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The Orphanage [DVD]

Belen Rueda , Fernando Cayo , Juan Antonio Bayona    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
Price: £3.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Orphanage [DVD] + Pan's Labyrinth [DVD] [2006] + Devil's Backbone [DVD] [2001]
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Product details

  • Actors: Belen Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Princep, Mabel Rivera, Montserrat Carulla
  • Directors: Juan Antonio Bayona
  • Producers: Guillermo del Toro, Alvaro Augustín, Joaquin Padro, Mar Targarona
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 21 July 2008
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019GJ3WU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,761 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Chilling ghost story produced by Guillermo del Toro. Laura (Belen Rueda) has fond memories of the orphanage she grew up in. She was well cared for by the staff and she loved her fellow orphans like they were her own flesh and blood. Thirty years later, accompanied by her husband Carlos (Fernando Cayo) and her 7-year-old son Simon (Roger Princep), she returns to her childhood home with a dream of restoring the now abandoned orphanage and reopening it as a home for disabled youngsters. However, it's not long before Simon starts communicating with an invisible new friend and telling strange stories. Carlos is skeptical of his son, believing that he is just seeking attention. Then Simon disappears without trace...


Backed by Guillermo del Toro and yet made by a surprisingly inexperienced group of film makers (especially considering the end result), The Orphanage is a chilling, tense supernatural thriller that could certainly teach more established directors a thing or two about how to send shivers down the spine.

It tells the story of a woman, Laura, returning to the orphanage where she was raised as a child. Her plans are to look after sick children there, but it doesn’t take long for things to go awry. Without giving too much away, visions from her past and a threat to her own family are the starting points for a complex and quite haunting thriller, that stays in the mind long after the credits have rolled.

A film that works on more than one level, The Orphanage really is some piece of work. Juan Antonia Bayona, behind the camera, generates an incredibly atmospheric mood that underpins the film, and wisely takes time to put pieces in place. He’s aided by a terrific cast, and an unsettling screenplay that layers in an uneasy horror that’s as anti-Hollywood as it comes.

The result of all of this is one of the scariest films of recent times, and yet something that still manages to be that little bit more, that sticks in your mind for some time afterwards. Make no mistake, The Orphanage really is something different, and all the better for it. --Jon Foster

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
This is one of the best films I have seen in a long time and perhaps the most powerful and moving. Reviewers debate whether the film is a 'horror' or not - well for me at least, I found it genuinely chilling and scary and can think of few other so called horror films that had a profound and emotional effect on me. Infact I would go as far as to say very few films have ever given me the chills - but this did. More than that I was weeping like a emotional wreck by the end. It is fortunate that the wife hates watching sub titled films so I was able to 'experience' this without the indignity of others witnessing it!
Set in Spain and subtitled for nthe non spanish speaking, the film is a well conceived 'haunted house story' delivered in a manner similar to The Others and containing an atmospheric feel akin to the excellent Pan's Labrinth and Dont Look Now. For those who haveendured the loss or fear of losing a child - this story is both impactful and full of empathy. Carefully crafted, mature and intelligent in composition - a dark horse of a masterpiece. Supremely well acted and directed and highly recommended,
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT a horror but a heartwarming drama 27 Feb 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am baffled as to why this film is listed under horror as there wasn't anything in it that scared me in any kind of way. There are some supernatural references but the essence of the film seems to be very much about a mother's turmoil after her ill son's disappearance. Despite not being what i was expecting it is a great film. I was prepared to jump out of my seat and hide behind my hands but ended up being close to tears after the emotional and heartwarming rollarcoaster that it puts you through. I do recommend it but if you expect to be terrified you will be disappointed!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
For the past few months I, a huge fan of movies, have been eagerly anticipating the latest Guillermo Del Toro film to hit our screens. After all of this angst, the day finally arrived and I can't tell you how pleased I was with the result.

"The Orphanage" by debut director Juan Antonio Bayona, is a truly mesmerising tale produced by the visionary director of "Pan's Labyrinth" (another superbly executed Spanish fantasy movie).

