By the time they remake The Orphanage (El Orfanato) in English, I will probably be sick of movies about spooky children and their loving parents. Lord knows, The Orphanage, a movie about a woman (Belén Rueda) who moves, with her husband and child, into the orphanage where she grew up and finds it is haunted, is entering a crowded field: Dark Water, The Ring, The Others, The Sixth Sense. But The Orphanage — with it’s near flawless screenplay, excellent performances and soil-your-drawers scares — more than holds its own, and earns its place among the best in the genre.

While Juan Antonio Bayona’s directing is pitch perfect, the screenplay, by Sergio G. Sánchez is, to me, the star of the movie. It so carefully paces the revelation of information through one fantastically spooky set-piece after another. There were two things that Sánchez didn’t sufficiently explain

Continue reading about The Orphanage (contains spoilers)…: what exactly Laura and Carlos were doing up in the snowy town where they saw Benigna, and why Laura or the local police didn’t know what happened at the orphanage after they left, but knew about Tomás. These coincidences are necessary and forgivable, and hardly harm the enjoyment of what is sure to become a classic…

…even though it has a similar font and ending to Pan’s Labyrinth.


MORE: Making of info is available on the movie’s website: click on Behind the Scenes