I really really liked this film. There are some bits where I struggled to ascertain what was actually going on (probably through fault of my own!) and I dont think its quite in the league of Pan's Labyrinth - but most things arent. Has a beautiful - if bittersweet ending.
The Orphanage is an incredibly elegant horror film. Now don't take that the wrong way; I don't mean it's all about style and pretty pictures. What I mean is that the movie builds up a brilliant atmosphere and an intruiging mystery without ever feeling like it's trying to be odd for the sake of being odd. This extends to the thematic overtones as well; the highly prevelant anti-catholic themes permeate the imagery, and the excellent ending leaves the conclusion open to genuine interpretation.
Solid enough traditional ghost story that relies on atmosphere and tension rather than outright scares right through to the pleasingly ambiguous ending. Competent enough, but everything it has to offer has been done better many times before.
For ninety minutes. it's terrifying; then in the last ten minutes as the pieces start to come together and we come to understand what really happened, it turns desperately sad, tragically sad. I wish more modern horror movies were as well-made and as humane as this one is.
Starts off with a bang, keeps you in suspense the whole time, but the ending was a little much. It should have ended with the chilling discovery and suicide, rather than continue on into other side. Why add a happy ending to the perfect ending? It would be like if Han Solo was encased in Carbonite, the Slave One crashed into Vader's ship on takeoff, releasing Han from his freeze and in he process taking out the Empire. Ok, maybe not that extreme, but still...
This type of film, almost by definition, is bound to take some far fetched twists and turns and have some cheap scares, which isn't something I particularly enjoy. That said, it's done pretty well and the film deals with some interesting themes in a relatively thoughtful way, and the direction has some strong moments as well.