The Devil's Backbone
- Film Worth:$10.00
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Steeped in gothic melodrama, The Devil's Backbone marks Guillermo Del Toro's return to his Mexican...
Steeped in gothic melodrama, The Devil's Backbone marks Guillermo Del Toro's return to his Mexican roots after his brief foray into the Hollywood mainstream with Mimic. Since his startling debut Cronos, Del Toro's work has displayed a sumptuous visual style that belies the graphic and brutal nature of his chosen subject matter and imbues the haunting imagery with an eerie beauty.
Set during the volatile period of the Spanish Civil War, young Carlos, played by Fernando Tielve, arrives at an isolated orphanage. He soon discovers the school has a dark secret that may shatter their lives and tear down the peace and tranquillity of their safe haven. It all stems from the fateful evening when a bomb plunged from the heavens and landed, un-detonated, in the schoolyard. This is the catalyst for a chain of horrific events, and Carlos has visions of the ghostly apparition of a young boy who has retribution in mind.
Neatly blending the strands of his cruelly twisting storyline, Del Toro draws powerful performances from his cast. Veterans Federico Luppi and Marisa Paredes lend a formidable gravitas to the proceedings and the young child actors are exceptional.
The film is overly oppressive and perhaps derivative in places but the director's flare gives the chilling tale an intriguing menace that grasps the attention and never lets go with its ghostly grip.