|The Devil's Backbone|
Guillermo del Toro
Marisa Paredes, Frederico Luppi, Fernando Tielve
In Spanish; widescreen; closed caption; English subtitles; commentary by director and cinematographer; Making-of featurette; storyboard comparisons; theatrical trailer.
|Mexican director Guillermo del Toro is at home with horror. "Cronos," his disturbing, novel renovation of the vampire film, served as his springboard to making "Mimic," an American-financed, English-language monster movie that featured Mira Sorvino versus giant cockroaches in the subway tunnels of New York City. Now, del Toro has returned to his native tongue with an atmospheric, creatively visualized ghost story set in an orphanage on a barren plain during the latter stages of the Spanish Civil War. When his father goes off to battle, Carlos (Fernando Tielve) is abandoned at the spooky Santa Lucia School, where a treasure trove of gold is rumored to be hidden. The disconsolate Carlos has trouble fitting in with the other kids, who push him around, and coping with the regimen and the brusque staff, particularly a spiteful young groundskeeper. Ratcheting up the misery, a spectral presence starts to bedevil Carlos. It's violent, but deliciously haunting. With Marisa Paredes and Frederico Luppi.|