The language of the supernatural thriller has become somewhat familiar after a few M. Night Shyamalan films and their knock offs. The Orphanage has enough of a twist to keep it interesting, but you'll have a feeling on where it's going.
Review: The Orphanage
Laura (Belen Rueda) plans to turn her old home into an orphanage, but when her adoptive son Simon (Roger Princep) disappears, she begins to sense spirits at work. While everyone, including her husband, thinks she is crazy, Laura delves into the spiritual world to find her son.
Most of the scares are of the bumping furniture variety. This is a healthy change of pace from effects heavy horror movies of late. Even ghostly appearances happen in the real world, not painted into the scene with CGI. Some of the young ghosts are plenty vicious enough to be a threat.
There are some juicy bits of gore involving little parts of the body that you hate to lose, and major connective joints going missing. A familiar type of surprise still manages to shock in this format.
While Laura looks crazy to the outside, we see all the occurrences through her point of view. Also, we've seen The Sixth Sense and The Others so it's not strange to us that she's exploring the paranormal.
A lot of the film is exploring so it is visual. There are subtitles for the explaining parts, but just watching Laura move through the house and discover its secrets crosses any language barriers. There are a few "Don't go in there" moments too.
Rueda is an appealing lead. She's a total AMILF. That's Adoptive Mom I'd Like to F***, because she is not Simon's biological mother.
The Orphanage isn't different enough to make a lasting impression but it's interesting enough to propel you through. It's no landmark achievement but foreigners can make solid entertainment too.