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THE ORPHANAGE (EL ORFANATO) – Fernando Velázquez

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A hugely effective mystery/horror/thriller from Spain, El Orfanato is the latest film from Iberia to take the art houses by storm, off the back of the likes of Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. The film, which is directed by Juan Antonio Bayona and stars Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo and Roger Príncep, tells the story of a woman named Laura, who brings her family back to her childhood home, where she opens an orphanage for handicapped children. Once there, Laura discovers that the new environment awakens her young son’s imagination – but before long, the fantasy games he plays with an invisible friend turn into something much more frightening. Desperate to save her family from the increasingly disturbing occurrences in the house, Laura turns to a group of parapsychologists for help in unraveling the mystery that has taken over the orphanage – but finds something more terrifying than she could have imagined. Read more…