Sunday, September 21, 2008

Movie Review: The Orphanage

I watched a good movie tonight called, The Orphanage. I should warn those of you who have a phobia of subtitles, that this is a spanish movie with subtitles. Personally, that doesn't bother me. I've seen so many good movies with subtitles, that I would never rule out a movie just because it was in a different language.
I should say also, that I feel like I've seen every horror movie out there. It is a genre I've always enjoyed, until one day when I sort of 'out grew' them. I no longer liked any of the slasher style movies. Once you've seen 2 slasher movies, you've seen them all. And lets face it, in today's violent media, a slasher movie is not that unusual (sadly). For example, on Saturday, on television no less, I've seen about 3-4 people get brutally stabbed in a tv show or a tv movie. I'm not sure how this violence ends up on TV, but it does.
So, when a "horror" movie comes along that interests me, to put aside my cynicism and give the movie a rent, I'm very happy when I'm entertained. Let's face it, you wont be watching any great acting in these movies. So that's always a strike against it, but sometimes you find a movie that rises above that in story, and makes for a good movie.
Tonight's movie was "The Orphanage". It wasn't a horror movie per say, but more of a psychological thriller with some supernatural topics. My only complaint was that some of the sub-stories were not explained in much detail. I felt that certain parts of the movie were cut out. But, for the most part, it flowed fairly well. The filming was well done. One of the producers was Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labryinth), and I'm not sure how much of an influence he had in this movie, but I felt that I could see his fingerprints in some of the cinematography - especially the use of color changes to influence mood.
There were a few disturbing shots that I certainly would not recommend this movie for kids (It is an R rating). But you have to expect that in any sort of horror movie.
I won't describe the storyline at all... the less you know the better, because parts of the film are predictable.
Overall, a good story, decent acting, some creepy moments, and some nice cinematography.
If you like any of these, I'd suggest it's worth a rental.

Note: I'll link to the wikipedia page, here, but I should warn you that the plot synopsis is WAY TOO DETAILED. Best not to read any of it.

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