Marc Bernardin
June 28, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Devil's Backbone

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
106 minutes
Limited Release Date
11/21/01
performer
Federico Luppi, Eduardo Noriega, Fernando Tielve
director
Guillermo del Toro
distributor
Sony Pictures Classics
author
David Munoz, Guillermo del Toro, Antonio Trashorras
genre
Horror, Drama, Foreign Language

We gave it an A-

Stories upon stories, lies upon lives, all waiting to be unearthed like the giant inert bomb half-buried in the courtyard. The old orphanage that plays host to the discarded children of Spain’s Civil War isn’t the only thing haunted in Blade II director Guillermo del Toro’s horrific character study…. The people are too, people like the smart new kid (Tielve) who’s unafraid to face down the grown-up orphan bully (Noriega), or the resident restless specter. Not jump-out-of-your-seat shocking but rather sink-into-your-chair spooky, Backbone uses canny CGI effects, eerie locales, and just plain filmmaking know-how to rattle nerves and reveal small, poignant truths.

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