Anna Rydell returns home to her sister (and best friend) Alex after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother, aloof father, and the presence of a ghost in their home.
Laura, a former orphan, raises her adopted son Simón together with her husband Carlos in an old house and former orphanage where she was raised. While at the orphanage Simón tells Laura that he has five invisible friends which she believes are a product of his active imagination. Laura decides to reopen the orphanage to cater for disabled children and throws a party. During the party Simón tries to persuade Laura to go and take a look at his friends cabin but she's too busy. Later on she sees a mysterious masked boy and realizes that Simón has also disappeared. Laura feels the presence of other people in the house and months later Laura invites a team of parapsychologists to try to unravel the mystery. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Spain's Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008). See more »
During the séance, as Aurora regresses into a trance, her arms slip off the arms of the chair on which she is sitting. The next shot of her, looking from the other direction, shows her arms still resting on the chair again. See more »
Pieces of wallpaper are peeled off to reveal each of the opening credits. See more »
Attended the first commercial screening of The Orphanage (El Orfanato) last night at FrightFest, London.
Juan Antonio Bayona and writer Sergio G. Sanchez have delivered something really special for their first feature.
I have never jumped out of my seat like I did last night, nor my partner, nor most of the audience it seemed. Apart from the terrific scares, there are solid performances from the whole cast, stunning cinematography, and the editing is flawless. If I had to criticise one element, it is that the music swells just a little too much a couple of times, but it is a good score nonetheless.
See this one at the cinema.
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