The Orphanage

The Orphanage

Juan Antonio Bayona (2006)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Spanish director JA Bayona's debut feature is an exceptionally effective and surprisingly moving ghost story that seasons its horror with a pervasive sense of grief. After Laura (Belén Rueda) and her husband Carlos (Fernando Cayo) move into the abandoned orphanage where she grew up, they become concerned for their young adopted son as he develops a plethora of imaginary friends. The appearance of an aged and distinctly suspicious social worker further deepens the atmosphere of mystery and approaching tragedy. Bayona and screenwriter Sergio G Sánchez negotiate the inevitable clichés of the genre expertly, deftly making the expected nods to haunted-house classics both well known and less so (look out for The Shining and The Legend of Hell House), while both Rueda and Caya give perfectly judged performances as the young couple. If it's all a little reminiscent of the work of Guillermo del Toro - and especially his ghost story The Devil's Backbone - that might be because he championed Bayona as director and is executive producer of the film.

Cast & Crew

Laura Belén Rueda
Carlos Fernando Cayo
Simón Roger Príncep
Benigna Montserrat Carulla
Aurora Geraldine Chaplin
Pilar Mabel Rivera
Enrique Andres Gertrudix
Balabán Edgar Vivar
Tomás Oscar Casas
Laura as a girl Mireia Renau
Director Juan Antonio Bayona
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Other Information

Language: Spanish +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Optimum ReleasingAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 21 Mar 2008