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The Orphanage
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Yesterday I saw The Orphanage, a Spanish-language horror film about a woman who moves into the orphanage she lived in as a child hoping to reopen it. She lives with her husband and her adopted son, who goes missing early in the film. There's a backstory involving a woman who worked at the orphanage years ago, and her deformed son, who wears a creepy bag over his head and wheezes (did they really think that the bag was an improvement over his face?).

Anyway, the film was pretty good. It had some genuinely tense and creepy moments and didn't resort to cheap scares (e.g. cats jumping from cupboards or bird fluttering from rafters in the shed). It gave me vibes from the old TV movie The Dark Night of the Scarecrow, which for some reason stuck in my head.

The Orphanage does include one of my pet peeves, which is a direct conflict between rationality and mysticism. The woman finally invites a medium into their home to help find her son, and the husband thinks it is all hogwash and tells her so. Later events reveal that the medium really must be pretty crappy, though (if you see the film you'll know why), and the whole setup didn't really bother me much since the film was crafted so that it could be interpreted either as supernatural or psychological. In case you were wondering, I preferred the psychological explanation. I think it's way creepier in this case, and probably in general.


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