Over the last week or so I've been slowly making my way through Guillermo Del Toro's filmography and this just might be his masterpiece! This is an hauntingly beautiful film. The lighting and cinematography is just simply divine. I absolutely adore Federico Luppi in this film. He has such gravitas and can express so much without saying a word. If you are a lover of cinema you owe it to yourself to watch this film!
This is del Toro's best assembled narrative, his best film, and a pure literary masterpiece. The genre tropes earn their inclusion into a high-art narrative, and while The Devil's Backbone is more of a subtle drama/ ghost story, lacking the rousing action of Pan's Labyrinth, it's deeper in its dramatic layers of not just his characters, but the conceits, themes, and symbols. It also fully develops the emotion.
Pretty terrible. Every emotion, every camera movement, every performance, color, piece of light, is a cheap, blatantly aggressive gimmick full of "meaning." It's a humorless, strangely violent piece of work, w/ moments of unconvincing characterization that make no sense, that add nothing to the overall shape of the film. In short, I'm supremely over Guillermo del Toro & his fantasy/reality parables. Pialat forever.
By now, viewers of Guillermo Del Toro's work may know what to expect: a melancholy tale set in the midst of a horrifying moment in history, wherein the supernatural elements serve merely as a benevolent backdrop and humanity is responsible for the real violence. Which might be a kind way of saying Del Toro has found a comfortable mode to operate in over the course of his career, but at least here is the source text.
The original Spanish Civil War ghost story that cemented the reputation of its director as one of the most insightful and talented filmmakers. The chilling generational and ideological conflict that unfolds in the midst of the poor children who did nothing to deserve the bleak lot they've been left with.
A solid horror movie from Guillermo Del Toro. Well, it's a horror movie but I didn't find it scary or frightening. But as drama this movie really works. It's about the tragedy during the Spanish civil war with a ghost story. Looks like a family movie but it wasn't. Due to its depressing tone. I think this is Del Toro's most personal movie before Pan's Labyrinth...
I don’t usually find myself pulled into films that seem this melodramatic (and not self-consciously so) and end up being rewarded in the end. The use of music, the camera movements, I can’t decide if it’s your typical Spielberg-esque genericism or if it’s Del Toro going for something else. It didn’t feel very unique on a surface level, but the more I think about it the more depths I sense.
Despite some clunky dialogue (a del Toro trademark?), THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE is easily the director's best and most tender film in any language. A ghost story, a coming-of-age drama, a period piece set during the Spanish war, yet —above everything else—a film about the idea of attachment to a place and time. An unexploded bomb stuck in the school courtyard is not just singularly memorable, but essential to the story.