Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Devil's Backbone

The Devil's Backbone (2001)

I don't have a whole lot to say about this film. It's by Guillermo del Toro, and it reminded me very much of “Pan's Labyrinth”. The film takes place during the Spanish Civil War and follows a young boy, Carlos, after he’s placed in an orphanage. Like “Pan’s Labyrinth,” del Toro centers the story on the children and the implications of this apparition.

It’s a bit more depressing, but not as sad as “Pan’s Labyrinth.” I think the latter provides a better perspective on children coping with the horrors of war. With “The Devil’s Backbone,” the story just isn’t terribly strong, and the tragedy is catalyzed by the war, but not caused by it directly.

The ghost, in terms of modern horror films and the prevalence of scary children/ghosts, is handled very well. And the child actors are really great. It’s kind of scary, but not really. Just creepy when Santi shows up. The final scenes are pretty frightening, however.

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