Laura spent her childhood in an orphanage surrounded with the other children that she loved as her brothers and sisters. Adult, her returns on the scene with her husband and her seven-year-old son, Simon, with the intention to restore the old house. The house wakes Simon's imagination, which begins to be engaged in strange games with " his friends "... Disturbed, Laura is then allowed suck up in Simon's universe, convinced that a mystery for a long time repressed is hidden in the orphanage... Grand Prix of the fantasy movie of Gérardmer, " The Orphanage " was also selected weekly by the Criticism of Cannes in 2007.
Year of production
Articles and Reviews
"Haunting and heartbreaking, The Orphanage delivers a double whammy of chills both real and supernatural. Set in a crumbling children's home...
"Haunting and heartbreaking, The Orphanage delivers a double whammy of chills both real and supernatural. Set in a crumbling children's home recently reopened by ex-resident Laura (Belén Rueda), this Spanish haunted house movie begins its assault after Laura's son Simón (Roger Príncep) vanishes on a sunny afternoon. Convinced Simón's stories about imaginary friends in the spooky building prove he's been spirited away by malevolent ghosts, Laura embarks on a quest to retrieve him that will push her to the limit of sanity.
"Seeing is not believing", explains a medium (Geraldine Chaplin) as this emotionally draining movie casts its deadly spell, "it's the other way around". Artfully directed by debut filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona (under the watchful eye of producer Guillermo Del Toro), the film invites us to follow Laura on her torturous journey: either she's losing her marbles or the orphanage hides a dark, supernatural secret. Weaving together understated references to Peter Pan, The Turn of the Screw and Poltergeist, The Orphanage stands as one of the most beautiful and moving horror movies in recent memory.
"CREEPING, UNDEFINED DREAD"
It's full of scares, too: a tense séance sequence triggers unnerving bumps in the night; a gory traffic accident proves shockingly unexpected; and a small child, snorting like a pig beneath a hideous sack mask hints at creeping, undefined dread. Leading us into another world through doors, caves and tunnels, Bayona proves adept at bleeding fairy tale into horror and gains mileage in the fright stakes with his unfamiliar (to English audiences at least) cast and Spanish locations. As it gears up for a truly unexpected, emotionally draining finale - destined to please or frustrate depending on how nihilistic you like your horror - this elegant ghost story ignores genre conventions to deliver a touching tale of motherhood, love and what may or may not lie on the other side."
"A shiver of fear runs right through Juan Antonio Bayona's pungent and scary film"
"“The Orphanage,” a diverting, overwrought ghost story from Spain, relies on basic and durable horror movie techniques. Give a competent director a gliding camera, creepy music and a dim hallway lined with doors, and a decent scare is likely to follow. No matter how many times you have seen similar tricks, the sudden apparition of a child at the end of that hall — especially a child in a weird, anachronistic costume — is likely to make you jump a little in your seat. So when a distraught Laura (Belén Rueda) stumbles down the corridor and comes face to face with a boy whose shorts and knee socks are accessorized by a burlap sack covering his face, you are likely to be nearly as terrified as she is."