A chilling and suspenseful horror film, "The Orphanage" shines with its originality and psychological scares. It is the first movie directed by J.A. Bayona and was released in 2007. "The Orphanage" stars BelÃÂ©n Rueda as Laura, a mother who is determined to find her son and discovers old secrets along the way.
The plot is focused on Laura, who moves back into her childhood home, an orphanage. She plans to turn the house into a home for disabled children. Meanwhile, her son Simon, played by Roger Princep, tells his parents about his imaginary friends. One of his imaginary friends is Tomas a young boy who is shown with a sack over his head. After an argument with his mother Laura, Simon disappears to the dismay of his parents. After months of not finding any evidence regarding Simon's disappearance, Laura seeks the help of a supernatural specialist, who finds that there are the ghosts of the past orphans haunting the house.
The ghosts are the imaginary friends that Simon saw. Laura finally reunites with Simon by crossing over to the supernatural world, where she becomes the caretaker of all of the "ghost" orphans; in reality, she also disappeared.
The acting of the lead, Rueda, and the supporting actors was very believable. Rueda played the role of the desperate and caring mother very well. During scenes of sadness, she cried believably. What was stunning was her acting during the scenes where she contacted the spirits of the orphans. She didn't know what was going to happen, and supernatural beings are always scary to deal with. She acted like a scared person, hesitating before turning around and wincing when seeing the orphans behind her. Fernando Cayo, who played Carlos, Laura's husband, did not perform as well as her though.