The Orphanage (2007) Worth Watching?

The Orphanage Review

by Yo Adrian on October 07th, 2018 | |

The Orphanage was directed by Juan Antonio Bayona and stars Belen Rueda (from You Shall Not Sleep), Fernando Cayo and Roger Princep. It’s about a kid who makes friends with a ghost who helps him solve a mystery.

A tale of love. A story of horror.

The Orphanage Review

The Orphanage is a movie we’ve all seen before.

A family moves into a house with a past which a resident ghost feels compelled to reveal. Who does the ghost attempt to reveal it through? A naive kid who somehow thinks this freaky dead nightmare is his new best friend.

“But he’s my friend mommy. He just wants to play.”

Right.

The movie makes it obvious, like really obvious, within the first ten minutes that this ghost kid is a ghost. But then we have sit there for an hour watching everyone slowly figure out the obvious for themselves.

The kid is slow. He doesn’t understand why his mom is mad that his new best friend is terrorizing the whole damned house.

“He’s just playing mommy, don’t be mad!”

The mom becomes completely unhinged and obsessed over all her drama-filled issues with the place (as revealed through endless flashbacks that guide you to a conclusion you already from the trailer). And of course the dad is oblivious and in total denial, because you know, there’s a way over-simplified explanation for everything. Just calm down and go back to sleep.

It’s basically a sparkling new Sixth Sense that’s produced, but not directed, by Guillermo Del Toro. This means the technical qualities are there, it’s slick visually, but his creative touch is clearly missing.

It’s a thriller at best that’s more drama than horror.

Worth Watching?

If you’re new to horror, sure. If you’re looking for a family-friendly thriller, as long as your family is cool with subtitles, than yeah. If you just want a suspenseful movie to run in the background while you make the moves on your girl, definitely. It’s a visually stunning movie with quality acting and a sympathetic story. At the time of this writing (11 years after its release) it still has an 87% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.5 out of 10 at IMDb. It’s a quality film, I won’t argue that. I will, however, argue it’s categorization as a horror. I’ve seen Halloween episodes of network TV shows scarier than this.

Founder and Executive Director of all things Horrific at AllHorror.com (Ok, actually I’m just a guy who watches way too many horror movies. It’s unhealthy, really).

All Horror – Discover new horror movies, create and share your own horror movie lists and curate watchlists from thousands of titles, new and old.

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