Star Rating:

The Devil's Backbone

Actors: Federico Luppi, Fernando Tielve

Release Date: Monday 30th November -0001

Running time: 106 minutes

Classy and genuinely involving horror/thriller set around the Spanish Civil War. The hugely impressive Fernando Tielve plays Carlos, a 10-year-old boy whose father goes missing in action and he's sent to an orphanage for boys. Soon after his arrival, he is visited by the spirit of another boy who seems determined that Carlos unearth all of the orphanage's most sinister secrets. With The Devil's Backbone, del Toro has fashioned a fine addition to the horror genre. A stark visualist, the director infuses the historical based narrative with a real sense of menace through his skilled usage of limited locations (the movie is almost completely set within the confines of a crumbling building) with the result that The Devil's Backbone is extremely claustrophobic affair. In terms of performances, the largely unknown cast is superb, with a special mention required for Tielve, who echoes an all-too-real sense of youthful confusion and fear. See it.