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
Overawed at being in the company of acting veteran Geraldine Chaplin, J.A. Bayona broke the ice on her first day by hiding under a bed and grabbing her leg when she knelt down in the dark. Chaplin's scream in the film is one of genuine surprise. See more »
After Laura is in the shed outside the house and she finds Benigna with a shovel hiding, and after Laura then tells Carlos to come down and check again with her, Carlos' torch shines onto the camera several times, and the reflection of the camera and the torch is in the background on the window. See more »
The House, The Beach and The Lost Child - A Creepy Ghost Story
The former orphan Laura (Belén Rueda) raises her adopted son Simón (Roger Príncep) with her husband Carlos (Fernando Cayo) in an old house and former orphanage where she was raised. Simón is HIV positive and tells Laura that he has five invisible friends, and she believes they are fruit of his imagination. Laura decides to reopen an orphanage for handicapped children in the location and during the opening party, Simón calls her to show the little cabin of his friend Tomás. The busy Laura does not gives much attention to her son; then she sees a mysterious masked boy and Simón vanishes. Laura feels the presence of other persons in the house and months later, the desperate Laura invites a team of parapsychologists to try to unravel the mystery.
"El Orfanato" is a creepy and spooky ghost story with a dark and very sad atmosphere. The screenplay, direction, acting and cinematography are great, disclosing a dramatic and sensitive plot that explores the disappearance of a young boy with touches of supernatural in the despair of his mother. However, the explanation of the mystery in the end makes this sensitive movie actually a drama, and not horror genre, and maybe that is the reason why some viewers have written bad reviews (or maybe they have not understood the plot). My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "O Orfanato" ("The Orphanage")
Note: On 25 January 2015 I saw this movie again on Blu-Ray.
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