The way it is a spectre both literal and non-literally.Heck, the doctor keeps a fetus sprouting the title malady in a jar on his shelf as a kind of macabre display.Starvation, thirst, depravity, and violence are a daily part of their lives and they are all left to live their lives as the school sees fit.
Like Aronofsky, but with a bit more whimsy and a bit less weight, he spends a lot of time on death and what comes after as well as circumstances surrounding it all.
Contemplation on death, on its ever-looming presence in our lives, is the real theme at the core of this film.
In the narrative of Del Toro’s sophomore effort it isn’t subtle.
He has placed a bomb, active but considered a dud, into the center of a school for young, orphaned boys.
The Devil's Backbone (Spanish: El espinazo del diablo) is a 2001 gothic horror film directed by Guillermo del Toro, and written by del Toro, David Muñoz, and Antonio Trashorras.
It was independently produced by Pedro Almodóvar as an international co-production between Spain and Mexico, and was filmed in Madrid.Casares (Federico Luppi) and Carmen (Marisa Paredes) operate a small home for orphans in a remote part of Spain during the Spanish Civil War.Helping the couple mind the orphanage are Jacinto (Eduardo Noriega), the groundskeeper, and Conchita (Irene Visedo), a teacher who is also involved with Jacinto.The damage done, the way that monsters were created on both sides, and those caught in the middle serve as a blunt instrument to speak against fascism and the damage it does.Those siding with fascism use any excuse to cause pain, and those on the other side can also fall to their base urges and become monsters looking out for themselves.Each tile of the facility is subject to this pain, this bomb, this suffering of the freedom fighters in the woods.Explosive devices surrounded by children demand a payoff, a tragedy of epic proportion, but our director provides a different option in that he decides the political destruction of a nation pales in comparison to the suffering of the children within said country.It’s in Jacinto’s life from moment one, as his father leaves him and he is at that point dead (well, for all intents and purposes).Bringing all of our characters into the discussion let’s the doctor, let’s Santi, and let’s even all of the other children shine out and display death to their little world.He was dropped, and dropped hard enough to shatter.His head is wide open from the final wound, leaking blood that floats into the ether that we all live in. There’s a scene in Steven Spielberg’s where Ray Ferrier returns from the first wave assault covered in the dust of fried people.