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AICN screenings of THE ORPHANAGE with Q&As in Miami, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco! Find out how to get tickets!!!

Update - 6:40pm CST, Friday 11-02 - San Francisco and Chicago are full, but there are still some tickets left for Boston and Miami! Update - 6:17am CST, Friday 11-02 - Chicago is still full up, San Francisco is close, but still has seats and both Boston and Miami are a little more than half-gone. Keep the emails coming in! Update - 10:37pm CST, Thursday 11-01! Chicago is full up, but there are still passes for San Francisco, Boston and Miami!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with another round of Nationwide AICN screenings. The KING OF KONG screenings we did went over extremely well, so the good folks at Picturehouse have offered 25 tickets (good for 2 people each) to AICN readers at 4 different screenings of the great Spanish horror flick THE ORPHANAGE, produced by Guillermo Del Toro.

Here's the info on the screenings:

BOSTON - Monday, November 5th, 7:00pm SAN FRANCISCO - Thursday, November 8th, 7:30pm CHICAGO - Monday, November 12th, 7:00 PM MIAMI - Tuesday, November 13th, 8:00pm

Each screening will have a Q&A with director Juan Antonio Bayona and screenwriter Sergio Sanchez. I had a chance to interview them both when THE ORPHANAGE screened at Fantastic Fest. They're great guys and big AICN nerds, so if you go and corner them tell 'em we sent ya'. I promise they'll give you a butt-massage. Butt-massage promises aside, the movie is pretty great. Old school character-driven creep-outs. I only have 25 tickets (again, good for 2 people so each is good for you and a guest), but if you want in, be sure to email me at quint AT with the subject line the name of the city you want (for instance BOSTON or CHICAGO, etc). I'll need your name and that's it. First come, first served. Of course, tickets don't guarantee admission, but if you show up a little early there shouldn't be any problems. I'll update the story when all the tickets are spoken for and post a list of the winners along with a follow-up email confirming the win and letting the winners know the location of the theater. Good luck!

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 1, 2007, 6:22 p.m. CST

    great movie...

    by TheRealSeveren

    and it has Geraldine Chaplin in it...

  • Nov. 1, 2007, 7:35 p.m. CST

    I loved this movie at FF

    by konkrete590

    I can't wait to see it again when it comes out in December.

  • Nov. 1, 2007, 7:58 p.m. CST

    no PHOENIX screening?!

    by Sir Loin

    Spanish is SPOKEN WIDELY here for reasons I can't disclose and there's no screening here? Bastards.

  • Nov. 1, 2007, 8:27 p.m. CST



    Dammit, I want to see this! Monday or Wednesday after 5pm. I'll be off work!

  • Nov. 1, 2007, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Can't wait to see this movie!

    by Whtshark

    I've heard nothing but great things about it, think I entered too late to win this time, but here's hopin :D

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Just caught this in DC

    by lamarocket

    at the AFI up here. I didn't know those guys would be here. Great film, and the Q&A afterward was excellent.

  • Nov. 7, 2007, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Saw a Test Screening (Minor Spoilers)

