Who's in It:
Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Geraldine Chaplin
The Basics: A woman who grew up in an orphanage in Spain returns to it to re-open it as a home for disabled children. She takes her doctor husband and her adopted, HIV-postive son along, too. That's when the kid's imaginary friends show up and begin talking to him. When he suddenly disappears, ghosts from the past emerge to re-haunt the present.
What's the Deal? It's not scary. So if that's what you were hoping for, then you'll need to adjust your expectations. Meanwhile, it's also in debt to a lot of other supernatural thrillers (and to Peter Pan) that have come before it. But you forgive its homage/rip-off moments and its lapses in logic, because it looks so good (they have great old haunted-looking homes in rural Spain that are begging to have movies shot in them, apparently) and because once you get over the fact that it's not going to scare you one bit, it turns out to be a sort of mournful whodunit that you won't hate yourself for watching.
Hey, Pan's Labyrinth Fans. Don't Be Fooled By: The whole Guillermo del Toro "presents" thing. He didn't write it or direct it. It's like when Quentin Tarantino "presents" something. It just means that someone in his genre made a movie he liked enough to promote. It doesn't mean you'll like it.
Two Cool Parts:
1. Geraldine Chaplin plays a medium who tries to contact the ghosts. It's shot in that green night-vision style and looks really creepy.
2. A creepy old social worker lady with freaky glasses that make her look like the Spanish cartoon character "Mortadelo" meets her end in a really disgusting way.
At Least It's Better Than Darkness: Just not as good as The Others.