The Devil’s Backbone (El Espinazo Del Diablo)

GUILLERMO DEL TORO

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Spain/Mexico, 2001.  , , , , .  Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro, , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Toronto International Film Festival 2001.  

Eduardo Noriega in The Devil’s Backbone.

Exciting and stylish ghost story from Guillermo Del Toro (Cronos, Mimic) about strange goings on in an orphanage in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Young Carlos, recently orphaned though he doesn’t know it yet, has been sent to this forgotten institution in the middle of nowhere to be kept safe for at least a short period of time. Upon arrival, Carlos is harassed by the dormitory bully, terrified by the unexploded missile in the middle of the courtyard and harassed by strange voices and occasional appearances of a spirit. The film is exquisitely photographed, with brilliant makeup design and visual effects, but what really puts it at that perfect level between realistic drama and jump-out-of-your-seat scariness is the incredibly good character development in Del Toro’s screenplay. As the main heads of the orphanage, and are outstanding, while is perfect as the sexy but perhaps villainous hired hand.

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