Horror Movie: The Orphanage (R; 2007; 105 min.)

This spanish movie with English subtitles was actually better than I anticipated, creepy and well-told, with a satisfying ending. Very suspenseful too!

Laura and her husband Carlos, along with their adopted son Simon, have moved into what used to be the orphanage where Laura lived before being adopted as a young girl. They have plans to care for several disabled children there and are preparing for their arrival. After a walk on the nearby beach, Laura and Simon enter into a cave where Simon “meets” several young children who tell him that he is adopted and ill as well (he is HIV positive, which his parents have kept from him along with the fact he is adopted). They invite him to come play with them, and to join their group. Laura and Carlos think it normal that a young boy would have these imaginary friends and play along as well.

On the day of their Open House for the disabled children’s families, Simon disappears. Laura soon comes to believe that these imaginary friends are not so imaginary after all, but are the ghosts of her childhood friends from the orphanage who have somehow taken Simon to live with them. She calls in a medium to help her reach these children to find out about Simon.

The medium tells her that “when something terrible happens sometimes it leaves a trace…a wound that acts as a knot between two time lines. It’s like an echo repeated over and over, waiting to be heard. Like a scar…or a pinch that begs for a caress to relieve it.” Cool.

So Laura does discover that something terrible did happen to these children after she was adopted out, and asks them if they want to play one more time together. They do…

  • Top Scare: The medium’s visit
  • Heartbeats: 3 1/2 out of 5
  • Gore Factor: 2 1/4 out of 5
  • Suspense Factor: 3 3/4 out of 5
  • Recommended for: 13 and up

Next up: The Omen

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