“With the ambitious and ominous The Devil’s Backbone, Del Toro rises to a new level of accomplishment, adding history and politics to his distinctive blend.” – Kevin Thomas, LA Times
We continue our look back at the films of Guillermo del Toro by skipping his more mainstream action-sci-fi entry Mimic and moving to the film that sealed his Spanish Gothic trademark. Produced by Pedro Almodóvar, The Devil’s Backbone was del Toro’s first chapter in his now stalled Spanish Civil War trilogy. The film takes place in 1939, the final year of the Spanish Civil War at a remote school that functions as an orphanage for the country’s fatherless sons and as an outpost for the resistance against the Nationalists. It is under this oppressive historical context that del Toro builds his one-of-a-kind ghost story, a reflection of power, corruption and violence that will rule Spain for the next 36 years.