Posts tagged “Guillermo Del Toro

The Orphanage: 3.5 Stars


The Orphanage  -  Front DVD Cover (UK)I’ve pulled a muscle, or fractured a rib, or damaged some vital internal organ, or something like that anyway. I’d like to be able to report that I did this in some heroic fashion, saving a kitten from a tall tree, preventing a goal in a tense penalty shoot out, or thwarting a mugger.  However, it happened when I sneezed whilst working on my computer.  Stupid cold!  Now every time I cough I suffer a stab of pain just at the bottom of my right rib cage that’s so intense, it would have most people begging for morphine.  I’m not one to make a fuss though.

2008  –  Certificate: 15  –  USA
Rating Details: Strong psychological horror and strong injury detail

Well, here we have a ghost story. A very good ghost story as it happens.  Something about orphans haunting an orphanage, where some bad goings on had gone on.  There’s nothing especially original about the plot, but the film is very well made and at times pretty creepy.  It does go a bit “Ghostbusters” at one point, but by and large it’s a first class movie.  It sounds especially good too, all those creaks, rattles and booms all over the place.  The main reason why I’ve not given it a higher score is because I really didn’t warm to the main characters in it.  I’m sure they were very decent and good people and all that, especially as they were trying to open a home for disabled youngsters and had adopted a HIV Positive baby, but my God, were they boring!  Mr and Mrs Mogadon.  So middle of the road.  Worthy but dull, like a bag of flour.  I also didn’t much care for how he reacted at the end. For a very practically minded guy who disagreed with his wife’s interpretation of what was going on for the entire film, and struggled more and more to deal with her increasingly neurotic behaviour, he certainly changed his mind quick enough in the end.  Then again, perhaps that was just his way of coping with things; me, I didn’t care enough about him to be that bothered one way or the other.  He looked the kind of guy who would quickly go and find himself another bland woman to marry anyway. Guillermo Del Toro was the executive producer, but he may as well have been the writer and director too, given how much the tone and atmosphere of the film matched that of “Pan’s Labyrinth” that I watched a few weeks ago.  Not a criticism though, just an observation.

Recommended for those who like horrors that don’t involve half-naked people being tortured every five minutes; or a guy with a massive knife or something killing off an isolated group of youngsters; or zombies.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  When all around you doubt your views and in a nice way are telling you you’re as nutty as a fruitcake, sticking to your guns when no one else believes you is pretty badass.  Well done Laura.  (Shouldn’t the saying really be as fruity as a fruitcake?  I’m sure there’s more fruit than nuts in them.  Unless you buy a really expensive one perhaps.)

The Orphanage at IMDB (7.5/10)


Pan’s Labyrinth: 4.0 Stars


Pan's Labyrinth - Front Blu-ray Cover (UK)I got six new light bulbs this week.  This might not seem much of a big deal, but to me, after living in a perpetual twilight for the last month or two, is nothing short of a miracle.  The fact that I paid over £70 for them shouldn’t be allowed to dilute the effect of the spontaneous celebrations that have been breaking out throughout Cactus World to mark the occasion.  I now have light in my kitchen that doesn’t back away in fear when threatened by a candle, and a lounge that doesn’t has a less welcoming glow than a lump of plutonium in your bed.  Low energy light bulbs?  For £70 I expect them to be so efficient I actually receive payments for supplying electricity to the national grid every time I use them!

2006  –  Certificate: 15  –  Mexico

This is a brilliant film.  It’s original, interesting, childlike and innocent, yet grown-up and horrifying.  I watched it on Blu-ray and it sounded great and looked wonderful.  The only reason I haven’t given it a higher score is that I never quite connected with the main characters in it.  Even at its most intense, it did feel like they were playing a secondary role in supporting the movie’s feel and atmosphere.  In a different film I’d probably be moaning about how one dimensional they were, but in this case it doesn’t seem to matter; in fact their simplistic, goodness vs evilness helps to focus the mind on the textual elements of the film.  I’ve no idea what I just wrote means, but it sounds great to me!  It’s a wonderfully dark, genera-mixing and unique film.  Go watch.

Recommended for people that like the concept of horror nursery rhymes.

No cats, decapitations or chainsaws.

Top badass moment?  Mercedes dealing with Captain Vidal.  He was a seriously arrogant asshole with an inferiority complex and a whole take-away of chips on his shoulder.  Dealing with people like that is always badass.  The Joker look suited him.

Pan’s Labyrinth at IMDB (8.3 / 10)