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The Orphanage (2007)

El orfanato (original title)
Trailer
2:13 | Trailer
A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.

Director:

J.A. Bayona

Writer:

Sergio G. Sánchez (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,921 ( 827)
32 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Belén Rueda ... Laura
Fernando Cayo ... Carlos
Roger Príncep ... Simón
Mabel Rivera ... Pilar
Montserrat Carulla ... Benigna
Andrés Gertrúdix ... Enrique
Edgar Vivar ... Prof. Leo Bálaban
Óscar Casas ... Tomás
Mireia Renau Mireia Renau ... Laura niña
Georgina Avellaneda Georgina Avellaneda ... Rita
Carla Gordillo Carla Gordillo ... Martín
Alejandro Camps Alejandro Camps ... Víctor
Carmen López Carmen López ... Alicia
Óscar Lara Óscar Lara ... Guillermo
Geraldine Chaplin ... Aurora
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Storyline

Laura, a former orphan, raises her adopted son Simón together with her husband Carlos in an old house and former orphanage where she was raised. While at the orphanage Simón tells Laura that he has five invisible friends which she believes are a product of his active imagination. Laura decides to reopen the orphanage to cater for disabled children and throws a party. During the party Simón tries to persuade Laura to go and take a look at his friends cabin but she's too busy. Later on she sees a mysterious masked boy and realizes that Simón has also disappeared. Laura feels the presence of other people in the house and months later Laura invites a team of parapsychologists to try to unravel the mystery. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Och barnen fortsätter att leka... (And the children continues their game, the children continues to play) See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

11 January 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Orphanage See more »

Filming Locations:

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR3,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$233,323, 30 December 2007

Gross USA:

$7,161,284

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$78,638,987
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the orphaned children Laura identifies in the photo she is shown she calls "Guillermo", an obvious nod to the Producer of the film. You also see his name during the scene where the window behind Laura smashes and she reveals the names of the old orphans and the dolls. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Laura is watching the old films, when we see one of the shots of Tomas, his eye hole is on the wrong side. In the next shot, it is on the right side again. See more »

Quotes

Aurora: Seeing is not believing. It's the other way around. Believe, and you will see.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Pieces of wallpaper are peeled off to reveal each of the opening credits. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Pretty decent, though not particularly scary, supernatural mystery/drama
30 December 2007 | by refresh_daemonSee all my reviews

This film is less like a traditional horror movie and more of a drama/mystery with strong supernatural elements. The setup is that Laura, who once lived at an orphanage, returns to the orphanage with her husband and son to start it up again as a place for special needs children. Of course, it all seems simple, but there are mysteries abound in this story and the revelations trickle in over the course of the tale.

The film isn't particularly frightening, although it has a couple of jumpy moments. Rather than focusing on creating an atmosphere of fear, instead it works on drawing up sympathy for Laura's plight as events transpire against her and her family and the past comes back to haunt her. It's an interesting meditation on loss as well that had a wonderful potential to straddle the line between real-world and supernatural (but don't worry folks, it doesn't--it's firmly supernatural and you know it from early on). Nonetheless, that you could imagine this film working even if the supernatural elements were just in Laura's mind and that's a pretty good thing for the drama.

The technical aspects of the film are all sound (although I noticed a couple of background gaffs, but I think you'd have to look for them), with clear direction, capable lensing and design. The actors all do a good job of rendering their characters (children fare believably enough) and Belen Rueda carries the film well as the central protagonist. The story itself doesn't reach any great depths, but unraveling the mystery with the film is enjoyable.

It's nothing stunning, but in the world of horror films, it easily stands a shoulder above the regular flotsam that the genre tends to churn out. At that, it's no terrible film and could be recommended if you're looking for a relatively intelligent and well composed supernatural horror-type film. Just don't expect bloodbaths and constant shocks. 7/10.


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