`Orphanage' rife with terror

Review B

January 11, 2008|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic

Adult horror returns to the screen with the crisp and frightening The Orphanage, a haunted-house tale about the dueling forces of childhood friendship and maternal love.

The heroine, Laura (Belen Rueda) may not realize until the end how strongly she embodies both. All she and her doctor-husband Carlos (Fernando Cayo) hope to do is run a home for children with special needs in the abandoned orphanage where she grew up. But when they're about to open, their adopted son, Simon (Roger Princep), starts receiving visits from imaginary friends who resemble Laura's own orphanage-mates. She doesn't understand why they'd be threatening her and toying with her boy.

The Orphanage (Picturehouse) Starring Belen Rueda. Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona. In Spanish with English subtitles. Rated R. Time 105 minutes.

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