The Devil's Backbone (#666)

Type: New Blu-Ray

One of the most personal films by Guillermo del Toro, The Devil’s Backbone is also among his most frightening and emotionally layered. Set during the final week of the Spanish Civil War, it tells the tale of a twelve-year-old boy who, after his freedom-fighting father is killed, is sent to a haunted rural orphanage full of terrible secrets. Del Toro expertly combines gothic ghost story, murder mystery, and historical melodrama in a stylish mélange that, like his later Pan’s Labyrinth, reminds us the scariest monsters are often the human ones.


New, restored 2K digital film transfer, supervised by director Guillermo del Toro and director of photography Guillermo Navarro, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

Audio commentary featuring Del Toro

Video introduction by Del Toro from 2010

New and archival interviews with Del Toro about the creation of his film

¿Que es un fantasma?, a 2004 making-of documentary

Interactive director’s notebook

Four deleted scenes, with commentary by del Toro

New interview with scholar Sebastiaan Faber about the film’s depiction of the Spanish Civil War

Program comparing Del Toro’s thumbnail sketches and Carlos Giménez’s storyboards with the final film

Selected on-screen presentation of Del Toro’s thumbnail sketches (Blu-ray edition only)


New English subtitle translation by del Toro

PLUS: An essay by critic Mark Kermode