The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
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.
The movie is so good at using its horror elements to explore deeper, less fantastical emotions. For all its bump-in-the-night suspense, The Orphanage is ultimately as much about motherhood and grief as it is about apparitions and shadowy corridors.
The Orphanage is a classically creepy Spanish horror film and a joltingly modern one. It turns down the thermostat on its chill slowly, deliberately. That just makes the big frights all the more heart-stopping.
Like the best of horror films, it gets under your skin not with gore or cheap jolts but with an unnerving, ever-building tension, and with images that remain with you long afterward, interrupting your own quiet dreams.
Director Juan Antonio Bayona and screenwriter Sergio G. Sánchez ratchet up the tension to such excruciating heights that, while you're watching the film, your impulse is to scream out loud just to feel some sense of release.
I'd venture to say there are more goosepimply moments and well-earned jolts in this picture than in your average year's worth of commercial shockers. And yet, it's also the only horror film in recent memory that brought me to tears.
The children just want to come out and play, and so do the very clever filmmakers running The Orphanage, a fastidiously grim ghost story that rattles the bones of the haunted-house genre and finds plenty of fresh (but not too bloody) meat.