At the start of the story, children play a "knock, knock, knock on the wall" game in the grounds of an orphanage. However, these images soon melt into blackness to be replaced by wallpaper (for the title sequence) which is then ripped away by young hands, with tormenting music echoing in the background. I soon gathered that this was not going to be the most pleasant of tales.

Around thirty years on, we slowly slip into the world of Laura who has just moved back into her childhood home, the orphanage. The setting is now slightly more sinister: darker clouds, stormier seas and creaking doors galore. As the film progresses it becomes apparent that Laura's adopted son, Simón, has HIV and is therefore on constant medication, not great when, in a moment of carelessness, Simón vanishes. What evolves from this scene is a harrowing tale which examines the reality of loss, insanity, horror, and, most importantly, challenges our imagination, the one thing that when in the darkness of the orphanage, we cannot control.

Some scenes in this movie are utterly horrific, there is no doubt about it. Although gore is of the minimum, suspense and horror and childhood games are not. There is one section of this film that scared me witless.
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54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Thriller from the Spanish Team 8 Oct 2008
The Orphanage, does bring sophistication in ghost stories which is rarely heard of, but Guillermo Del Toro manages to pull it off time and time again, and somehow he even managed to inject his magic into this one, which he only produced - as this very much plays out like one of his own films. Not to discredit Mr. Bayona, though, for he has done a fine job. This is a dark, powerful, and moving masterpiece that both adheres to convention and brings some new, more artistic elements to the table in the direction and storytelling.

There was nothing about this film I didn't like. The acting, the thrills, the cinematography, the story, and the atmosphere. Everything was not short of sheer brilliance. The chilling moments freaked me out a couple of times, which I'm glad they did. That was what I wanted out of this film, but I was offered so much in return. Since I knew Guillermo Del Toro was involved with this project, I had a feeling it would be good. I just didn't think it would be THIS good. It was also very heart-warming, which was something I did not expect.

The acting is great, Belen Rueda as Laura is magnificent. Fernando Cayo as the husband Carlos is also good; he looks like a Spanish version of Josh Lucas. The kids do a decent job. And seeing Geraldine Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin's daughter) was a surprise, and she delivered an excellent performance as the 'seeing' medium. The bond that Laura, Simon, and Carlos shared is very sensitive and is carried out well throughout the movie.

This is definitely one of those horror films you should see more than once. The horror films you see nowadays are weak, not scary, and most of all; not worth your time. This one is WORTH the time. Believe me, his film has absolutely everything you need to know on how to make a well-executed ghost story and more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars misleading
After buying this DVD for my sister we finally sat to watch it tonight, to say the least i was very disappointed, all trailers were in English so we didn't think no more of it, we... Read more
Published 2 days ago by BARBARA YOUNG
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching
More drama/chiller than horror. Tinged in real history. Thought provoking.
Published 10 days ago by Nic DC
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
did not realise it was not in english
Published 11 days ago by anne laing
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great DVD
Published 19 days ago by D. A. Smithson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film!!
One of my all time favourite films. Suspenseful and intriguing. Arrived very fast and in excellent condition
Published 1 month ago by sarah
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed as in spanish
Couldnt watch as was in spanish and i dont speak spanish, very disappointed as looked like a good film. Is says nowhere in the discription it was in spanish
Published 1 month ago by Zoe Hanscombe
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the subtitles put you off
I rarely watch subtitled films as I feel you need to be quite awake and alert and I am rarely either of these. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Immortal Beloved
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Just buy this. It's fab!
Published 2 months ago by MK
5.0 out of 5 stars the orphanage is a great film
The orphanage is a really good film with a great storyline it is in spanish with english subtitles I just wished it was in english so i didnt have to read the subtitles as it is... Read more
Published 3 months ago by laura p
2.0 out of 5 stars subtitled - not english
I didn't realise when I bought it but its a Spanish (I think) film, I can't watch and read at the same time so I only lasted about 5 mins and had to turn it off. Read more
Published 3 months ago by gotham bat woman
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