The Devil's Backbone

Watch The Devil's Backbone

"What is a ghost?"
  • R
  • 2000
  • 1 hr 47 min
  • 7.4  (69,118)
  • 78

The Devil's Backbone is a supernatural thriller directed by Guillermo del Toro that was released in 2001. The film is set in the midst of the Spanish Civil War, and follows the story of a young boy named Carlos, who is sent to live in an orphanage after his father is killed on the front lines. The orphanage is located in a remote area of the countryside, and is led by an aging doctor named Casares (Federico Luppi) and his strict and severe co-director, Carmen (Marisa Paredes). Carlos arrives at the orphanage to find that he is one of only a handful of children there, and that the place is shrouded in a dark history.

Soon after his arrival, Carlos begins to experience eerie and unexplainable occurrences, including visions of a ghostly apparition who seems to be trying to communicate with him. He also befriends a boy named Jaime (Noriega), who is a misfit among the other orphans, and who becomes an important confidant for Carlos as he tries to make sense of the strange happenings around him.

As Carlos delves deeper into the history of the orphanage, he comes to learn that it was once a home for children of Republican soldiers who were killed by Franco's army during the civil war. The orphanage was bombed, and many of the children died in the attack.

The film explores themes of loss, grief, and the long-lasting impact of war on innocent bystanders. It is also an introspective study of human nature, with a particular focus on the atrocities humans are capable of committing against one another.

The performances in the film are nuanced and powerful, with Paredes delivering a standout performance as the stern and complicated Carmen. Luppi brings a sense of warmth and humanity to the role of Casares, while Noriega is compelling as the tortured and vulnerable Jaime. The child actors who play the orphans are convincing and endearing, adding an element of innocence and hope to the story.

The film is notable for its stunning visuals, which seamlessly blend practical effects with computer-generated imagery. Del Toro's signature style is on full display, with striking and haunting imagery that captures the film's themes and tone. The cinematography by Guillermo Navarro is exceptional, with a keen eye for detail and a talent for crafting tense and suspenseful sequences.

Overall, The Devil's Backbone is a haunting and evocative film that explores complex ideas in a way that is both engaging and thought-provoking. It is a masterful work of genre-bending cinema that succeeds in both thrilling and moving its audience.

The Devil's Backbone is a 2000 fantasy movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 47 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4 and a MetaScore of 78.

The Devil's Backbone
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The Devil's Backbone is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Devil's Backbone for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (69,118)
  • Metascore