Julia becomes an orphan and is taken in by Laura and Daniel, one of her father's childhood friends. The child makes Daniel remember the horrifying past he had chosen to bury.


Antonio Chavarrías (screenplay), Sergi Belbel (original story) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Juan Diego Botto ... Daniel
Bárbara Lennie ... Laura
Mágica Pérez Mágica Pérez ... Julia
Marc Rodríguez ... Mario
Àgata Roca Àgata Roca ... Luisa
Nora Navas ... Beatriz
Cristina Azofra Cristina Azofra ... Clara
Adrián Bermúdez Adrián Bermúdez ... Daniel niño
Pedro Muiño Pedro Muiño ... Mario niño
Monti Castiñeiras ... Alfonso
Dolors Tuneu Dolors Tuneu ... Chus
Maria Pau Pigem Maria Pau Pigem ... Doctora Moreno
Carles Prats Carles Prats ... Oriol
Celia Rico Clavellino ... Canguro (as Celia Rico)
Txitxu Llamas Txitxu Llamas ... Sacerdote


The teachers Daniel and Laura work at the same school and live together. Laura wants to have a baby, but her gynecologist has just informed that she cannot have children. One day, a weird man named Mario meets Daniel at school and asks him to visit his daughter Julia to help him but Daniel tells that he should go to the doctor to seek for help. A couple of days later, Mario commits suicide and Daniel sees on the front page of a newspaper. Laura tells to Daniel that they should go to the funeral and Daniel accepts her suggestion. When Laura sees Julia, she requests to be the temporary guardianship until a member of the family claims for her. Daniel is affected by the presence of Julia and calls her Clara. Soon a dark and creepy secret of Daniel and Mario's past haunt Daniel, affecting his relationship with Laura. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Horror | Thriller


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User Reviews

This eerie as well as thrilling drama deals with a marriage and an adopted daughter and their twisted relationships
23 October 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

¨Childish Games¨ is a psychological and interesting thriller about a strange kid who causes distresses , scary events and unhappiness . This is a highly suspenseful and cerebral mystery , filled with intrigue , terror , twists and turns . This exciting as well as shady picture blends thrills , chills , and tense sequences especially in its final part , in a unexpected denouement , near the end . It deals with a middle-class , childless marriage formed by Daniel (Juan Diego Botto) and Laura (Barbara Lennie) , both teachers , but nothing is what it seems like in the beginning . As it tells the tale of a happy couple , as the duo is confronted by an unusual incident when Mario , a childhood friend of Daniel's , shows up acting rarely and wanting them to meet his daughter , Julia (Mágica Pérez) . Daniel arranges to get rid of him , but the next day to be aware of Mario's suicide . As Mario commits suicide and Laura watches it on the front page . Julia , who is now an orphan , ends up being taken in temporarily by the marriage , despite Daniel's discomfort at not only the strange encounter with Mario but also the extreme enthusiasm of Laura at playing the role of mummy . The daughter has an exceptional intelligence and also has an attitude that worries the upsetting Daniel . Julia is a quirky little girl , he has a rare character , fussy behaviors and strange obsessions . As a sinister and weird past haunts Mario's life reflected on Julia . Tension enhances as Laura attempts to help Julia regain the will to live and Daniel begins to feel threatened by some of Julia's activities , as well as the apparent awakening of records of a horrifying past involving Mario that he thought he had put behind him . Because of the obsession for the past , disturbing Daniel attempts to forget a creepy secret at whatever cost . Then , the events go wrong until a tragic and surprising final.

It is a peculiar story of love/hatred , difficult family relationship , lies and spooky secrets with an intrigue behind , including focused performances by the main characters . This is an agreeable film about a wealthy Spanish family with an eerie and dark secret emerging , as they adopt a very troubled child , it results in disturbing scenes , chills , ghastly deeds and upsetting final . Hitchcock-style psychological thriller , being surprisingly good , compellingly realized and including enjoyable musical score jammed with a sinister and mysterious atmosphere . The original as well as attractive idea is overspread throughout the movie , but not totally satisfactory , including conventional pitfalls . ¨Dictado¨ is a strong thriller because it works as a terror fable about a thunderous past and sticking to a risky self chosen life . Also , the twists in the plot are clever enough to capture our attention and even if the story-line doesn't restrain itself from being a little bit predictable -but never boring- , is the ever present feeling of something terrible coming along that makes this movie one above the rest of many others and well worth seeing . The main cast is frankly fine . The protagonist of the film , Daniel , is well played by actor Juan Diego Botto , thanks to this role he got very good reviews . Nice acting by Juan Diego Botto as a worried father who faces off a terrible truth about his adopted daughter ; Botto is a young but veteran actor who has got a lot of successes such as "Martin Hache" , "Roma", ¨The dancer upstairs¨ , ¨Fiesta Del Chivo¨ , ¨Silencio En La Nieve¨ and many others . He is rightly accompanied by the attractive Barbarie Lennie who gives a perfect acting , as usual . This is also the first work of the young actress Mágica Pérez and special mention for Nora Navas in a brief but essential role . The picture belongs to sub-genre about ¨Bad children¨ whose main representation results to be the classic ¨Bad seed¨ , following ¨The Good Son¨ and Spanish films as ¨Island of damned¨ and recent "The Mudboy" along with ¨Hijo De Cain¨ with José Coronado .

The picture is pretty well , although sometimes stagy and packs some turns ; however , being entertaining for continuous suspense . Colorful cinematography is finely photographed by cameraman Guillermo Granillo , being filmed on location and mostly interiors . Suspenseful and stirring musical score by Zacarias De La Riva and Joan Valent . The motion picture was professionally directed by Antonio Chavarrias , though with no originality and results to be slow-moving . The film has been nominated Golden Berlin Bear Antonio Chavarrías . Antonio Chavarrías was born in 1956 in Barcelona, Catalonia , location in which he often shoots his films . He is a good writer and director , known for Volverás (2002), Dictado (2012) , Las Vidas De Celia (2006) , Susanna (1996) . Furthermore , he has produced several TV films and pictures such as Radiaciones , Carne Neón , Elisa K , La Isla Interior , Aro Tolbukhin , El Espejo , La Caja , among others . The yarn will appeal to suspense enthusiasts and Juan Diego Botto/Barbara Lennie fans . Rating : Good , better than average . It's well worth watching and contains some really thrilling scenes and disturbing images .

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Release Date:

9 March 2012 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Childish Games See more »

Filming Locations:

Barcelona, Spain See more »


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Dolby Digital


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