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: 86%

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
"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
"Spanish horror films have a rich, still underappreciated tradition, but The Orphanage could have been made by any anonymous Hollywood hack"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"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
"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
"This is a movie whose power and emotional pitch lie in the understated: the discreet performances, the lack of special effects, the laconic script."
‑ Maria M. Delgado, Sight and Sound
"However, the creative trust hasn’t forgotten those who love their art served up rich in metaphor and message."
‑ S. James Wegg, JWR
"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
"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
"Bayona is a skilled technician, but seek elsewhere if you're hoping for the transporting originality of last year's Pan's Labyrinth."
‑ Brett Michel, Boston Phoenix
"[A] pungent and scary film."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
More reviews for El Orfanato (The Orphanage) on Rotten Tomatoes

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