The Orphanage

Rated NR

Guillermo del Toro (who is rumored to be directing the upcoming Hobbit movies) “presents” this so-so haunted-house story about an orphan (Belén Rueda) who returns to her orphanage as an adult with her family. That family consists of her husband and a young adopted son who has imaginary friends beckoning him to play in caves and dark corners. The film is a slow, psychological burn. It looks great, but not much happens, except for couple of good jolts early on, a big one in the middle, and a giant “reveal” at the end. The film has more than a little in common with Nicole Kidman’s The Others, but that was a far better movie. There are some nice atmospherics—including some cool stuff with lighthouses, and a rather nasty car accident—but the story is predictable. If it weren’t for the classy visual style of director Juan Antonio Bayona, it would be a total bore.

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