The Orphanage (15)

Film

orphanage.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
Rate this
 

Time Out says

Posted: Tue Mar 18 2008

An extraordinary performance by Belén Rueda (‘The Sea Inside’) is the beating heart and tortured soul of ‘The Orphanage’, the most frightening ghost story since ‘The Others’. But where Alejandro Amenábar’s supernatural puzzle-piece was chilly and cerebral, fellow Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona’s affecting debut feature is unashamedly melodramatic.

Heeding producer Guillermo del Toro’s maxim that all the best ghost stories possess an element of melancholy, it offers an emotionally overwrought, disturbingly adult view of childhood fears.
Together with her husband Carlos (Fernando Cayo) and adopted seven-year-old son Simón (Roger Príncep), Laura (Rueda) is celebrating the opening of their new home for mentally and physically handicapped children.

But when Simón vanishes into thin air, stories he has told about his ‘imaginary friends’ start to chime with troubling recollections from Laura’s own childhood – as an orphan raised in this very same house. Do these disturbing, deeply buried memories hold clues to Simón’s mysterious disappearance, or are they merely a symptom of Laura’s regressive slide into an infantile state? Drawing upon children’s games and the Wendy/Lost Boys thread of ‘Peter Pan’, scriptwriter Sergio G Sánchez explores the mental disintegration of a woman possessed and overwhelmed by her child’s disappearance.

Much influenced by Roman Polanski, Bayona displays a forensic eye for the creepy, unsettling atmosphere that wreathes itself around the domestic settings and everyday objects. With its elegant, atmospheric long takes and expressionistic use of colour, ‘The Orphanage’ draws us inexorably into its haunted physical and mental spaces. The seance conducted by Geraldine Chaplin’s bird-like psychic, Aurora, is a bravura set piece charged with terror and distressing emotion, the finale subtle but heart-breaking.
0

Reviews

Add +

Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Mar 21, 2008

Duration:

106 mins

Users say

0
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:16
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|39
1 person listening
hols and becki

we watched this movie six months ago, and have watched it about 10 times now and learn something new every time. it's an amazing film, but it leaves unanswered questions which we are still thinking about now. we've watched: shrooms the amytiville horror all five saw films the sixth sense wolf creek texas chainsaw massacre the mist 28 weeks later 30 days of night halloween the hills have eyes 1/2 the exorcist and lots more. we are only 15 but the orphange is one of our favoutires and the only one that kept us on the edge of our seats. it's far better than 'the others' and the acting is great. people who say this is a rubbish movie obviously can't handle a mind twisting film. also, this film has helped us with our gcse spanish. une, dos, tres toco la pare!! haha. we recommend it (es laura!) 10/10. love from holsy and bexy :) xxxx

hols and becki

we watched this movie six months ago, and have watched it about 10 times now and learn something new every time. it's an amazing film, but it leaves unanswered questions which we are still thinking about now. we've watched: shrooms the amytiville horror all five saw films the sixth sense wolf creek texas chainsaw massacre the mist 28 weeks later 30 days of night halloween the hills have eyes 1/2 the exorcist and lots more. we are only 15 but the orphange is one of our favoutires and the only one that kept us on the edge of our seats. it's far better than 'the others' and the acting is great. people who say this is a rubbish movie obviously can't handle a mind twisting film. also, this film has helped us with our gcse spanish. une, dos, tres toco la pare!! haha. we recommend it (es laura!) 10/10. love from holsy and bexy :) xxxx

Selena

Great acting indeed, absorbing, good suspense atmosphere. The scary children ghosts maybe not that original, but generally well done!

Selena

Great acting indeed, absorbing, good suspense atmosphere. The scary children ghosts maybe not that original, but generally well done!

jimbo

don't generally watch this sort of film but the fulsome reviews tempted me. wasn't worried by it or convinced. by its silliness, it reminds me why i don't trouble myself with this sort of thing.

jay jay

what!? this is a genuinely frightening and imaginative ghost story- far better than anything in this genre that has come out of hollywood for years

jay jay

what!? this is a genuinely frightening and imaginative ghost story- far better than anything in this genre that has come out of hollywood for years

dan

I thought this was f*cking scary! not one for the faint hearted.

dan

I thought this was f*cking scary! not one for the faint hearted.

Becky

I thought this film was amazing. It taps into your inner fear and you really are on the edge of your seat. Its a definate must see.

Becky

I thought this film was amazing. It taps into your inner fear and you really are on the edge of your seat. Its a definate must see.

john paul

the film is garbage subtitles destroy it, if only it was in english also the acting is abit shabby all in all pooooooooo!

Jessica

Full of suspense, we spent the last 20 mins actually holding hands, which I've not had to do since Seven! Brilliant though I saw it weeks ago now & it's still with me.

