El Espinazo Del Diablo * Guillermo del Toro (2001)

Del Toro’s second full-length plays against the background of the Spanish civil war that turns up in his later films more often. Carlos ends up in a remote orphanage for boys, somewhere in a Spanish desert. Dr. Casares tries to help and educate the boys, do his own investigations and he helps the rebels in the civil war. There is the uncanny presence in the orphanage of a bomb that did not explode and a ghost. Carlos sets out to investigate. “The Devil’s Backbone” does not have the elaborate stages and fantasy creatures that Del Toro made his name with. Nor is there is there the fantasy of some of his films. It does contain great camera work and imaginary. The film is nice, but not particularly interesting.

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