The devil's backbone

The devil's backbone

DVD - 2013 | Spanish
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The most personal film by Guillermo del Toro is also among his most frightening and emotionally layered. Set during the final week of the Spanish Civil War, The tale of a ten-year-old boy who, after his freedom-fighting father is killed, is sent to a haunted rural orphanage full of terrible secrets. Del Toro effectively combines gothic ghost story, murder mystery, and historical melodrama in a stylish concoction that reminds us that the scariest monsters are often the human ones.
Publisher: [United States] : Criterion Collection, [2013]
ISBN: 9786315105203
Branch Call Number: DVD FEATURE DEVIL
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (R)(108 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
optical
Notes: Title from web page
Originally released as a motion picture in 2001

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s
SF_READER
Jan 28, 2017

A very good gothic-horror / drama movie from Guillermo Del Torro.

m
Matisse
Oct 01, 2015

A very effective ghost story for people who don't like scary movies.

k
kcartagena
Aug 11, 2015

The best ghost story ever!

n
Nursebob
Jan 22, 2015

During the Spanish Civil War a group of abandoned orphans witness firsthand man's propensity to inflict suffering upon others. Nightmare visions of a ghostly child compete with macabre images of violence and death......an unexploded bomb in a playground, a dead fetus in a jar, burned bodies covered in rubble. The film seems balanced on the edge of a spiritual abyss and even the faint glint of humanity at the end does little to dispel the darkness. "The Devil's Backbone" is both haunted and haunting.....well worth seeing.

s
sweetsoo
Apr 13, 2014

Well worth putting up with the subtitles. A riveting movie.

k
karmafarmer
Sep 02, 2013

Top notch actors -children included- and a great ghost story. I probably would have rated it higher if I had not already seen it's companion film "Pan's Labyrinth" [so impressed by that one I bought my own copy]. I will have to track down the original release for the commentary; the one included here has Del Toro off on a tangent for the first hour, more of a passionate history lecture on gothic romance. The man is almost a genre of his own.

r
Ron@Ottawa
Apr 16, 2013

The Spanish Civil War was used as a backdrop to this story and the stage is an orphanage run by an older couple. It is a 'ghost story', and there are scenes that are reasonably scary. But you don't jump out of your seat. The story was told in a subdued, poetic fashion and the cast of children was well selected and they all acted well. Just a very well executed film by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro. Spanish with subtitles.

d
Dalison0817
Oct 16, 2010

If you're a fan of Pan's Labyrinth, this movie is one of the director's first project. If you're afraid of ghost, you wouldn't be after watching this. I'm not afraid of ghosts.

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s
SF_READER
Jan 28, 2017

SF_READER thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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