Directed by: J.A. Bayona
Starring: Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo
Reviewed by: Brendan Graham
Imaginary friends are often the source of all paranormal activity in horror movies, but I guarantee you haven’t seen one as terrifying and tragic.
Laura (Belén Rueda) decides to bring her husband and son to her family home, which used to house disabled children to be cared for. She decides once more she would like to open the building for it’s original purpose, and that’s when her son starts mentioning his imaginary friends. She doesn’t believe him and thinks its just child’s play, but then her son disappears and she realizes that previous residents may not have left.
This movie is gorgeous, a true craft of gothic horror. The house is a character of it’s own. It oozes with creepy and haunting emotions that linger throughout every frame. The film takes the approach that less is more, and it doesn’t throw many in your face scares, it often sinks into your subconscious and cause your hair to stand on end.
There is a warning to this tale, in which I must warn many of you HorrorAthon readers, and that this movie is not a traditional horror film, in fact more often than not, it is often immensely sad. Especially when the ending twist is revealed, it is heart wrenching. The performances are top notch, but I also feel like the movie tends to drag a bit in the middle and sometimes it dives into the usual horror genre types, sudden noises, and cheap jump scares that don’t really belong in this type of story.
This movie lingers long after you view it, and from it’s glorious cinematographer that grips you, to the excellent performances, The Orphanage will draw you in and spit you out as an emotional wreck.
8.5 Ghost Kids out of 10.