Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Orphanage

The Orphanage (2007)

Spanish film - both in language and location

Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona

Cast includes
Belen Rueda as Laura
Fernando Cayo as Carlos
Roger Princep as Simon
Geraldine Chaplin as Aurora (yep daughter of "that" Chaplin)


So I watched this last night and I'm still thinking about it. Overall, I did really like it, as it built the suspense, didn't use cheap scare tactics (that much), and didn't give definative answers to the "supernatural or not" question until the very end. The story is this: Laura and her family buy the orphanage she grew up in to turn into a home for special needs children. **Spoilers after here** Her and husband's son is adopted and is HIV+. When they move to this new place, their son has two imaginary friends, but he quickly gains six more. At the welcome party for the new home, the son disappears. Laura blames his imaginary friends. Big surprise - the people around her start to think she might be a bit crazy.

Here's what is bothering me: The wrap-up, "happy" ending, is Laura committing suicide. She gets what she wants, to be with her son again. Now, I know why, in the context of the movie and everything that is revealed, this makes a sort of sense and leads to what is probably the happiest ending possible for everyone involved (except Laura's now-widower husband), but I still feel uneasy about the ending of a movie that leaves suicide as the best option. For those who know me, it should be obvious why I feel this way. Of course, this has nothing to do with the merits of the film as a film, but it still effects how I view the movie.

But, for the most part, good, suspenseful, not overly gory, subtitled horror film.

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