The Devil's Backbone

2001 [SPANISH]

Action / Drama / Horror / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
991.35 MB
Spanish 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 47 min
P/S 1 / 5
1.92 GB
Spanish 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 47 min
P/S 3 / 19

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer9 / 10

a great modern ghost story

First and foremost, I need to point out that this is NOT a horror story for kids or teens. I know that both versions of The Ring ("Ringu") and The Grudge ("Ju-On") are popular with teens these days, but the level of violence (particuarly at the end) and sexuality in this Spanish movie make it a movie for parents to think at least twice before letting their teens view it.

Now, once you realize the adult nature of the movie, it is a great movie and well worth watching. Unlike the two movies listed above, this one is heavy on story and does not just consist of dead things hopping out at everyone to give you chills. Instead, it is a ghost story AND a story of greed and evil--almost like two different tales that are finally woven together at the end.

The acting is excellent (especially the kids at the orphanage),the writing is intelligent and the special effects, while not as omnipresent as in some movies, are excellent and really does the job of portraying a tortured ghost. I particularly thought the way the blood flowed from the skull of the ghost was a brilliant touch, though I won't say more because I don't want to ruin the story. And, the movie has one of the best endings I've seen in a long time.

Oh, and by the way, despite the word "devil" in the title, there's nothing in the movie that deals with Satan.

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca9 / 10

It doesn't get much better than this

Like the better-received PAN'S LABYRINTH that came later, THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE is a beautifully shot and extremely atmospheric ghost story with an innocent, imaginative child who retreats from the cruel world of adults at its core. There the similarities end. Where Pan's Labyrinth focused heavily on the fantastical, this film is instead subtle and traditional, featuring a vengeful spirit who appears almost secondary to the main thrust of the plot, involving the machinations of various characters in a remote boy's school during the Spanish civil war.

Del Toro hooks us from the very beginning with some outrageously good performances from the mostly child cast. I can't imagine a more layered, affecting turn other than the one given by Fernando Tielve, the boy who plays the protagonist Carlos; he's not alone however, as the rest of the actors playing the boarding school kids are exceptional. It's a distinctly visual movie, and it's clear that del Toro put painstaking effort into every composition, every sequence that occurs. The plot is original, the haunting itself refreshingly low key (little CGI on display here) and the film achieves its effect by allowing the story to develop naturally from the characters. Like The Orphanage, this Spanish ghost story puts most efforts from other cultures to shame.

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle8 / 10

compelling childhood ghost story

The Republicans are losing the Spanish Civil War to General Franco and the right-wing Nationalists. Carlos is sent to an isolated orphanage run by Republican sympathizers one-legged Carmen and Dr. Casares who are hiding a cache of Republican gold. He hasn't been told that his father was killed on the frontlines. Dr. Casares sells his spiced rum "limbo water" to the villagers from a glass jar containing a baby with an exposed spine or the Devil's Backbone. Carlos encounters the ghost of Santi, a boy who disappeared when a giant bomb landed in the middle of the courtyard. The bomb is suppose to have been defused. Carlos is bullied by Jaime and the other boys. Carlos rescues Jaime from drowning and they become friends. Angry groundskeeper Jacinto was once one of the orphans being cared for and Conchita is the beautiful teacher.

Carlos has a childhood innocence and this is an intriguing childhood ghost story from Guillermo del Toro. This is not scary but it has the tension of the Spanish Civil War like his later masterpiece "Pan's Labyrinth". It has a mood of dread and feel of wonder. The characters are all compelling. It would be nice to have Carlos and Jaime battle it out a little longer. It's all very well made.

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