el orfanato

Of all the holidays celebrated worldwide, no one day is more loved by the UTG staff than Halloween. With the arrival of October, the time has finally come to begin rolling out a plethora of features and special announcements we have prepared in celebration of our favorite day, including the one you’re about to read.

31 Days Of Halloween is a recurring daily feature that will run throughout the month of October. The hope and goal of this column is to supply every UTG reader with a daily horror movie recommendation that is guaranteed to amplify your Halloween festivities. We’ll be watching every film the day it’s featured, and we hope you’ll follow along at home. If you have a suggestion, contact us and we may include your favorite scarefest in an upcoming column!

Day 23: El Orfanato (2007)

One of the things that really pisses me off about American horror fans is that a large majority of them really only stick to American horror. They watch rehash after rehash of movies that have been done before, in hopes that they find the next big thing. However these “aficionados” fail to expand their horizons into horror films from different countries and languages. My personal favorite foreign films are all types of Spanish-language films. They have a completely different aesthetic and vibe in comparison to the recent gore-centric horror films of America, and honestly I find it way more pleasing and rewarding. A prime example of this style done right is with Spanish film El Orfanato.

El Orfanato tells the story of Laura, her husband Carlos and son, Simon, as they go back to Laura’s childhood home of an orphanage. Laura’s plan to create a home for disabled orphans where she grew up soon comes to a halt when her son Simon starts displaying strange behavior. Now, this sounds like the start of a really shitty horror film, and trust me, I agree. Reading it on paper the story sounds generic and boring, but what El Orfanato does well is create an atmosphere that really makes you feel like you’re experiencing the mystical and dark aura of the orphanage. It’s creepy, it’s brooding, and the director doesn’t sacrifice quality for cheap scares. He makes you feel uncomfortable rather than get a quick fright, and that’s a technique that is much harder to accomplish. The payoff in creating this atmosphere is tenfold more enjoyable than just simple scares. For that reason, I cannot recommend this film enough. NOTE: The trailer of this movie is in English (and honestly not that good), but the film should be watched in Spanish language with subtitles. Dubs are terrible and you are disrespecting the actors by getting dubs. Seriously. Major judgement from me to you if you watch dubs. Reading along isn’t too taxing.

You can pick up El Orfanato here, so make sure you watch it soon. And do yourself a favor: open your eyes to other Spanish language films. There’s a lot to be enjoyed.

Tyler Osborne

Live in DC, grew up in PA. I specialize in writing, filming and taking pictures about punk, pop-punk, and hardcore music, and I also have a huge background in film as well. When not on the site, i'm running my own internet radio show, ToZ's Edge Radio (www.facebook.com/tozedgeradio). I also love stage diving and goldfish.
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