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The Devil's Backbone /

Rated: R

Starring: Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi, Fernando Tielve, Inigo Garces 

Directed by: Guillermo Del Toro 

Produced by: Agustin Almodovar, Berta Navarro, Rosa Bosch 

Written by: Guillermo Del Toro, Antonio Trashorras, David Munoz 

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics


Movie Image
Movie Image
Movie Image

     I found this interesting for one reason, the filmmaker actually incorporated what a ghost is into the story. In The Devils Backbone there was actually a story behind the ghost, unlike so many of the forgettable teeny ghost flicks the modern public seems to devoir these days. In this movie, there was actually logic behind paranormal happening, therefore it brought intelligent scares, unlike the stupid out-dated "I see dead people," and so on. I enjoyed this movie simply because of its intelligence, it was like watching a foreign version of one of my favorite movies of two-thousand-and-two, Frailty.


      The Devils Backbone starts out in the car of a boy and his tutor. Ten seconds later they arrive at a beaten down boarding school behind the two army lines in the Spanish civil war. The boy thinks that the tutor is only checking on a few things at the school, but instead he leaves him there by surprise. The boy has no option but to stay there, his tutor was the only person to look after him while his dad was away. He later finds that the boarding school is haunted by a ghost, the spirit of a younger boy who had previously stayed at the school; coincidentally this boy slept in the same bed as he did. The Devils Backbone brings realism to ghosts with an intelligent story, it is top-notch.


     My favorite thing about this movie was the authentic sets. They combined with the story in such a way to create habitat of believability. The looks of this old, rickety boarding school actually led you to believe that a ghost might live there, and better yet, it had a haunted look to it. The appearance matched exactly what the writer interpreted it to be.


     Even though I liked this movie as a whole, there were some things that could've been greatly improved. For instance the beginning of the film was undoubtedly horrifying and stuck with the guidelines of the horror genre, but then at the end of the movie, the plot floated of into a whole different idea, and looked more like a cheap foreign drama. The last five seconds patched it all together, but it was a little too late to save me. This had the potential to be a four bucket movie, except because of the confusion towards the end of the movie, I'm dropping half off.


      The Devils Backbone will send chills up your spine if you have taste for intelligent horror flicks. And, I will say if you can't stand subtitles don't bother with this one either because half of the intelligence comes from what's discussed in the dialogue. This movie isn't for everyone, but I would definitely give it a try if I were you. You might be surprised, The Devils Backbone has enormous potential to be liked.


-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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