The Orphanage Reviews

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July 6, 2010
Bayona is a skilled technician, but seek elsewhere if you're hoping for the transporting originality of last year's Pan's Labyrinth.
August 27, 2009
Spanish horror films have a rich, still underappreciated tradition, but The Orphanage could have been made by any anonymous Hollywood hack
October 18, 2008
The Orphanage is simply content with getting through the entire story without tripping over its own flaws, and though it's definitely better than most supernatural thrillers, it doesn't belong in the same camp as del Toro or any of his films.
October 18, 2008
Alas, there's no Ahhhh! moment at the end to justify the mounting tension.
June 4, 2008
What's even more disquieting is the persistent undercurrent of exploitation -- the mixture of grief and jarring shock effects and the pitiless use of a disfigured child as a source of horror.
April 16, 2008
A visually charged but psychologically hollow occult offering and horror rehash along the lines of, I see dead orphans.
February 5, 2008
This is the worst sort of horror film, one that cloaks its shameless pulls at the heartstrings in overemphatic sound design, hyped-up visuals, and a tear-streaked lead performance by Belen Rueda.
January 11, 2008
Goes for shock over substance.
January 11, 2008
There's not too much original or surprising in the film.
January 10, 2008
Bayona throws in lots of slow creaks and clangs, the art-house-horror equivalent of the jump moment, but none of them can rouse the movie from its terminal emotional torpor.
January 9, 2008
It all ends with what should be the bang of your heart pounding clean out of your chest but feels more like the fidgety whimper of restless kids with nowhere else to go.
January 4, 2008
The truly disturbing element is the heavy reliance on childhood loneliness, fear and sickness.
January 3, 2008
Goes overboard on the deafening door slams and the hyper-amplified music to such an extent that concession stands should offer ground-up Tylenol as a popcorn topping.
January 2, 2008
The last act is laced with surprises, but, unfortunately, none that you might call pleasant.
January 2, 2008
A tidy, if slow-moving ghost story that offers some modest chills, a couple of genuine shocks and an ending that will probably come as a letdown.
December 28, 2007
A series of serviceable creep-outs and jolts...the pretzel-shaped resolution feels like too little too late.
December 20, 2007
An overproduced Twilight Zone episode -- and it might have been more satisfying had Del Toro conjured the ghost of Rod Serling and closed the movie with a monologue.
December 2, 2007
Rueda runs through all the desperate-mother notes with the fine tuning of a pro despite a script that's a little less than virtuosic.
November 20, 2007
It never made me believe for a sec it was not nonsensical or had much to say that meant something.
October 3, 2007
Twisting too many specious screws too often, 'The Orphanage' is not innovative, though its atmospheric setting and the performance of Belen Rueda are impressive.
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