September 6, 2008

The Orphanage

THE ORPHANAGE (El Orfanato) is a foreign language horror movie that's about a former orphan named Laura who buys the orphanage she grew up in. Together with her husband Carlos, a doctor, they plan to make the establishment into, yup, an orphanage for special kids. A noble cause for sure, but it is postponed because of her son Simon's sudden disappearance.

I know, the story's pretty lame when you read it, as it is one that's simply overused, but this movie twists the conventions around a bit, thus managing to actually elicit screams, or at least heart-stopping shocks, in the audience.

In short, the movie is a fresh breath of air in a genre so full of cliches and remakes, and it's pretty scary too.

The scares come in some of the most unlikely of times, and when you think you should prepare for a scare because of the music that builds up the tension, it's whoops! False alarm. OK, that's not exactly an original technique, but it works.

There's a lot of fleshed-out backstory in such a short amount of time, and that alone is an achievement. And CGI, it's barely used... maybe even not at all, so that's good as well.

To be honest, I thought that the movie would be even scarier, but it's still scary enough to make you curse and scream and gasp. If you're looking for a nice horror movie with some emotional weight and quite a few "OMFG" moments, The Orphanage will satisfy. (Although to be honest, some parts remind me of The Amityville Horror remake... only less overdone.)

RATING: 8.8/10

Posted with LifeCast

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