Halloween is coming up so this week on What to Watch, we wanted to give ourselves a good scare by focusing on the best Spanish-language horror films. We won’t be able to sleep this weekend and the same may apply to you once you read this.
We've got everything from creepy children to a thesis gone horribly wrong...read on if you dare!
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El Espinazo Del Diablo
El Espinazo Del Diablo is about a young boy named Carlos (Fernando Tielve) who is left at an orphanage for what he believes is temporary. What he doesn’t know is that his father has died in the Spanish Civil War. Carlos embarks on a terrifying journey in his new “home” – which is haunted by ghosts and a ticking bomb in the orphanage’s courtyard. The 2001 film was co-written by Guillermo del Toro and produced by Pedro Almodóvar.
The 1996 award-winning film by Alejandro Amenábar centers on Ángela (Ana Torrent), a Madrid film student who stumbles upon a snuff film while working on her thesis. In the snuff film, a girl is killed, and Ángela discovers that she was a former student at her university. With her friend Chema (Fele Martínez), Ángela is drawn into a chilling snuff ring.
Abre Los Ojos
By director Alejandro Amenábar, Abre Los Ojos follows 25-year-old César (Eduardo Noriega) as he describes a series of disorienting experiences to a psychiatrist from his prison cell. The young man’s face was disfigured beyond repair after his obsessive ex-lover Nuria (Najwa Nimri) intentionally crashes her car with him inside. From that point on in this mind-twisting film, it’s uncertain what is real from César’s recollection – and what isn’t.
What begins as a normal night shift for television reporter, Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco), and her cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) in a local fire station pulls the pair into a nightmarishly frantic night of survival. Ángela and Pablo tag along when the firefighters they’re documenting receive a call about an elderly woman trapped in her house. The woman later attacks a police officer, which sets off a chain of hysteria as each resident is infected by a virulent disease. What’s most frightening is that Ángela and Pablo are capturing it all.
In this 2007 film by J.A. Bayona, a woman named Laura (Belén Rueda) brings her family to an orphanage – her childhood home. Laura intention to turn the orphanage into a home for disabled children is good – but is later wrought with problems when her adopted son, Simón (Roger Príncep) befriends an imaginary boy named Tomás – who wears a sack mask.