Devils Backbone (2001)
Director: Guillermo Del Toro Starring: Federico Luppi Marisa Paredes Fernando Tielve Eduardo Noriega
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The living will always be more dangerous than the dead.
|His father killed in the brutal fighting of the Spanish Civil War, ten-year-old Carlos is sent to live at the desolate Santa Lucia School, now a makeshift shelter for war orphans. Soon after his arrival, Carlos has a series of seemingly supernatural encounters: strange shadows, voices and, most frightening of all, the apparition of a brutalized young boy. Turns out that Carlos is not alone in seeing these strange phenomena, many other children have experienced the "One Who Sighs," as the entity has come to be called. A classic ghost story, haunting as it is moving, The Devil's Backbone is also a subtle allegory for the war that rages on just beyond the school's walls.|
"An elegant scare picture... Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
"Vastly more frightening and stylish than The Others. Lou Lumenick, The New York Post
Editor's NoteDuring the Spanish Civil War, newly orphaned Carlos is taken to a school for the children of those who died fighting against fascism. He is given the bed that formerly belonged to Santi, a boy who recently died during an attack in which a bomb dropped, landing in the school's courtyard undetonated, a reminder of impending danger. As the amputee headmistress (Marisa Paredes, ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER) and the embittered caretaker, Jacinto (Eduardo Noriega), engage in a love affair, the headmistress' cuckolded husband, the impotent but benevolent school doctor (Frederico Luppi) sits by passively. Meanwhile, after Santi's ghost repeatedly reveals itself to Carlos, another student spooks Carlos with a dark secret about the boy's death. War surrounds the school, violence infests it from within, and Carlos sets out to avenge the death of Santi.Taking on themes such as the brutality of war and the loss of innocence, Guillermo del Toro's (MIMIC) film skillfully combines elements of war, gothic horror, melodrama, and adventure to create a work that functions as both a genre film and a politically resonant piece of nostalgia. THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE uses history as a means of transforming what would otherwise be a routine ghost story into a powerful and affecting statement.
Cast & Crew
|Antonio Trashorras - Writer|
|David Munoz - Writer|
|Guillermo del Toro - Director|
|Guillermo del Toro - Writer|
|Guillermo Navarro - Director of Photography|
|Javier Navarette - Musical Score|
|Luis De La Madrid - Editor|
|Pedro Almodovar, et al. - Producer|