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Monday, August 04, 2008

Movie Watch: The Orphanage (El Orfanato)

I think The Girl put it best when she called The Orphanage a "thriller with a plot of gold". There's far more going on in this movie than the average horror fan will expect and it is all used for excellent effect. Presented/produced by Guillermo Del Toro, which essentially just means the guy from Pan's Labyrinth thinks you should watch it, the subtitled foreign film could only distract the most jaded of viewers as the cinematography and acting are completely brilliant.

Scare-wise I would best describe it as chilling. It reminded me of both Poltergeist, The Changeling and even a touch of Blair Witch Project - and before you wince I mean the creepy psychological parts and not so much the shaky camera and running through trees. Even with this pedigree, the movie takes off into avenues and angles that none of these manage and hit an emotional depth that one could only hope a Hollywood studio could show an audience.

It's not as outright scary as one might as expect, though, and people who have been fed a large diet of Japanese horror imports should be warned that this is as much, if not more, drama than fear.

Highly recommend.

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