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.