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The Devil's Backbone(El espinazo del diablo)

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Spain, Mexico · 2001
Rated R · 1h 48m
Director Guillermo del Toro
Starring Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi, Fernando Tielve
Genre Fantasy, Drama, Horror, Thriller

After his father was killed by fascists, 10-year-old Carlos stays with Carmen and Casares in their small orphanage. He feels safer here for a while⁠—but then he starts having visions and seeing apparitions of another orphan.

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Film Threat by

That The Devil's Backbone makes any sense at all -- with its many, swirling plotlines -- seems like a little wonder.


Boston Globe by Jay Carr

A seductively corrosive horror story that also potently suggests the ways war can shatter childhood.


New Times (L.A.) by Luke Y. Thompson

The sensitive art-house viewer should be warned: Though slow-moving at first, the film ends in explosions and violent death, with a level of sadism that will undoubtedly prove too intense for some viewers.


Miami Herald by Rene Rodriguez

After a leisurely first half, The Devil's Backbone becomes utterly spellbinding, its tension mounting in steady increments, its story taking one dark turn after another, and its bittersweet resolution destined to haunt you long after you've left the theater.


Philadelphia Inquirer by Steven Rea

Creepy and compelling and beautifully shot, The Devil's Backbone is a tale of the supernatural that feels completely natural. Its realness is what makes it so scary.

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