Saturday, December 22, 2007

El Orfanato (The Orphanage)

Well it is a little more than scary or better not scary but very tense. Starts slowly introducing the characters and eventually I thought it was going to be a serious Ghostbusters, but no, after the medium it gets really tense. Think I was tense since the very beginning as starts with a screen that reads: “Guillermo del Toro presents”, gee they shouldn’t do that to you. By the way he’s the producer.

But this Juan Antonio Bayona is a very good movie for the horror, drama, mystery and thriller that the imdb describes belongs to all these labels and for the first time I do totally agree. There is little horror, a lot of drama, much mystery and most of all a thriller that will tense you and will make you jump a few times. All these done with not even one special effect, everything is “real” in this movie.

I’m not crazy about movies like this but after seeing it I do not regret it at all. The movie tagline is “A tale of love. A Story of Horror.” And yes it tells about the love of a mother for her son. Belén Rueda does a very good job playing Laura, the mother; but the creepiest scenes belong to Geraldine Chaplin that plays Aurora. Worth mentioning is a scene with Benigna (Montessart Carulla) that makes everyone JUMP, including me.

While watching the movie there was a moment were I could think that this movie remind me one I also liked in this genre “The Others” as both movies work more with suggestion than with actually showing violence and gore.

I stopped to read a little about the movie and think that absolutely agree with the critics, this is exceptionally good even when I find it totally different to Pan’s Labyrinth which they probable establish a relation because Del Toro name involved. Another interesting fact is that when it opened in Spain in four days surpassed the US$8 million mark, a box office that is 168% larger than Pan’s Labyrinth, hope they release the original in English speaking markets and do not decide to do a remake, it would be a shame.

Interesting is to realize that this is Barnoya’s first feature film and the debut of screenwriter Sergio Sanchez, director of photography Oscar Faura, film editor Elena Ruiz and composer Fernando Velázquez. What a great opera prima all these filmmakers did, so good that is hard to believe that is their first time.

The film premiered in the Critics’ Week at the 2007 Cannes, is the Spain official submission to the Oscar’s, has 14 nominations in the 2008 Goya Awards and has already win 7 awards in Spain Awards and more international nominations.

I strongly suggest that you do NOT see this movie alone you need someone's hand to grab almost the whole movie! This is truly a movie for all audiences and one not to miss even if you’re not fan of the genre.


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