Well, maybe that’s just me.
Juan Antonio Bayona’s directorial debut, written by fellow feature newbie Sergio G. Sánchez, “The Orphanage” was produced and shepherded by none other than genre giant Guillermo del Toro, and his influence is almost tangible.
With evocations of “The Sixth Sense”, “Turn of the Screw”, “The Others”, “Rosemary’s Baby”, and even “Poltergeist”, “The Orphanage” attempts (poorly) to unfold as its own piece of cinematic brilliance. Bayona tries to deliver horror cinema of a bygone era and ends up blending (actually mashing) elements of a tiresome Lifetime drama, the supernatural & 1960’s Disney featuring screaming dead kids wearing paper-mache masks.
Ambitious, I know.
To defy genre conventions these days is actually quite easy.
Pick one and stick to it.