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The Orphanage [DVD]

4.1 out of 5 stars 249 customer reviews

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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, Álvaro 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 (249 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019GJ3WU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,847 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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...

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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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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Format: DVD
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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have just finished watching this movie and I am in tears.
(And I'm a guy).

Tears, not through fear, but through emotion.

I have never before watched a film with such an incredible plot, twists, and final scene as this.

Yes it makes your hair stand up on end, (time and time again) yet there is little violence if any.

Yes there are creepy scenes and darkness, but this is after all a scary film. It meant to scare you and it does, I lost count how many times I said 'freaky' outloud and felt really un-nerved.

Yet it has a mind blowing end sequence that is just so moving, so touching that you must watch this utterly superb film.

10/10 - never seen anything like it.
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Format: DVD
There's not a lot I can say that hasn't already been said; but I too would like to admit blubbering like a baby at the end of this masterpiece.

Tense and touching, terrifying yet utterly tear-jerking, the plot twists snake-like and leaves you guessing right up to the last 20 minutes; which for me are amoung the most powerful I've ever seen.

Once in a blue moon you watch a film that for whatever reason 'changes' you. The Orphanage re-set my expectations and made me sit up and realise that the vast majority of films are actually dross! Watch this film and you too will be saying 'Now that's how you make a film' over a post-viewing box of tissues.

The Orphanage - An all too rare marvel that I couldn't recommend highly enough.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Hitchcock used an example to explain the difference between surprise and suspense. If people are seated at a table and a bomb explodes, that is surprise. If they are seated at a table, and you know there's a bomb under the table attached to a ticking clock, but they continue to play cards -- that's suspense. There's a bomb under "The Orphanage" for excruciating stretches of time.

I was expecting the slow-moving "Orphanage" to descend into routine shock and horror movie, or even into the pits with the slasher pictures. But it doesn't. Most of the movie is all waiting, anticipating and dreading. The jolts that come about midway are of a similar magnitude to movies such as Sixth Sense and Blair Witch Project.

The story (no spoilers here) of `The Orphanage' focuses on Laura, who as a young girl was raised in the orphanage before being taken away one day and adopted. Now in her 30s, she has returned with her husband and their young son Simon (who has imaginary friends). They have plans to turn the Orphanage into a home for sick/ disabled children. But before they can embark on this venture, Simon vanishes.

Laura is the main character in this movie; we are inside her tormented mind. Her husband only appears in a few scenes and all the other characters in the move are minor parts compared to Laura. Laura spends months trying to find her son and she seeks help from a psychic, the Police, and her son's imaginary friends.
All the while Laura embarks on a quest to retrieve him that will push her to the limit of sanity.

The film is slow moving, but it manages to expertly linger to create atmosphere, a sense of place, a sympathy with the characters, instead of rushing into cheap thrills.
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