A strange way to sum up this 2007 film is, this was a sort of “feel good” paranormal thriller. Director Guillermo Del Toro outdid himself yet again. Del Toro is mainly well known for his other films such as: Pan’s Labyrinth, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and The Shape of Water. His best quality as a director is bringing out the thrill.
This film starts out as a running orphanage, however, I found it confusing with all of the time changes. It went from the past to the present without any notice so for the first 15 minutes you weren’t sure what was going on. It took me a while to figure out they were about 29 years in the future after the opening.
Laura (Belén Rueda) as a child was an orphan at the orphanage. As an adult she purchases her old home hoping she can turn it back into a safe place for sick children. When her adopted son disappears she will stop at nothing to find him but also discovers they aren’t alone.
Laura is the definition of what a mother should be. Never giving up on your child and staying until the very end. Carlos (Fernando Cayo) her husband, was as much help as a sunfish on a hook. Laura kept telling him she was hearing things in the house, saw someone on their property and he did nothing. However, I did enjoy the brave woman they made Laura out to be.
Before her son disappeared, he kept telling Laura how he doesn’t think he will grow old, or that he will die soon. If I heard my child say this, I would ask them why they thought that. However, Laura did not question him and asked him if it was because she told him the story of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. As you all know, the back story about Peter Pan is, he is a sort of angel who guides the souls of dead children to Never Land. That should have been a clue to her that something was wrong. On the other hand, no parent wants to admit their child would say such things.
This film reminded me a lot of Insidious, The Conjuring and The Woman in Black. If you enjoy any of these titles, you are sure to find The Orphanage interesting. Why I said this was a feel good Thriller? Simply put, no… this was not a happy movie, but the story behind it was very touching. It didn’t end in any way that would make someone wish they had written a different ending. This really was a great movie. I would give this a 7.5/10. Really worth the watch.