The Devil's Backbone - 4 out of 5
Guillermo del Toro is not only one of my favorite directors, but he's also one of the most creative men to ever make a movie. I'm still sad that he is no longer directing The Hobbit. Just imagine what he could have done with that story! Anyway, while browsing Netflix one day, I came across this movie and found a del Toro film I've never seen, so I instantly added it to my queue. The film takes place during the civil war in Spain in 1939 and a young boy is left at an orphanage in the middle of nowhere. As the boy tries to make his place in the home, he starts to uncover a mystery of one of the other boys who went missing along with the ghosts and secrets going on in the building's walls.
Although billed as a horror film, the movie is not very scary. Instead, it's just plain interesting, filled with great characters and fantastic acting--even from the children, which is not something you often see in a movie. Guillermo's unique visuals and great camerawork is apparent throughout the film but don't expect to see the wild, over-the-top spectacle we got to see in the Hellboy films or Blade II. At the heart of it all, The Devil's Backbone is about story, not cheap scares. The mystery of the lost boy and secrets that the characters all hide make the film something that can easily suck you in--if you're willing to read subtitles--which I know many Americans aren't. But if you want great story telling from an unbelievable director, this movie is great!