El Orfanato (The Orphanage)
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Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro produces director Juan Antonio Bayona's gothic frightener about a long-abandoned orphanage with a particularly troubling past. As a child, young orphan Laura spent her formative years being cared for by the staff of a large orphanage located by the Spanish seaside. Those were some of the happiest years of Laura's life, and now, 30 years later, the former charge returns to the dilapidated institution with her husband, Carlos, and their seven-year-old son, Simon, to reopen the orphanage as a facility for disabled children. However,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A frightening movie that earns its scares the hard way, generating unbearable tension through artful technique instead of computer."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"[Director Bayona] has a fine career ahead of him."
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"The less you know of this film, the more you'll be surprised, shocked and, in the end, satisfied."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Let the anticipation of Bayona's next move begin."
‑ Eric Kohn, New York Press
"The horror genre is not often known for its subtlety, but The Orphanage proves that sometimes it's more satisfying to squirm in your seat than it is to jump out of it."
‑ Ali Gray, TheShiznit.co.uk
"At a time when American horror seems transfixed by graphic sadism, the acclaimed Spanish chiller El Orfanato harks back to an older tradition of psychological scares and things that go bump in the night."
‑ Tom Charity, CNN.com
"The year's best horror picture is also one of the simplest."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"There are no monsters, or slashers, and yet the movie got under my skin so much so that it left me shaky as I walked out of the theater."
‑ Nate Deen, Film School Rejects
"By the time we reach the third act, this is less a horror film but a psychological study of a protagonist on the brink of emotional collapse."
‑ Michael Bonner, Uncut Magazine [UK]
"This Guillermo del Toro-produced Spanish spook-'em-up re-opens the door to the chilly, bracing air of the old-school ghost story."
‑ , Total Film
"The picture is a creepily effective exercise in gothic technique."
‑ Bob Mondello, NPR.org
"Alas, there's no Ahhhh! moment at the end to justify the mounting tension."
‑ Sara Cardace, New York Magazine/Vulture
"Though The Orphanage sticks fairly closely to a genre fomat, and the plot twists become a little predictable, the film packs surprises all the way to the end."
‑ Katey Rich, CinemaBlend.com
"Spanish director JA Bayona's debut feature is an exceptionally effective and surprisingly moving ghost story that seasons its horror with a pervasive sense of grief."
‑ Adam Smith, Radio Times
"As director Juan Antonio Bayona proves with his astonishing feature debut, you don't need a rusty scalpel to reveal the inner workings of the human heart."
‑ Steve Newton, Georgia Straight
More reviews for El Orfanato (The Orphanage) on Rotten Tomatoes

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