Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Orphanage

This weekend I watched El Orfanato, or The Orphanage if you prefer. The well reviewed Spanish ghost story was sounded like just my kind of movie. More of a psychological thriller than a blood & guts Friday the 13th style slash fest. The movie revolves around a woman who returns to the now abandoned orphanage she grew up with with her husband and adopted son in the hopes of eventually running an orphanage herself. Her son begins communicating with imaginary friends and not much is thought of this until he mysteriously disappears at his birthday party.

I was lucky enough to watch this on blu ray and the visuals were absolutely captivating. The audio was also quite well done with various creaks and bumps in the night to build the suspense. My big problem came from the movie degrading from a ghost story into a less interesting story about a hysterical mother who will go to any length, no matter how illogical or ill advised, to try to get her son back. Truth be told, after all was said and done I wasn't sure whether there were any ghosts at all or if they were all imagined. Perhaps it wasn't a ghost story at all.

Did this make it a bad movie? No, it was still an above average and watchable movie. I just felt that the ending was dissatisfying after the quality set up. I don't exactly know what it was that other reviewers raved so much about, but I would have to give this movie a respectable but not spectacular 6 fists out of 10 on the Craw Fu scale. Way better than Twilight though. Yes, that was for your benefit Lyndsay.

Oh, and one last note I should mention. Be prepared to read subtitles. I saw a few idiots on Netflix who left bad reviews basically saying, "boo hoo, they didn't tell me this was in Spanish. I'm too dumb to be able to read." Don't be one of those people.
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