Metascore
74

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
    90
    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
    90
    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
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 129 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
    8
    This movie was absolutely fantastic. The acting was top notch, the set ups for the scary parts was almost torture in how slow and meticulousThis 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. ManuelA.
    Dec 27, 2007
    2
    Full of cliche and borrows too much from previous movies, not up to the hype
  3. Feb 9, 2012
    10
    This movie was brilliant! I can't think in anything wrong about it. Perhaps there are some small details that needed to be clarified -if theyThis movie was brilliant! I can't think in anything wrong about it. Perhaps there are some small details that needed to be clarified -if they were not left like that deliberately-, but, in movies, as it is in life, there is always room for improvement. The performances were great, and the characters were perfectly elaborates, so the audience empathize with them. I actually felt pretty close to Laura and Simon, and also to the 'ghost' children and their story. Moreover, this movie manages to continuously surprise us. There is always suspense, which makes it thrilling. In fact, at time, I had goosebumps; that, even though I am not a person who gets easily scared. Further, I love the emotional component of the film, because it was not a movie that dealt merely with death, life, and the super natural world, but it was a movie that confronted us about how each of us deals with his/her humanity. The Orphanage questions our coping mechanisms to face, pain, loss, reality, the 'unknown', and more. I think that those people who see is a 'dumb' 'silly' 'pointless' or 'boring' movie are probably more into gore or have a very narrow perspective about what is horror. I have read some of the reasons why some put this movie just a '1 or 2', and frankly, in most of the cases, their criticism shows an absolutely basic analytical thought. So, if you like intellectual stimulation, this is the movie for you! It is magnificently done. Moreover, the photography is breathtaking, so is the landscape. I loved the ending I found it very powerful...and open to your imagination. I did have tears, and I am not an overly emotional person so that means something to me. I think I can easily watch this movie twice the same day, not just because of its beauty, but also to play myself a bit with the clues...I may be able to discover more about it.!..An end note: I did like this movie more than Pan's Laberynth. I find The Orphanage is much better. Pan's Labyrinth was beautiful -what I enjoyed the most was the art direction- but the whole story didn't really impressed me much. The Orphanage is Del Toro's masterpiece! Full Review »