Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Stars: Belen Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Princep, Mabel Rivera, Montserrat Carulla, Geraldine Chaplin, Andres Gertrudix
Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage is one of the new millennium's best slept-on horror treasures. Produced by the tireless Guillermo del Toro, Bayona's film covers a lot of familiar ground. There's a little boy who suddenly befriends a ghost after his family moves into a new home. There's even an elaborate seance sequence. Poltergeist, much?
Not quite. The Orphanage is that rare breed of horror film that's as heartfelt and emotional as it is frightening, mining a great deal of empathy and sadness from its main character Laura's (Belen Rueda) struggles against the spirits of abused and neglected children. You'll be scared, but you'll also get a bit choked up. —MB