    by towerman

    Film Review:The Orphanage Hello fellow film fans it's me, Towerman back from another test screening. Over the past few weeks I have received several invites to several test screenings but unfortunately I was not able to attend them due to various different reasons. You see, these screenings are not only for reasons of aesthetics but are tools for the studio's marketing team so they can determine how to market a film. These test screenings often require that you be in a specific demographic age group or at least bring along a guest who is. Sometimes I wouldn't RSVP because I fell outside the age group or was not able to bring an eligible guest and sometimes the description of the film and/or its stars or directors didn't appeal to me. Earlier this week I recieved an invitation to see a film that was "coming to theaters this Holiday Season". "This motion-picture event", the invitation stated, "will take audiences of all ages on an exciting & fun-filled adventure. Riveting mystery, thrills & incredible action await you on a journey that will span the globe!" Well based on this description I figured that said film at best had to be either The Golden Compass or National Treasure II:Book of secrets or worse The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything:A VeggieTales Movie (which actually opens on January 8, 2008). So I was quite dissapointed when I tried to RSVP but was told the screening was full. The next day the Test Screening Gods sent me an invite via email to see Guillermo Del Toro's latest production, The Orphanage. So I jumped at the chance and RSVP immediately (the age group was 17-49) . The screening was to be held at the AMC 30 The Block in Orange, Ca. at 7:00 P.M. October 24th, 2007. I almost didn't get in even though I arrived at 6:00 P.M, fifteen minutes before the recommended time. Finally our group of people were allowed in but we were told that there only seats available in the first two rows. With my back against most of the audience and being one of the last people seated I was not able to see wether Mr. Del Toro or the director, Juan Antonio Bayona were in attendance. The screening began right on time and was preceeded by the usual pre-screening announcement by a repre- sentative stating that certain things such as sound, effects, color were not completed and that we were one of the first of the public to see it. After seeing the film I felt like walking up to her and saying, "What you talkin' bout Willis?" because honestly this film looked complete to me. I couldn't find any technical flaws. The film begins and in the opening we see a group of kids who are playing a game of hide and seek at an orphanage . One of these is a girl named Laura who participates in these games but whose friends have dissappear after she is adopted.. What has happened to these children remaina mystery and 30 years later, a now adult Laura(Belén Rueda ) has now purchased the neglected property with the intention of turning it back into an orphanage this time for disabled children .So she and her husband, Carlos, (Fernando Cayo) and son, Simon(Roger Princep) move into the house that she grew up in as a child. However before Laura opens her orphanage to the public she is first visited by a very creepy social worker ( played effectively by Montserrat Carulla) who seems to have a connection to the historyof the orphanage. (The fate of the social worker is played out later in the film in a scene that caused several audience members to jump out of their seats and then followed by a round of applause). Apparently Laura and Carlos's son, Simon is a child with a vivid imagination and very fond of the Peter Pan books. He tells his parents of his invisble "friends" whom they deem as imaginary. They indulge him in his fantasy for they have themselves have not been truthful to him. Simon's "friends" engage him in find -the-clue games one that culminates in one of the film's best scenes: a confronation with his mother about his origins and his medical condition. This of course forces Laura and Carlos to tell him the truth about his history and Simon becomes more determined not to grow old but to stay young like Peter Pan . However, Laura still feels that Simon has resentment towards her and at an opening party for her orphanage Simon dissappears. Believing he is still alive, she searches for him for several months but to no avail. She then decides to enlist the aid of a police psychiatrist but soon becomes dissatisfied with the results. However, increasingly creepy events around the house has convinced her to come to terms with her past. and she starts to believe that Simon's "friends" might have been ghosts and hires a medium named Aurora(Geraldine Chaplin) to communicate with them. This scene reminded me of Poltergeist and is so well done with director Bayona's very effective use of green night vision photography. Soon It becomes clear to Laura that in order to have any chance of being reunited with Simon she would have to engage on a journey- one that would cause her to face the ghosts(literally) of her past which she bravely does. By doing so, she also finds resolution to a secret that has lasted 30 years.There's a few plot holes like why were these children never found? Was there an investigation? And if they died on the premises, as the film suggests why were there remains never found because it is very clear that the social worker was a former employee of the orphanage and was intent on collecting the remains before they were discovered. I suppose you have to have to assume that the orphans' dissappearance was never reported and since it was in a small, remote village not many became aware of or cared about its welfare or that of its inhabitants. The film's ending is a little on the sentimental side and has a quality that reminded me of Spielberg in one of his odes to childhood but is more conclusive and less ambigous to that of the ending to Pan's Labyrinth, itself a great film. I thought the pacing was well done and this film has excellent use of sound effects, editing and widescreen photography all used effectively to create mood and heighten suspense for this is not a gore-fest, slasher-type horror film thank God, I've seen enough of those (I'm talking to you Saw and Hostel). Also the English subtitles, although in white, were non-intrusive and very easy to read and I had no problem following what was on screen. I am stunned to find out that this is Sr.Bayona's feature-length film debut. This is a classy production with excellent performances overseen by two masters that are on the top of their game. It sustained my interest from start to finish. Come December 28, 2007 you all will be advised to pay a visit to The Orphanage. Towerman

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