Up 14 this week

The Orphanage (2007)
"El orfanato" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  11 January 2008 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 115,197 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 301 user | 297 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

32 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Others (2001)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan
Orphan (2009)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a 9-year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman
[Rec] (2007)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.

Directors: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
Stars: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge-Yamam Serrano
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After Carlos, a 12-year-old whose father has died in the Spanish Civil War, arrives at an ominous boy's orphanage he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets that he must uncover.

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi
Julia's Eyes (2010)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of a woman who is slowly losing her sight whilst trying to investigate the mysterious death of her twin sister.

Director: Guillem Morales
Stars: Belén Rueda, Lluís Homar, Pablo Derqui
The Ring (2002)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Stars: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A lawyer takes on a negligent homicide case involving a priest who performed an exorcism on a young girl.

Director: Scott Derrickson
Stars: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Shohreh Aghdashloo
Silent Hill (2006)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A woman goes in search for her daughter, within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill. Based on the video game series of the same name.

Director: Christophe Gans
Stars: Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, Sean Bean
Mama I (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years.... but how alone were they?

Director: Andrés Muschietti
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Ruth Livier
1408 (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Director: Mikael Håfström
Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack


Cast overview, first billed only:
Montserrat Carulla ...
Andrés Gertrúdix ...
Edgar Vivar ...
Prof. Leo Bálaban
Óscar Casas ...
Mireia Renau ...
Laura niña
Georgina Avellaneda ...
Carla Gordillo ...
Alejandro Camps ...
Carmen López ...
Óscar Lara ...


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Czech: Mrtvé deti si chtejí hrát (Dead children want to play) See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 January 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Orphanage  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$338,024 (USA) (28 December 2007)


£1,480,257 (UK) (11 April 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it received a 10 minute standing ovation. See more »


Simon enters the basement from the same door as his mother, without using the door handle. He doesn't even rip the wallpaper. When his mother enters everything is untouched. See more »


Laura: 1, 2, 3. Toca la pared.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Pieces of wallpaper are peeled off to reveal each of the opening credits. See more »


Referenced in Viande d'origine française (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Wonderfully crafted ghost story.
14 April 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Laura returns with her family to the orphanage she grew up in as a child, she reopens it for handicapped children and all is going to plan until her son starts communicating with an invisible friend.......

Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona & produced by Guillermo del Toro, this Spanish picture is a delightful antidote to the ream of gore for gore sake movies flooding the market on a seemingly daily basis. This is not a horror movie as such, this is one of those pictures that oozes old fashioned values as regards telling a grand old ghost story with mysterious undertones. The setting is perfect, the orphanage of the piece is a ghostly monolithic structure that has all those perfectly shadowy rooms that are hiding secrets, expansive gardens perfectly framed in aura by Bayona's willingness to let the setting be an integral part of the story. The story is a creepy one, and there is always an added air of unease when children are the focal point of the piece in question, and sure enough this central concept of troubled children and troubled childhoods gets the maximum amount of emotion from the viewing public.

It's hard to write anymore than I have without delving deeper into the story and it's significant turn of events, suffice to say I feel this is a wonderful creepy, and at times beautiful, film that prospective viewers would be better off going into devoid of any prior knowledge. Belén Rueda plays Laura and it's a marvellous performance from her, full of emotion and guts, she carries the film with skillful ease. Bayona directs carefully, and it's evident that he is benefiting from the guiding hands of his gifted producer, but his marker is here and I'll be keeping an eye out for future efforts from the young Spaniard.

A smashingly engaging film that is in the vein of Robert Wise's The Haunting & Alejandro Amenábar's The Others, so if you like real well told ghost stories that unhinge rather than shock you, get in the queue because El Orfanato is a real pleasure. 9/10

59 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What was Laura dying of ? tip-toe
More movies similar to this one? rihannafan101
It was Tomas, NOT Simon. noelle_film_fanatic
Am I that desensitized? JaseofBass
Not impressed voided-1
American's are NOT annoyed by subtitles ryanne_32
Discuss The Orphanage (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: