Sunday, August 24, 2008

El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil's Backbone)

So what is this one about?
My beloved provides us with this description,
Twelve-year-old Carlos (Fernando Tielve) is the latest arrival at Santa Lucia School, an imposing stone building that shelters orphans of the Republican militia and politicians during the last days of the Spanish Civil War. Carlos gradually uncovers the dark ties that bind the inhabitants of the school: hidden riches, sexual intrigue and the restless ghost of a murdered student, who may be the only one to provide resolution.
The film, of course, is written and directed by Guillermo del Toro... the man who can't get enough of the Spanish Civil War and orphanages... and who looks nothing like what you would expect.

And how much did I pay to watch?
well, I got it from netflix, so some small ammount ;)

And what did I think?
First, I loved the blood coming from the dead boy's (Santi) head. It was amazing and spacey and captivating.

Second, I loved the bad guy. I guess one of delToro's themes is the Spanish Civil War sucked and everyone was an asshole. But the bad guy was just so mean for no reason. I always like antagonists like that.

Third, I think I probably don't watch nearly enough spanish cinema, because, from the few I have seen, it is creepy and haunting. I guess the movies I watch most are French films, or Japanese.

Fourth, and a real "what did I think point", I like that this movie didn't resolve everything at the end. In The Orphanage there were no loose ends and it ended up being really annoying. It seemed like the director (who wasn't delToro) decided at the very last minute to make it all wrap up, and it just seemed unnecessary. However, in this movie the end wrapped things up just enough that the audience felt satisfied without feeling like they were being beaten with the obvious stick.

Fifth, I think delToro is a gifted director. His movies all have this slightly scary, foreboding, fairy tale quality to them. His films have lessons for the audience to learn and he presents them in such a simple and fantastical way that they are somewhat easier to extract. He deals a lot with the concepts of good and evil, and maybe how in wartime it is harder to tell them apart. They are very intriguing to watch.

Oh, and sixth, the title was stupid.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
This was very enjoyable. It was well made, and well thought out. I am really so impressed with del Toro.

This one gets an 8.


UmassSlytherin said...

this sounds awesome!! I will have to check it out, for sure, sounds right up my ally. :)

Eileen said...

People should read this.