your after a bit of story and not just Gore!

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ActorsBelen Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Princep, Mabel Rivera, Montserrat Carulla, Andres Gertrudix & Edgar Vivar
DirectorJuan Antonio Bayona
Certificate15 years and over
Year2007
ScreenWidescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic
LanguagesSpanish
SubtitlesEnglish
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.