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Kelsey's Review

Created Jan 29, 2008 03:52PM PST • Edited Jan 29, 2008 03:52PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    Laura (Rueda) is now going back to the orphanage where she grew up. She is with her husband, Carlos (Cayo) and their adoptive son, Simon (Princup). Simon doesn’t know that he is adopted or that he is HIV positive. Laura really sees Simon as her own though. She does want to help others and give orphans a place to call home. Laura is planning on bringing in four or five others, particularly those who are at a disadvantage whether it be disabilities or disease. However, Simon is the first one who meets children. Laura is concerned that he has so many imaginary friends. These friends seem to be multiplying since they arrived at the orphanage and a game comes along with them. Simon tells Laura that these friends will take something of yours and set up a series of clues for you to get it back. If you play the game and find it in the end then you get any wish granted. Laura plays along with this at first, but when her things end up missing and Simon ends up finding the key it unravels lies that his adoptive parents have been telling him this crosses the line.
    The next day Laura gets in a fight with Simon and he disappears. The day that he disappeared Laura was attacked by a child who appeared just as Simon described his deceased friend. She doesn’t know what to think about this. After 9 months of the police not finding anything, not even one simple clue that might determine whether Simon is dead or alive. With no where else to go, Laura begins to open her mind to other possibilities. There was a mysterious women who came to the house not long before Simon went missing. She came to the house, wanting to take Simon. It was uncovered that she used a fake name. Later she came back to the house and broke in. It becomes clear that she has a connection with these deceased children and that is why she was there. As Laura gets more caught up in the idea of ghost presence in her house leading to Simon that to others she appears that she is going crazy. Her husband tries to rip her away from the orphanage, but she simply can’t until she uncovers the truth about Simon even if she takes a trip in to the paranormal and recreating her past to find it.

  3. Great 4.0

    Belen Rueda did a terrific job as Laura. It was a complex role and she handled every moment with great precision. Especially towards the end, her character was an emotional wreck. Her desperation took the most of her. Roger Princup played the very inventive Simon. His youthful qualities make the atmosphere seem safer than it really is. Once the tensions are raised and suspense is high, some of his child like characteristics serve as clues to a more serious situation.

  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Great 4.0

    Facing the past is a major theme of The Orphanage. Laura comes back to that orphanage for a reason, there were truths that she hadn’t know. Her essential family, the other children who grew up with her at the orphanage, had to face horrible deaths. Laura becomes tied in to this when she comes back even though this revenge that she is facing isn’t her fault. Motherhood is exposed here as an extreme bond that no danger can conquer. Even when it is clear that she has been beaten and that if she can find a way to win the game and find her son, Simon and her cannot live in the world as they once did. Her bond is so important that nothing else matters. She is willing to give up life itself to be with Simon again even if for eternity she will never know anything else. There was also a very interesting connection to Peter Pan. Earlier in the movie Simon and Laura were reading it. Laura is seen as Wendy since she has grown older than when she was a child in the orphanage. Simon and the children who were killed there were deprived of a chance to be able to grow up. They were very much like the lost boys for quite some time, as they disappeared from mankind and stayed in their youthful state forever. The difference is they really weren’t given a choice of whether they could grow up or not. The visuals between the past, present, and the new state that is found in the end is very well done and explores what each of these mean.
    The Orphanage is a suspenseful film with a solid story. Especially for a ghost story it succeeds since it has so many layers to it. The complex characters added to this a great deal. It is more than just some scares here and there. We have a reason to care and there are so many possibilities to what the truth might hold. It is really just as much a game for the audience as it is for Laura.

  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Great 4.0
  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Great 4.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.7

    The Orphanage displays what PG-13 horror should. It doesn’t need excessive amounts of blood to try to scare the audience. It also doesn’t take the easy way out by not showing scenes of tension or where something horrible is happening. The Orphange uses suspense very well in a chilling atmosphere. The uncertainty and desperation is what makes it not only terrifying but in the end tragic.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.7
  16. Violence Fierce 1.7
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.7
  18. Supernatural 3.5

    The Orphanage deals with ghosts literally and the ghosts of Laura’s past. Horrible things have happened in the place she once called home and is now again trying to make it a home for others including her family. Her initial family is not at rest though. The characters are realistic here though even if the ghost aspect isn’t as much. The ghosts are really just spirits here, they are not trying to murder anyone and they are the ones who were wronged in the first place. One mystery in this situation is to figure out how and why this happened along with who did this to the children. A higher mystery beyond that though is how much this will affect Laura and what lengths this will bring her to.

  19. Circumstantial Supernatural 3.5
  20. Biological Supernatural 3.5
  21. Physical Supernatural 3.5


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