Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Orphanage

I like my supernatural fiction subtle- in the English tradition of the two Jameses -Henry and M.R.- and weirdly enough it's the Spanish who are telling those kind of stories these days. You'd think- traditional enemies- Drake, Hawkins, the Armada and all that- we'd have little in common, but when it comes to ghosts we're in tune- we like or fear the same things. Maybe it's something to do with being peoples of the Atlantic seaboard (I don't know, I'm clutching at straws here). Del Toro (he's Mexican but films in Spain) is the main man, but there are others. and the Orphanage- which del Toro produced- is firmly in the tradition. It's got the creaky old house, the spooky kids, the suddenly slamming doors- and tightens the Anglo-Iberian connection by riffing off Peter Pan. Also it's not dumb. As a bonne bouche it boasts a cameo from Geraldine Chaplin.  With her funny little monkey face and her daddy's big shiny eyes she's someone I'm always glad to see. 
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