Monday, March 9, 2009

The Orphanage / El Orfanato (2007) - Spanish

Heart Rate: YYYY

With 31 wins and 30 nominations, this Spanish gothic thriller is excellent.

A woman returns with her husband and her adopted, ailing son, Simón, to her childhood orphanage. Odd sounds begin to emanate from the house and the little boy, Simón, has two imaginary friends.

You guessed it--he sees dead people.

But his parents just think he is playing. So they ignore Simón and continue with their plans to open up a home for children with special needs.

In the meantime, an old woman comes to visit, hinting at a knowledge of the orphanage's past and a penchant for Simón.

The day of the opening, she gets into a fight with her little boy and orders him to stay in his room. Later, when she comes back to bring him down to the party, she looks for him. Suddenly, she is attacked by a child wearing a scarecrow mask and locked into the bathroom.

When she is finally released from the bathroom, Simón has disappeared. For six months they search, but to no avail. What happens next is astounding . . .

NOTE: the trailer makes it look more gorey than it actually is--it is more suspenseful and mysterious than "BOO! scary". There are maybe two gross scenes but you have plenty of warning and can hide your eyes.

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