Movie: El Espinazo del Diablo

The Devil's Backbone (El Espinazo del Diablo) is one of those rare movies that I saw in the theater without the faintest idea as to how terrified I would be. I am not a fan of suspense or horror movies, and this movie is a mix of both; in spite of the fact that this movie gives me nightmares (It's not that scary…I'm just a horror movie lightweight), I've seen it several times and even own it on DVD.

The Devil's Backbone is set in 1939 at the end of the Spanish Civil War. Carlos, son of a Republican war hero, is sent to live in an orphanage (one with a humongous bomb stuck in the middle of the courtyard, and no, it hasn't exploded yet) run by the headmistress, Carmen, and Professor Cesares (both Republican sympathizers) in the middle of nowhere. Carlos is not comfortable at the orphanage from the beginning, and his discomfort grows when he discovers Santi, the ghost of a young boy living in a building used for storage. I don't want to spoil anything, but I'll just tell you that Santi's warning, "Many of you will die.", will leave you at the edge of your seat.

This description might be rather confusing (and somewhat off-putting) for someone who hasn't seen the film, but it's difficult to explain all of the elements of The Devil's Backbone. It's a beautifully filmed movie, directed by Guillermo del Toro, and lovers of horror and suspense will be thrilled by every twist and turn. Although I highly recommend The Devil's Backbone, I don't think it's an appropriate movie for young children or the truly faint of heart.

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