The Orphanage - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Orphanage Reviews

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November 3, 2018
It's only March but you're unlikely to see a better ghost story at the cinema this year than The Orphanage.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
August 24, 2018
El Orfanato is as haunting and it is haunted. Somehow the horror movie clichés ( a medium, a seance, night vision, the subverting of childhood games into something sinister) come across as natural instead of contrived.
March 19, 2018
... an intelligent combination of small details, coincidences and scenes of chilling realism. [Full review in Spanish]
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
February 29, 2016
Bayona never resorts to gore and prefers an approach based on the carefully built up suspense found in classic Hitchcock films; and much like Hitchcock, the story is based on a very viable Freudian premise.
October 14, 2014
The less you know of this film, the more you'll be surprised, shocked and, in the end, satisfied.
October 14, 2014
There are no monsters, or slashers, and yet the movie got under my skin so much so that it left me shaky as I walked out of the theater.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
October 14, 2014
Though The Orphanage sticks fairly closely to a genre fomat, and the plot twists become a little predictable, the film packs surprises all the way to the end.
October 14, 2014
Let the anticipation of Bayona's next move begin.
October 14, 2014
By the time we reach the third act, this is less a horror film but a psychological study of a protagonist on the brink of emotional collapse.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 7, 2013
A frightening movie that earns its scares the hard way, generating unbearable tension through artful technique instead of computer.
October 7, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
October 14, 2012
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 10, 2012
This Guillermo del Toro-produced Spanish spook-'em-up re-opens the door to the chilly, bracing air of the old-school ghost story.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
July 6, 2010
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
July 6, 2010
This is a movie whose power and emotional pitch lie in the understated: the discreet performances, the lack of special effects, the laconic script.
July 23, 2009
However, the creative trust hasn’t forgotten those who love their art served up rich in metaphor and message.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
October 18, 2008
[A] pungent and scary film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 18, 2008
Superbly directed, genuinely creepy Spanish chiller with a strong script and a terrific central performance from Belen Rueda.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 18, 2008
The picture is a creepily effective exercise in gothic technique.
October 18, 2008
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.
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