THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE (2001) Reviews and overview

 

The Devil’s Backbone (Spanish: El espinazo del diablo) is a 2001 Spanish-Mexican gothic horror film directed by Guillermo del Toro from a screenplay co-written with Antonio Trashorras and David Muñoz. It was produced by Pedro Almodóvar.

Plot:

Spain, 1939, during the final year of the Spanish Civil War. The ghost of a child stalks the corridors of a children’s home as fighting closes in…

Reviews:

“…The Devil’s Backbone, a mournful and beautiful new ghost story by Guillermo del Toro, understands that most ghosts are sad, and are attempting not to frighten us but to urgently communicate something that must be known so that they can rest.” Chicago Sun-Times

“If only for its technical aspects, this would rate as a pleasurably superior supernatural psychological thriller, with polished but subtle special effects, painterly, atmospheric cinematography and vivid performances from a top-notch cast. What lifts it, however, is an adept use of generic elements as a poetic/metaphorical gloss on political and historical realities.” Time Out

“Guillermo del Toro’s third feature was the one where all the pieces fell into place, and watching him grab hold of his true voice remains a thrill. It’s his simplest movie, and still one of his scariest, the more so because its old-school vision of the supernatural fits so snugly into the real world.” Rolling Stone

Filming locations:

Madrid, Spain

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