MONKEY REVIEW: The Orphanage

April 25, 2008

(I initially reviewed this movie during its original theatrical run. I’m reprinting it for its DVD release this week for your reading pleasure.)

“One, two, three…Knock on the wall…”

Truly creepy Spanish film about a woman in her late 30’s who returns to the orphanage she grew up in with her doctor husband and young son, with the hope of opening it up again as a haven for children with special needs. When her son disappears, she begins to suspect they are not alone at the orphanage. To say much more about the movie, which establishes a climate of fear and unease early on and then sustains it for most of the running time, would be to spoil some of the enjoyment. If the wrap up lacks some of the punch you expect it will have, contemplating what might’ve just happened will still creep you out. Sometimes a subtle approach makes for a far more frightening film than the cheap shocks and copious gore most so called horror films settle for in recent years. I rank The Orphanage up with the original 1963 version of The Haunting (definitely not the 1999 remake, which suuuucked), which is high praise indeed.

MONKEY RATING: ONE MONKEY

(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)

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