The Devil's Backbone

Director:   Guillermo del Toro
Year:   2001
Language:   Spanish
Time:   110 minutes

During the Spanish Civil War, newly orphaned Carlos is taken to a school for the children of those who died fighting against fascism. He is given the bed that formerly belonged to Santi, a boy who died during a recent attack. After Santi's ghost repeatedly reveals itself to Carlos, another student spooks Carlos with a dark secret about the boy's death. War surrounds the school, violence infests it from within, and Carlos sets out to avenge Santiís death. Taking on themes such as the brutality of war and the loss of innocence, Guillermo del Toro's film skillfully combines elements of war, gothic horror, melodrama, and adventure to create a work that functions as both a genre film and as powerful political commentary. In 2002, this film won the Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Silver at the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival.

Rated R for violence, language and some sexuality.


Site about the director, Guillermo del Toro

Review of the film

Interview with del Toro in Latin Style Magazine