Jessica

Full of suspense, we spent the last 20 mins actually holding hands, which I've not had to do since Seven! Brilliant though I saw it weeks ago now & it's still with me.

wolf72

This film is extraordinarily brilliant!! You completey forget the subtitles and just get absorbed into the whole atmosphere of the film. A very clever and strangely haunting movie. Don't go expecting a classic horror because it itsn't that kind of film, if you want suspense and that creepy kind of 'play on your mind' psychological stuff then go see it! A true classic and my film of the year for 08 so far!

wolf72

This film is extraordinarily brilliant!! You completey forget the subtitles and just get absorbed into the whole atmosphere of the film. A very clever and strangely haunting movie. Don't go expecting a classic horror because it itsn't that kind of film, if you want suspense and that creepy kind of 'play on your mind' psychological stuff then go see it! A true classic and my film of the year for 08 so far!

alan

I have to say when they told me at the box office it was sub, I did look for Alt film. After I watched it I would say it really was great and easy to follow. Rather scary too, I'm 20 and I had my hands over my ears for Christ sake. Watch it you'll love it

alan

I have to say when they told me at the box office it was sub, I did look for Alt film. After I watched it I would say it really was great and easy to follow. Rather scary too, I'm 20 and I had my hands over my ears for Christ sake. Watch it you'll love it

kez

A good evening's entertainment. You don't notice the subtitles after a while. Recommended.

christian martin

A creepy film, well made, well thought and clever from the biginning to the end, another sample of good spanish cinema.

christian martin

A creepy film, well made, well thought and clever from the biginning to the end, another sample of good spanish cinema.

Paul

Really great mix of the supernatural with more real psycological human horror. At no point was it predictable, and some bits were downright creepy. A great piece of work. People who slag off subtitles are just lazy, I didn't notice them- in some ways it makes it better, the fact it's not American means it's not cheesy, as American horrors almost inevitably are.

Paul

Really great mix of the supernatural with more real psycological human horror. At no point was it predictable, and some bits were downright creepy. A great piece of work. People who slag off subtitles are just lazy, I didn't notice them- in some ways it makes it better, the fact it's not American means it's not cheesy, as American horrors almost inevitably are.

AL

OK there were some cliches IE: The haunting .... The Others ...Poltergeist ...But for genuine creepy atmosphere I can not remember ever seeing and feeling a better piece of work .Some very unexpected twists, turns and jumps and I thoroughly enjoyed it ...Finally, a very thought provoking and meaningfull ending ...Not a horror film this, more of a psychological Thriller along the lines of 6th Sense

AL

OK there were some cliches IE: The haunting .... The Others ...Poltergeist ...But for genuine creepy atmosphere I can not remember ever seeing and feeling a better piece of work .Some very unexpected twists, turns and jumps and I thoroughly enjoyed it ...Finally, a very thought provoking and meaningfull ending ...Not a horror film this, more of a psychological Thriller along the lines of 6th Sense

Tomtom

Absolutely amazing film. This is a horror story for intelligent people. It will probably disappoint all those who enjoy the typical Hollywood scary pastiches, but if you want to see a good film about feelings, pain, joy and want to experience some real blood chilling moments, do not hesitate. Loved it all the way to the fantastic final scenes.

Tomtom

Absolutely amazing film. This is a horror story for intelligent people. It will probably disappoint all those who enjoy the typical Hollywood scary pastiches, but if you want to see a good film about feelings, pain, joy and want to experience some real blood chilling moments, do not hesitate. Loved it all the way to the fantastic final scenes.

A satisfied person

I went in to watch this film with no expectations. I came out of the cinema extremely shocked with what i just watched. The film was OUTSTANDING. I can't begin to decribe it. It was totally awesome. Not scary, but very very creepy and on the edge with afew scenes making you jump. The story was fabulous and please dont be put off by the fact that it is in Spanish. The subtitles are easy to follow and the story is easy to follow too. The underlying twist is Exceptional...one that you coulnd't dream of. I really want to watch this movie again as it really was fabulous. I have told all my friends and family to go and watch it. Definately worth watching..

A satisfied person

I went in to watch this film with no expectations. I came out of the cinema extremely shocked with what i just watched. The film was OUTSTANDING. I can't begin to decribe it. It was totally awesome. Not scary, but very very creepy and on the edge with afew scenes making you jump. The story was fabulous and please dont be put off by the fact that it is in Spanish. The subtitles are easy to follow and the story is easy to follow too. The underlying twist is Exceptional...one that you coulnd't dream of. I really want to watch this movie again as it really was fabulous. I have told all my friends and family to go and watch it. Definately worth watching..

Adam T&#039;good

I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It's not going to win any prices for being especially original, but what it does, it does very well. A horror with a heart. p.s. "let's see what the American re-make is like" - is that a joke? Vanilla Sky anyone?

Adam T&#039;good

I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It's not going to win any prices for being especially original, but what it does, it does very well. A horror with a heart. p.s. "let's see what the American re-make is like" - is that a joke? Vanilla Sky anyone?

Phil Ince

Risible. Snatches some elements from The Haunting (the banging on the walls, the ghost in the bed, the blank-faced windows of the house). Was good to hear the sound of derisory laughter in the cinema (my own). The low point is the appearance on cine film of the child in the orphanage that no-one knew anything about. There's a good idea at the back of it all but this film's weedy cobblers.

Paul

An enjoyable film albeit rather cliched at times with strange goings on in an old, dark and creaking house.Almost a great film, let's see what the American re-make is like.

critique

Ponderous and unmoving, this didn`t really do it for me, although my attempts to plug into the atmosphere were hindered by the hyper-active, loud-mouthed boneheads sitting nearby, who had clearly wandered into the wrong film.