The Devil’s Backbone: Review

by on Aug.06, 2013, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

“What is a ghost?” Thus begin’s Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone, a classic ghost story set at a rural orphanage during the last week of the Spanish Civil War. It’s a hypnotic slow burn that’s part murder mystery and part coming of age story, with a bit of historical melodrama thrown in. Produced by the acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, there is a strong stylistic tone throughout that complements del Toro’s deft and emotional direction. Nothing is rushed in this movie and scenes unfold in tense, atmospheric trickles.

The 2001 film was restored by Criterion and released last week on blu-ray for the first time. It includes all the previous special features from the 2004 DVD release as well as slew of new extras, including an interactive director’s notebook that takes you deeper into the movie. Beyond the incredibly improved picture quality, the highlight of the blu-ray is its audio which brings out the lush, dense soundtrack like never before. The pervasive wind, the ghostly yowls, the echoing chambers are all more resonant, and the lush orchestral score beautifully enhances the melancholy tone.

Because it’s completely in Spanish, it may not be for every taste, but the new English subtitles (by del Toro himself!) have been greatly improved. And in the disc’s introduction, del Toro says that this is his favorite movie (along with Pan’s Labyrinth which he call’s a companion piece) so that alone makes it a must-see/must-own for genre fans.

Site Representation Request

If you have a relevant website and wish to be represented on, please send a link to your site with a brief description and be sure to include a note granting permission to include your content. Send requests to netherworldnetwork[at]comcast[dot]net with the subject line "content feed permission" and we will be happy to consider adding your site to our family of associated websites.

Information Content Disclaimer

The views and opinions stated in any and all of the articles represented on this site are solely those of the contributing author or authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of, The Netherworld Network, its parent company or any affiliated companies, or any individual, groups, or companies mentioned in articles on this site.