6. The Orphanage
Director Juan Antonio Bayona was a protégé of Guillermo del Toro’s, and his auteur fingerprints are all over this 2007 nail-biter, which Del Toro produced. The Orphanage is one of those “creepy kid communicates with the dead movies,” a genre that Hollywood rarely gets right. It’s nice to see the Spanish do it right. Reminiscent of Alejandro Amenabar’s The Others, Bayona plays The Orphanage for the utmost Hitchockian thrills, a movie that sacrifices blood for being unbearably suspenseful. Bayona slowly builds the tension and the palpable sense of dread, a movie that’s more subtle and elegant than one would expect from the genre, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t utterly terrifying. The Orphanage shows us that the best horrors are worth the wait — a beautiful, slyly profound movie about kids that will scare the shit out of their parents.