There are plenty of cheap horror film gimmicks that make you jump in the new Spanish frightfest, The Orphanage, but there are also several drawn-out sequences of dread that are so terrifying that they may bring you to the verge of tears or of crapping your pants. I mean, c'mon, a wheezing kid with a burlap sack (painted to look like a scarecrow) over his head standing at the end of a dark hallway? That's enough to make anybody scream. Children are scary enough. Dress them up like scarecrows and I don't know what the fuck.
The movie doesn't quite pack the emotional wallop that it wants to (I think maybe you have to be a woman to appreciate its themes of motherhood), but, damn, it's scary as fuck: