The Orphanage, Directed Juan Antonio Bayona
El Orfanato, Warner Bros., October 11, 2007 (Spain)
Screenplay: Sergio G. Sánchez
Starring: Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Príncep, and Geraldine Chaplin
Aurora (Geraldine Chaplin): Seeing is not believing. It’s the other way around. Believe … and you will see.
Blink. There is a figure standing down in the front yard by the oak tree outside in the darkness. Blink again. It is gone.
You know it was there. Visible ever so briefly before a rush of storm clouds swallowed the light of the moon, before you blinked and it was gone. Exploding heart. You wake up startled in the middle of the night. Someone is in the house! You are not alone. Not alone! There is a noise behind the door. Bang! Behind the wall. Not alone! Not sure where it is coming from exactly but you know it is real. Too afraid to move. Too afraid to breathe. It might hear you.
And then, all is quiet except for the thumpety-thump-thump of your heart beating out of control. Suddenly, a rustling coming from outside in the yard rips fresh fear right through you. A door is banging shut. Thud! Thud! Again. And again. It must be the tool shed door, ajar in the wind. Each crash makes you shrink under the covers just a little bit more. Do you dare go to the window and see?
Is it the wind picking up from the west, playing tricks? Your fear does not subside in congruence with this conjecture. Is that thunder off in the distance? You think back to how thunder scared you to the bone so long ago, when you were just a child all alone in your room, when you looked out your window and saw the figure standing by the tree, head tilted slightly at an angle, looking up at you.
Aurora: When something terrible happens, sometimes it leaves a trace, like an echo.
A ghost? Only a dream? What does it mean to say, only a dream? Can we dismiss dreams as mere fantasy, the playgrounds of mischievous minds?
Professor Leo Balaban (Edgar Vivar): It’s in the subconscious, Jung says, ‘that the living coexist with the dead.’
The next time you feel a déjà vu … or look into the crowd and see the back side of a doppelganger … or when your gut tugs at you trying to convince that a particular coincidence may be more than just random chance … the next time you wake up with your heartbeat clawing its way through your chest, after you have returned from a chance meeting with the dead … listen.
Behind the walls, behind the doors, out in the yard.
Listen to the echoes in the dead of night.