The Orphanage (El Orfanato) [2007]


Director : Juan Antonia Bayona

Writer : Sergio G. Sanchez

Cast : Belen Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Princep

Story : The movie opens with the scene of children running around playing innocent games, chasing one another, as the scene progresses we realize we are watching a bunch of orphans, and we find out that one of them, Laura has been adopted. In the next scene we already see Laura unpacking as she arrives back to her childhood home.  She plans to open or rather re-open the orphanage, but now oriented to handicapped kids, but at the first party thrown to introduce the house and their service her own son goes missing. As days pass by Laura becomes sure he was taken by his imaginary friend…

What I Liked :

– smart story, I gotta tell you I’m a sucker for them. In a sense it reminded me of A Tale of Two Sisters, in the sense of showing something tragic buried in a scary story, and this one is punching daggers in your heart too, but this is easier to understand, since at the end everything is shown to us. In addition to being smart, it is a very powerful story, and I believe every parent’s nightmare.  When Laura realizes what happened, you feel the same pain as her, your heart will be shattered, but what I truly loved was the bittersweet ending. This is brilliant story, and thankfully the actors were just as good. Belen Rueda carried the story on her shoulders, in my eyes she portrayed the archetype of contemporary mom

– I loved the bit of mystery

– beautiful cinematography

What I Didn’t Like :

the same one as with A Tale of Two Sisters, this isn’t horror, it is more like a drama with a few scary parts. It has more than the above mentioned movie but still doesn’t classify as a horror in my eyes

– the séance seemed a bit too much, but not going in details as to not ruin it more.

Final Note :

4 out of 4

Interesting Facts :

Spain’s Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008).

– One of the orphaned children Laura identifies in the photo she is shown she calls “Guillermo”, an obvious nod to the Producer of the film. You also see his name during the scene where the window behind Laura smashes and she reveals the names of the old orphans and the dolls.

– Laura’s necklace, a St. Anthony medallion, makes a clever reference to her plight. In Catholic religion, St. Anthony is a doctor and patron saint of lost items.

(all information from imdb)

Trailer :



4 thoughts on “The Orphanage (El Orfanato) [2007]

    • Glad I reminded you of it then:P, I always try my best to not spoil anything, because I hate spoilers from the bottom of my heart, I never even watch trailers or read anything other then a phrase or two from the plot of a movie I want to watch. I always remember my mom saying she was scared shitless by Psycho (Hitchcock not the remake) when she saw it in the TV mostly because she had no idea what it’s going to happen and I always try to watch movies this way.

    • That revelation made the movie to me, Laura’s face as she realized what happened, and the way she retraced the little things ( e.g. the voice she heard from within the walls) and how it all connected to show the real story accompanied with her face was mind-blowing. I just really like smart movies 😛

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