The Devil's Backbone (2001)

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I Am Legend (2007)

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Katie-Ellen

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Sep 25, 2014
UK
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Title: The Devil's Backbone (2001)

Tagline: The living will always be more dangerous than the dead.

Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Horror, Thriller

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Cast: Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi, Marisa Paredes, Fernando Tielve, Íñigo Garcés, Irene Visedo, José Manuel Lorenzo, Francisco Maestre, Junio Valverde, Berta Ojea, Adrián Lamana, Daniel Esparza, Javier Gonzalez Sanchez, Víctor Elías

Release: 2001-04-20

Runtime: 106

Plot: After losing his father, 10-year-old Carlos arrives at the Santa Lucia School, which shelters orphans of the Republican militia and politicians, and is taken in by the steely headmistress, Carmen, and the kindly professor, Casares. Soon after his arrival, Carlos has a run-in with the violent caretaker, Jacinto. Gradually, Carlos uncovers the secrets of the school, including the youthful ghost that wanders the grounds.



A sad story, redeemed by its message of love and devotion, even beyond the grave. Very much out of the Pan's Labyrinth stable, though more ghostly, less fantastical. Some wonderful, touching characters, though for me it lacked the sheer emotional power of Pan's Labyrinth. Which had me in bits.
 
I watched this in the cinema when it was released and it was one of the few times, possibly the only time since I was a kid, that I was truly scared watching a film. There were a couple of times when I was yelling inside my head to those children, 'No, don't look through the keyhole! No, don't go in to the cellar!' etc. Hugely believable, hugely powerful. A genuine, intelligent horror film.
 
And the lovely girl, stabbed by the no good fellow, howl, and the wounded old man, trying to stay alive to protect them, but not able to...and then his ghost saved them. How howl howl.
 
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