Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!
The Devil’s Backbone (06/06/12)
After Carlos, a 12-year-old whose father has died in the Spanish Civil War, arrives at an ominous boy’s orphanage he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets that he must uncover.
You very rarely get to see good ghost stories these days. They’re usually laden with horror clichés and totally, ridiculously stupid characters. So, it’s pretty refreshing watching an old Guillermo del Toro ghost story which is a pure ghost story, packed with some decent chills, but like a lot of his films, some intelligent and interesting characters.
In many ways, The Devil’s Backbone reminded me of a more recent ghost story in which Guillermo del Toro was an executive producer – The Orphanage. The ghost story part of both of these films aren’t the only focus. It’s closely intertwined with the goings on in the present. Then some of the narration and setting reminded me a lot of one of Guillermo’s most popular films – Pan’s Labyrinth. You can definitely see how he’s developed his films.
The strongest point in this film are the characters and the actors who play them. All the boys are what I’d imagine real young boys would be like in an isolated orphanage. Tearaways, bullies but friends all in the same situation. Never once did the boys annoy me. Something that sometimes a lot of young actors’ characters tend to do for me!
I wouldn’t say The Devil’s Backbone was a scary film. Just a beautifully done ghost story. Haunting, for sure. Definitely recommend it.
Read on to see all the films watched this year… Read more