Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Delivers more goose bumps than anything Hollywood has served up in years – which I hope does not mean that Bayona, a first-time feature director and music video whiz, will be enlisted to direct "Saw V."
  2. 91
    Reaches truly terrifying heights as it becomes clear how possible the worst outcome can be. Like "Pan's Labyrinth," this is a movie about children made very much for adults.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    A great horror movie is like a good shrink--and a lot cheaper, too. It purges us through petrification. That horror movie, thankfully, has arrived. It's called The Orphanage," and it is seriously scary.
  4. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    A fastidiously grim ghost story that rattles the bones of the haunted-house genre and finds plenty of fresh (but not too bloody) meat.
  5. Lures us in with extraordinary subtlety. Keeping sound effects and incidental music to a relative minimum, it builds its suspense almost subliminally. So when something scary or shocking does occur -- deprived of those Hollywood-style cues -- we are truly startled.
  6. 88
    Deliberately aimed at viewers with developed attention spans. It lingers to create atmosphere, a sense of place, a sympathy with the characters, instead of rushing into cheap thrills.
  7. 88
    The acting is uniformly superb, the camera work and set design are haunting, and The Orphanage delivers well-earned tears at its beautiful conclusion. Go see it already.
  8. By the end, you'll be chilled and disturbed by what you've seen -- and, rare as this is in a horror movie, touched to the heart.
  9. 83
    While some of the trappings and even some of the plot elements could easily be called unoriginal, Bayona and screenwriter Sergio G. Sánchez arrange them in a fresh way, crafting an emotionally resonant, nerve-jangling experience.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 117 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 54
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 54
  3. Negative: 4 out of 54
  1. Sep 15, 2011
    This movie was absolutely fantastic. The acting was top notch, the set ups for the scary parts was almost torture in how slow and meticulous it set everything up. It even had a couple jump scares that actually worked as well. The ending was also heart wrenching and overall
    satisfying. The problems I hear people having are that it's to slow and that it turns into a drama at the end rather then a horror movie. To me these complaints are just from people who probably like the slasher kill them all movies as opposed to horror movies that take their time and let you try to figure out what's happening and why. The ending again is very emotional and is very dramatic. If you like the slower paced movies then this is definitely worth checking out if you haven't you will not be disappointed.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 26, 2013
    I thought I'd like this. I never considered it to be one of the strongest horrors of the 21st century.

    Nowadays there seems to be a common
    trope in horror movies, consisting of quite noises then a 'BANG', then doing something then 'BANG'. The art of jump scares has really taken hold of our horror stories. This film does not use cheap scares, and it also doesn't waste it's story, characters or time in general.

    There is an emotional arc to this film.

    In a horror. I know.

    There is a sense of tragedy and loss, and although this film is scary, it also has heart. The film is very similar to Pan's Labyrinth in way of tone- Guillermo del Toro, of course, was involved. The difference is that this film is a hell of a lot scarier, but I did find myself feeling like this was Pan's sequel almost.

    All I have to say really is that people need to see this.

    Thank God the remake has been put on hold. They better not touch it.

    I won't spoil much, but simply instruct. See this film. Experience the perfect mix of horror, suspense, drama and fantasy.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 12, 2013
    A fantastic movie that will chill you and frighten you at some points. Extraordinary photography and plot. Really liked Belen Rueda. The end was surprisingly sad. A great thriller Full Review »