Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
The Devil's Backbone
The living will always be more dangerous than the dead.
After losing his father, 10-year-old Carlos arrives at the Santa Lucia School, which shelters orphans of the Republican militia and politicians, and is taken in by the steely headmistress, Carmen, and the kindly professor, Casares. Soon after his arrival, Carlos has a run-in with the violent caretaker, Jacinto. Gradually, Carlos uncovers the secrets of the school, including the youthful ghost that wanders the grounds.
"What is a ghost? A tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again? An instant of pain, perhaps. Something dead which still seems to be alive. An emotion suspended in time. Like a blurred photograph. Like an insect trapped in amber."
Directed by Del Toro, this ghost story is set during the Spanish civil war and centres on a boy who arrives at a home for orphans in a remote part of Spain. The orphanage is ran by an older couple who are also helped out by a young male groundskeeper and a young female teacher who appears to be involved with the groundskeeper. The older couple are helping the Republican loyalists and are using the orphanage to hide a…
The story is set in a Spanish orphanage during the last gaps of the Civil War. Carlos, a twelve years old boy, begins to have visions of a ghost child (Santi) who once was murdered at the orphanage. Through Carlos, the ghost of Santi will seek to avenge his death.
Whilst this is part of my horror films challenge, I wouldn't consider it a real horror film since the drama is way heavier than the actual horror. Yet, what's so magical about del Toro's film is the way he conjugates the two genres, the balance he creates between the drama of a boy who is sent to an orphanage after the death of his father, the adversities he faces while…
A dark supernatural psychological thriller top heavy with subplots and absent of any real scares! Its strength lies in its creepy atmosphere and sense of impending doom!
The second best Guillermo del Toro movie set during the Spanish Civil War that has a young protagonist and combines horror elements with drama.
"What is a ghost? A tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again? An instant of pain, perhaps. Something dead which still seems to be alive. An emotion suspended in time. Like a blurred photograph. Like an insect trapped in amber. "
I feel like I'm making progress with my ability to read films, but then I come across movies like this so full of interesting ideas and symbols that I just shrug and accept that I probably don't fully understand it. Sure part of my lack of comprehension probably stems from my ignorance of history. There's a war going on in the background of the story which lends significance to many of the characters and their actions and I…
Little Carlos has just been dropped off at a mysterious orphanage by his assigned caretaker, in order to protect him from the terrors of crossing the line of fire in war. The strict heads of the house assign Carlos bed number 12- a recently vacated spot whose previous occupant, according to the other orphans, ran away from the orphanage to forge on in his own life. But late that night, Carlos stumbles onto a secret, a secret so dark and horrifying that it threatens to tear the residents of the orphanage apart, emotionally and physically.
Guillermo Del Toro's The Devil's Backbone succeeds far and beyond as a horror film, complete with tension and scares. However, I found the plot to…
A powerful work, somehow both classical and subversive in terms of ghost stories, with a horrendous but fascinating human antagonist.
Tense character drama with an effective undercurrent of horror. I'm not a horror fan, at all, so when a film takes it and does something a little different I am all for it. Probably a little too long but it's very nicely acted, particularly by the young cast, and tells it's story exceedingly well. Very inventive portrayal of the supernatural too.
I loved the atmosphere of this film, which is a mixture of a thriller (evil villain, a plot to steal gold, a love triangle) and a ghost story (following the young protagonist as he begins life at a school for orphaned boys, rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of a former pupil). The use of traditional gothic details in an incongruous setting - the orphanage is in the middle of an empty, wind-swept desert - worked brilliantly, making cliches feel fresh and new.
Eduardo Noriega, tho. [stunned blushing emoji] [fans self~]
A great, dark fairy tale from director Guillermo del Toro. Unfortunately, the protagonist isn't very interesting, but that does little to take away from the movie's excellence. Features one of the best screen villains I've seen.
Set at the end of the Spanish civil war with Franco's Nationalists overtaking Spain, The Devil's Backbone is a film about loyalty, trust, friendship and faith. The location is an orphanage fill with children of the war (a well that del Toro visits often). The principal and head master are scraping trying to provide some sense of normality for these children.
Some time back a bomb was dropped in the courtyard, but tit didn't go off. That same night a child (Santi) disappeared. It is believed that he got scared and ran away, but the children speak of a voice the hear. Perhaps the voice of a ghost. Perhaps the voice of Santi.
The films starts with the arrival of…
For some reason I started watching this very low expectations for some reason. But clearly by the end of the experience I had so much emotion drawn out of me. Del Toro hasn't disappointed me.
I would consider this more of a "classic" ghost story, the type you might associate with folklore passed down through generations, rather than a "horror" film in the modern sense (in many ways, the ghost is one of the least frightening aspects of the story). It has all the timeless hallmarks of this genre - greed, tragedy, mystery, and revenge - placed against the backdrop of Franco's rise to power which yields an elegantly constructed yet authentic tale. The performances - especially those of the children - were spot on. I think there are quite a few subtle background moments - the collecting of slugs, or way Carlos was bullied, etc. - that really reflect the pure, tumultuous, and unrefined qualities of childhood. Couple with Pan's Labyrinth, this highlights del Toro's ability to direct child actors to great results.
I loved the movie, but I can see why the studio was unhappy. It really does not work as a reboot of Casper the Friendly Ghost.
del toro manages to make something unique and interesting, but the cliches he uses really detract from it
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)
Contains every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the letterboxd database.
If there is any…