"Pan’s Labyrinth" and "The Orphanage" – A Guest Review

Posted: July 7, 2009 in Horror, Pan's Labyrinth, science fiction, The Orphanage

Once again, I let my readers do the reviewing…

…as I basically sit back and masturba…um…relax.

Yes. I’m relaxing.

What?

Regardless, today I have a guest review from Kimberly Mead over at TwentySomething.

She’s reviewing the movies:

Pan’s Labyrinth

..and..

The Orphanage

Thanks, Kim!!

Read on!

***********************

Pan’s Labyrinth

Last year sometime, I saw Pan’s Labyrinth.


I thought it was a great movie – though not at all what I originally expected.


The previews made it seem as though it was on the same page as movies such as Narnia, when really it was a thriller / gruesome story about a little girl (Ofelia) who created a fantasy world to deal with the harsh reality she was living in.


In her harsh world – 1944, in Spain – she has just come to live with her military stepfather who doesn’t care for her at all, because he is waiting on the son that her mother was (hopefully) pregnant with, and her mother was struggling with her pregnancy and bedridden.


This is not something you want your kids to see.


There are no sweet, sarcastic beavers like in Narnia.


Instead there are fairies that die if you eat forbidden food, and a scary dude with eyeballs in the palms of his hands that will chase you out of his lair.

Ofelia’s ally is the faun who tells her to complete certain tasks to prove she is the princess of an underground kingdom. (Cue the guy with the eyes in his hands and dying fairies)

The ending is surprisingly uplifting, even though it comes after considerable violence.


The movie was written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, in Spanish with subtitles. It was intriguing, scary, a little gory and overall rentworthy.


*****************


The Orphanage

So, on blockbuster.com, I found another movie Guillermo del Toro worked on – The Orphanage.


It had a similar feel to Pan’s Labyrinth in that it was a thriller / scary movie and had a pretty dark story line. (And, also in Spanish with subtitles.)


Basically, The Orphanage starts with a little girl named Laura who lives at an orphanage and is being adopted.


Cut to 30 years later, and she has her own son and husband.


She has just bought the house the orphanage was in 30 years ago and plans to open her own home for children.


Her son, who is also adopted and suffers from an illness, has imaginary friends that are a bit too real to him.


Laura struggles with her rational/mother mode and support of her son when she plays along with his ‘imagination’.


Tragedy / a little bit of mystery strikes the family, and the rest of the movie takes you through their ordeal. It’s a bit nuts – you see the things the mother does to solve the mystery and wonder – when are the men in white coats coming to take her away??


It was not at all predictable – which is refreshing since so many movies can be figured out before they are over.

If you can stand a few jumpy scenes and creepy masks – I would recommend renting this.

Just a heads up – I watched it during the day and was creeped out by the masks!


***********************
BOO!!

Did I get you?

Probably not. Okay…back to mastur..

Relaxing.

I’m relaxing.

Thanks, Kim! Great reviews!

And go give Kim a read over on TwentySomething.

***********************
Want to be a reviewer? Send me a review!!

Want a movie reviewed? Let me know!

Email me here, or via the link on the right of the page and we’ll see what we can do.

***********************
Haven’t had enough?

Come swing by and see me at my other blog, Mental Poo.

***********************

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Comments
  1. Un[Censored] says:

    I loved both of those movies. Definitely better than most american thrillers, lately.

    Speaking of Foreign movies, I just watched "Amelie" tonight. It's a nice little romance and not for those who can't do subtitles or have short attention spans as it is in French. I may watch it again and give a better review for you guys later.

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