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The Orphanage

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:39 pm
by AdeBrown
(El Orfanato)
This was brilliant. Joint first with Spiral as my film of the weekend.
An atmospheric haunted house tale like the original Haunting (with a bit of Most Haunted Poltergeist thrown in to the middle, just for fun). Another one of them child actors who makes a scary movie more believable and therefore more scary. Some genuinely surprising shock moments. A beautiful setting. I could go on.
You know that film The Others? If that was a ghost story* it'd be like this.
Spanish television actress, Belen Rueda plays Laura, an ex-resident at an orphanage who buys the house with her husband to do similar work with orphaned children, and to bring her son Simón (a star performance from Roger Princep) some company. She's the heart of the story and gives an emotionally powerful performance.

Simón plays with imaginary friends and reopening the oprhanage is an attempt to bring him real interaction, but before the kids can move in he has developed new "imaginary friends" from the orphanage, and he introduces his mother to the games they play - a series of clues leading to a hiding place.
During such a game he goes missing. His mother believes she sees him or one of his imaginary friends in a coastal cave and so he is thought to be lost at sea. Investigations show that there is a very sad tale from the orphanage's past, and months later, his mother recognises more clues from Simón's games and explores the house further.

Rightfully following on from Pan's Labyrinth last year, and long may Del Toro's affection for Frightfest continue.
A very moving story, well-acted, superb sound, beautifully shot.

Ten out of ten.


Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:24 pm
by Jekyll
This was brilliant. Joint first with Spiral as my film of the weekend.
AdeBrown sums up pretty much what I feel about this.

Staggeringly good.

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:36 am
by iam_dan
absolutly brilliant a fantastic film...emotional, heart breaking and damn spooky this should only ever be seen in a packed cinema...hearing the audible gasps and feeling the jumps all round the cinema was an unbeliveable feeling...and i defy any1 not to have the most intense spine tingles at the simple act of a door being slammed shut or 1 of my fav scene in any film ive seen at the knock on wood game near the end...ohhh...goose bumps...i loved this a beautiful in all senses

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:07 pm
by Grindhouse
The Orphanage was for me the film of the festival and not just the festival but quite possibly the year.

I hadnt seen such a well made and crafted piece of work in a long time,such richness of character and emotion on that screen,beautifully shot this really is film making at the top of its game.
and the emotion brought out from the film lingers well after the film has ended, i was quite taken aback at the film after for the pure emotion of seeing something that i felt with the director and writer being in the audience a sense of privelige and, the knowing that we had seen something incredibly special,a film of richness and beauty,with such darkness and love .

this film for me was magical and emotional it wasnt as such a movie but an experience of such wonderfull storytelling.

The director and writer were absolutley wonderful to listen to and such fun

look out hollywood

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:08 pm
by maxmum

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:06 pm
by thesavageintruder
Glad to see this getting such a overwhelmingly positive response. It deserves it. Beautiful storytelling, exceptional performances, gorgeous music score, great cinematography...and some of the best scares and jolts i've seen in a movie for a long time. There have been a lot of noteworthy Spanish genre movies in recent years, but this is probably my favourite. A perfect end to the best Frightfest to date.

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:09 pm
by maxmum
My biggest jump of the weekend - when the lady who got knocked over by a bus grabbed hat womans hand...jesus christ!

All the 'MURMER MURMER' from the audience after that

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:46 pm
by stanley

If this doesnt win an oscar I will kiss Uwe Boll.

One of the best films ever made.

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:53 pm
by xLeft For Deadx
One of my favourite moments of the weekend was when the mother opened the door which led to a set of stairs leading down into darkness, and 800 frightfesters mumbled something along the lines of "oh, shit" in unison.

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:24 pm
by Reanimator
Truly excellent - the perfect film to close this years Frightfest!

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:31 pm
by lupogirl
Beautifully shot and acted. Just can't beat a engrossing ghost story. There were elements of The Haunting and The Others. What a film to end FF on. :D

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:22 pm
by soulmining
Best film of the festival.

I was really worried with it being the last film on the last day that I'd be exhausted, but I didn't falter for a moment. Did everything right - the direction, score, acting all perfect and a really good story. Nothing especially orginal, but so well executed - and with two massive jumps, the first of which made my whole body tingle. Could have quite easily been Del Toro directing - it really was THAT good.


Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:18 pm
by odishon
How do you make a whole audience of hardened, tired Frightfesters jump out of their seats?
You come up with the tactic for scaring used in The Orphanage - get the audience thinking about the plot twists (**spoiler -ah, there's the whistle round the old lady's neck - ah, that handle fits that door- spoiler over**) and while they're distracted with that, wham! in with a jump out the seat moment. Very clever and a welcome change from so many supernatural films which rely solely on loud noises to scare.

Together with excellent acting and beautiful cinematography makes this one of my favourite horrors in years.

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:33 pm
by ghouldrool
second best of the fest for me (after The Signal).

at times very creepy. but by the end this transcended the average ghost movie with a profoundly bittersweet and upsetting ending. it was probably the most unhappy happy ending ive ever seen.

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:48 pm
by rawshark
Damn.. This looked great, but I was a tad too drunk to really appreciate it...

Will definitely check it out again, but sober next time... :)