RoJo Film Reviews

RoJo Film Reviews

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Devil's Backbone

Year:  2001
Country:  Spain
Director:  Guillermo del Toro

Mini-Synopsis:  A twelve-year-old boy adjusts to life at his new orphanage while discovering that the place may be haunted.

Ro:  5 Star - The Devil's Backbone for me is very demonstrative of the quintessential del Toro.  It's a perfect complementary film to Pan's (even though this came first, Pan's remains the strongest example of del Toro's work thus far).  The story is told from an innocent's point-of-view who's exposed to a truly evil element during a tumultuous historical period.  The biggest difference between the two movies is the fantastical element, which in this film is more of a subtle spooky ambiance with a few gotcha moments.  The kids deliver strong performances and Eduardo Noriega is absolutely one of my favorite bad guys to watch.

Joe:  4 Star - I have always enjoyed seeing a horror film through the eyes of a child.  In The Devil's Backbone, we get to experience this ghost story from the perspective of a twelve year old boy.  The atmosphere of this film is excellent because the orphanage is a remote and self-contained compound with a unique history.  Guillermo del Toro displays an innate ability to connect his viewers to the emotions of a child.  This ability also stands out in his masterpiece Pan's Labyrinth.  I definitely recommend this film to atmospheric horror fans, ghost story fans, and fans of good foreign films.

1 comment:

  1. This is, hands-down, one of my favorite films of all time. I love del Toro's vision, I like the story, and I particularly like the image of Santi with the floating blood dripping up from his head. Great stuff!