Monday, October 31, 2011

Films to Keep You Awake: The Baby's Room (2006)

Original Spanish title: Películas para no dormir: La habitación del niño
My Rating: 10/10, Current IMDB Rating 7.0/10 from 2,015 votes



Now this is how it’s done! I’ve been looking for a good horror flick to review for Halloween and until tonight I didn’t think I would find one good enough. Then I happened upon this film. It is directed by Spanish filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia and is one of the films from a collection called “6 Films to Keep You Awake.”

The movie centers on a couple, Juan and Sonia, and their seven month old son. They have just moved into their new home- an older house in a good neighborhood. They think it a good idea to install a crib monitor in the baby’s room. You can probably guess that nothing good comes of that. Night after sleepless night Juan becomes convinced that someone is in the house but no one is ever found. With no evidence of a break in, it begins to look like Juan is imagining it.

One thing I really loved about this movie was the fact that the director does not utilize any of the “shock” methods commonly found in new horror films. No sudden loud music to make you jump, no innocent smiling face behind the refrigerator door. Instead, Iglesia relies on a strong plot, original storyline, well shot scenes and most of all a dose of subtlety that stays with you long after the movie is over.

Iglesia even works in some comic relief with Juan’s relationship with his boss and coworker without it interfering with the rest of the movie. The director knows when to be funny and when not to be- a skill greatly lacking in American horror movies lately.


It is set and filmed in Spain, which adds a beautiful backdrop and atmosphere to the movie. The house is simply perfect. Not so overly dilapidated that no one in their right mind would move in, but also not too well kept. It has just the right amount of dust on the floor to be believable as an old house that a shady realtor can get you a great deal on. It’s the type of place you would live in but not expect to hear some creaks and “the house is just settling” noises at night.

So if you are looking for an excellent horror movie to watch tomorrow night, I strongly recommend “The Baby’s Room.” It is currently on Netflix’s Instant streaming videos list, for the few of us that stuck around after the Qwikster blunder.

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