Monday, January 14, 2008

The Orphanage

So, I watched the Spanish haunted house film The Orphanage a few days ago (I've been too preoccupied with Resistance: Fall of Man to give a review...) It was directed by J.A. Bayona, written by Sergio Sanchez, produced by the ever-wonderful Guillermo del Toro (and a bunch of other people), and starred Belen Rueda as Laura, a former orphan of the house of the title and mother to adopted son Simon (played by Roger Princep.) Strange things start to happen shortly after Laura, Simon, and her husband Carlos move in to the old orphanage that was once her home. Is it all in her head or are these things real?
As far as my description of the movie goes, I'll stop there. It's too brilliant to go into knowing everything. I haven't seen a haunted house movie this good since Poltergeist and I've seen quite a few. It's sad and hopeful and creepy all in one little package. Yes, I did say creepy. There were two parts specifically that creeped me out, but I don't want to mention them and spoil the fun.
Thankfully, the print my theatre got was subtitled (it's in Castilian Spanish with English subtitles.) I have a really hard time paying attention to a movie when it's been dubbed into English. I find myself looking at the actors lips as they're acting their hearts out, pouring all this emotion into their lines, but hearing some droll American or British voice reciting the translation. I hate it.
Anyway, I highly highly highly recommend seeing this film in the theatre. Everything about this movie is fantastic: the writing, the direction, the performances, the score, the special effects, but most especially the sound design. Absolutely awesome!

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