Orphanage a Cut Above

Horror film relies on suspense, not gore, to terrifying effect
By Marcia Greenwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2008 9:43 AM CST

(Newser) – So excruciating is the tension in the Spanish supernatural thriller The Orphanage that "you'll have to calm yourself by saying, 'It's only a movie,' " writes Time's Richard Corliss. But the horror film, centering on the dark secrets inside a woman's childhood home, is about as far from a blood-soaked slasher flick as it could be, something that's winning it high praise. 

Produced by Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), the movie "is deliberately aimed at viewers with developed attention spans," writes Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. "It lingers to create atmosphere, a sense of place, a sympathy with the characters, instead of rushing into cheap thrills." It does, however, offer some deep scares, which Newsweek's David Ansen reports "freaked me out more profoundly than any severed limbs in Saw."