Box art for The Devil's Backbone

The Devil's Backbone

foreign, horror, thrillers

A classic ghost story, haunting as it is moving, "The Devil's Backbone" is also a subtle allegory for the war that rages on just beyond the school's walls.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Calling The Devil's Backbone a ghost story is an unfair simplification of an exquisitely crafted film... If you must label this film as horror, then it's a horror film with a soul.

- Beth Accomando,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Del Toro's elegant pacing and gothic touches imbue the proceedings with a cool mystery.

- Bruce Diones, New Yorker, Monday, October 7, 2013

Fresh: So much better than Del Toro's studio efforts, with a masterful command of sound and and colour that is breathtaking.

- Colin Kennedy, Empire Magazine, Monday, September 24, 2007

Audience Reviews

0 star

It was OK

- dukeakasmudge, Friday, October 23, 2009

5 stars

Great film from del Toro, everything is spot on. The keyhole scene is up there with the best classic horror moments. I wonder if we can expect another Spanish civil war story to complete the trilogy?

- SirPant, Wednesday, September 2, 2009

4 stars

In spite of it's suggestive title and the reputation of it's director, Guillermo del Toro, El Espinazo del Diablo is not really a horror film (in the strictest sense). The mysterious spirit that haunts the halls of the Santa Lucia School is much more fascinating than he is fearsome, making the film itself much more terrific than it is terrifying.

- flixsterman, Friday, June 19, 2009