IMDb > The Orphanage (2007) > Synopsis
El orfanato
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Synopsis for
The Orphanage (2007) More at IMDbPro »El orfanato (original title)

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.

Warning! This synopsis may contain spoilers

See plot summary for non-spoiler summarized description.
Visit our Synopsis Help to learn more
The film is set in Spain, where Laura (Beln Rueda) returns to the dilapidated orphanage where she grew up, accompanied by her husband, Carlos (Fernando Cayo), and their seven-year-old son, Simn (Roger Princep). Her plan is to reopen the orphanage as a facility for disabled children. Once there, Simn claims that he sees a friend named Toms, whom he draws as a child wearing a sack mask. Later, Benigna, the social worker (Montserrat Carulla), visits the orphanage and tells Laura that she has Simn's adoption file. Laura becomes angry at Benigna's intrusion and sends her away. That night, Laura finds Benigna snooping around her garden shed, but Benigna escapes before Laura can confront her. Later, Simon teaches Laura a type of scavenger hunt game that Toms taught him. The game involves hiding a person's possessions, with the player who recovers his final possession winning a wish. While playing the game, Laura discovers Simn's adoption file is missing and angrily accuses Simn of hiding it. An angry Simn denies this and says that Toms told him that Laura is not his real mother and that he is going to die.

Later, at a children's party at the Orphanage, Laura and Simn argue, and Simn hides from Laura. Laura looks in the bathroom, only to be confronted with a boy in a sack mask with the name "Toms" embroidered onto his shirt. When Laura approaches Toms, he traps her in the bathroom. Laura escapes and frantically searches for Simn. She sees a vague figure of a boy standing in a cave in the distance; in her haste to go to the figure, Laura trips and injures herself. At a medical center, the police psychologist, Pilar (Mabel Rivera), suggests to Laura and Carlos that Benigna may have abducted Simn. That night at home, a bedridden Laura hears unexplained banging in the walls.

Months later, Laura and Carlos spot Benigna pushing a baby carriage downtown. As Laura calls out to her, Benigna is suddenly hit and killed by a speeding ambulance. Laura rushes to Benigna's carriage, but finds only a doll wearing Toms' sack mask. With this clue, Police search Benigna's home and find evidence revealing that Benigna worked at the orphanage long ago. Pilar shows Laura an old photo of a young Benigna (Carol Surez) and her deformed son named Toms. Laura learns that the children of the orphanage played a trick on Toms, which led to his accidental death.

In desperation, Laura goes to a medium named Aurora (Geraldine Chaplin), seeking clues to her son's disappearance. The medium tells Laura that she is close to death, and so has the ability to see the dead.

Unable to cope with the situation, Carlos leaves the orphanage, and Laura takes sedatives to get into a state of near-death. She begins to see ghost children around her who lead her to a hidden door which leads to a basement room. Here, she finds Simn alive and hugs him in a blanket.

She tells Simn to think about what he's going to do when he grows up, next year's Christmas, and anything that will make the children go away. As the ghost children vanish, Laura sees the basement back to the present. She then finds the blanket in her hands as light as a feather. She drops the blanket to realize Simn is gone again. She turns around to see the rails of the stairs to the basement had been broken. Lying right beneath the stairs, Laura sees a body of a young child with Toms's sack mask on. She slowly approaches the motionless body and takes off the mask to realize the body is actually her son, Simn, but dead. She cries in pain and grief. She then realizes that when she threw the metal poles in the closet leading to the basement, she trapped Simn inside. The big crash she heard in the middle of the night was Simn falling to the ground by the stairs. So Simn had been wearing Toms's mask all along. Laura then carries Simn's body upstairs and swallows all her medication, begging to be with Simn again. Laura's wish is granted as the ghosts of the dead children appear and Simn comes to life in Laura's arms.

Alone outside the orphanage, Carlos walks over the gravestones for Laura and Simn who both were found dead while he was gone. Carlos returns to their old bedroom and finds a medallion that he gave to Laura on the floor. Carlos hears the sound of the bedroom door opening. When he moves his head up, he smiles. Screen cuts to black.


Related Links

Plot summary Plot keywords FAQ
Parents Guide User reviews Quotes
Trivia Main details MoKA: keyword discovery