Warning! This post contains spoilers for the movie “El Orfanato” (“The Orphanage)

In my previous post “El Orfanato” (“The Orphanage”) and “Rule of Rose” (spoiler-free), I stated my opinion that, although “The Orphanage”–a film produced by Guillermo Del Toro and directed by Juan Antonio Bayona–definitely is NOT “Rule of Rose: The Movie”, I do think that its screenplay writer Sergio G. Sanchez took the story of Rule of Rose as an inspirational starting point to think up a new story that is very different from Rule of Rose, but which has many of Rule of Rose’s story-elements retained.

I also think that there is at least one deliberate homage to Rule of Rose in The Orphanage. Maybe many more.

Let’s look at some of the broad similarities in the two stories.

In both stories: A woman returns to the orphanage where she spent part of her childhood. The children that she knew from those days are dead, but she will re-encounter them at the orphanage, and she will discover that these orphans were murdered by an adult in the past and that she was the only orphan from those times to survive. Her re-encountering of those dead orphans will involve her playing a game with them in which she must search for things.

Within that broad framework of similarity, the two stories do have many differences. One difference is that, in “The Orphanage”, the protagonist Laura survived the massacre of the orphans by being adopted before the massacre occurred. She never knew that the massacre occurred because she wasn’t there at the time. In the case of Jennifer of “Rule of Rose”, however, she was living at the orphanage at the time of the massacre, survived it, but blocked the memory both of massacre and of her time spent at the orphanage.

Back to similarities:

The searching game that Laura, of “The Orphanage”, must play, at one point involves opening up nested dolls (these were Matryoshka dolls, see this link if you want read more about them) to find out what is inside of the innermost doll. This unusual feature wasn’t at all required for the story of “The Orphanage” so I strongly think that it is a deliberate homage to “Rule of Rose”. In the searching game of the “Bird of Happiness” chapter of “Rule of Rose”, Jennifer must open up nested boxes to find what is inside of the innermost box. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

In “The Orphanage”, the protagonist is attacked by an orphan that wears a creepy bag-mask. In “Rule of Rose”, the protagonist is attacked by creepy imps (some wearing bag masks) that are actually fantasy-embellishments of what was, in Jennifer’s forgotten past, the orphans wearing creepy bag-masks. See my posts: The Imps Mystery and Orphans-wearing-bags (Part 1) // The Imps Mystery and Orphans-wearing-bags (Part 2) // The Imps Mystery and Orphans-wearing-bags (Part 3) // The Imps Mystery and Orphans-wearing-bags (Part 4).

There is a scarecrow-like construct in “The Orphanage” that may be an homage to Rule of Rose’s bucket-knight.

In “Rule of Rose”, dolls (Joshua-the-bear, Little Princess doll, and the goat dolls) are sometimes used to represent certain orphans, and the use of specific dolls to represent specific orphans also occurs in “The Orphanage”.

In “Rule of Rose” Jennifer can use the movie projector to watch scenes from the past, and in “The Orphanage” Laura uses a movie projector to watch scenes from the past.

Laura finds the remains of hidden corpses of the murdered orphans in bags of white powder. I’m not certain what that white powder was. Was it ash from cremated bodies? Was it quicklime? Flour? If you know, please tell me. There is possibly a connection to Rule of Rose in the matter of the white powder in bags. Maybe not. In the “Gingerbread House” chapter of “Rule of Rose” Jennifer can click “x” near a large bag (among several similar large bags) on the floor of the kitchen and get the response: “Is this a bag of flour? Rats have chewed through it.” Now, I admit that I don’t actually see white powder there… it may be implied that Jennifer can see some white powder, that she thinks might be flour, where the rats have chewed through the bag, but I really don’t think so. I think that Jennifer guesses that the bags are flour-bags due only to the large size of the bags. The line, “Is this a bag of flour?” sounds innocent enough, but as Gregory is a child murderer in the Rule of Rose story (even before he massacres the orphans), and I think that this large bag in his kitchen is supposed to be a clue to that effect (I think that all click-able objects are likely to be clues of some sort). It seems possible to me that the creators of “The Orphanage” may have taken the idea of that bag, of which Jennifer asks “Is this a bag of flour?”, and interpreted the bag as being related to the remains of murdered children… and so chose to use that bag-of-white-powder-like-flour idea for the scene in which the murdered orphans’ remains are found by Laura in bags of white powder. At the very least, the idea of corpses in bags may be a similarity. See my related post: What Are the Black Shapes On Gregory’s Kitchen Floor? Blood?

projectorLaura and Tomas

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63 Responses to ““El Orfanato” (“The Orphanage”) and “Rule of Rose” Similarities (movie spoilers!)”
  1. Original Prankster says:

    Last year my cousin watched that damn movie… We have notticed some “coincidence”

  2. after reading so much of the similarities you have posted … it really does sound like something like maybe the makers of “The Orphanage”
    might have been fans of the Rule of Rose Plotline. .. thank you so much for this Entry, i really want to see this movie. =]

  3. PokerNemesis says:

    silenth3llghosty wrote:
    —it really does sound like something like maybe the makers of “The Orphanage” might have been fans of the Rule of Rose Plotline.—

    I wonder if they decided to be quiet about the connection because of the bad reputation of Rule of Rose.

  4. I’ve yet to see it, but I thought, from just watching advertisements for it, that it was a bit obvious to me. I looked at Laura and thought “Wait a second…”

    Looking at the poster you submitted in the previous post, they look even more alike.

    Of course, there is also the fact that I can’t seem to think about an orphanage and not think of Rule of Rose, anyway… eheh.

  5. PokerNemesis says:

    I modified the last paragraph of the post.

  6. PokerNemesis says:

    I added 2 pictures of orphanage buildings.

  7. lastgunslinger says:

    The screenplay for this film was actually written in the year 2000, six years before Rule of Rose was released.

    I think it’s a bit unlikely that the makers of this film would have taken “Rule of Rose” to be a primary inspiration given the timing of its conception and production. That being said, I think it’s interesting that such similarities could arise in two completely different mediums at around the same time. What I think it comes down to is that baroque settings, scary children in masks, and tragic horror stories are coming into style recently, and those adept at crafting such stories will probably gravitate towards similar symbols and visuals. It’s not so strange when I think of how many story ideas I come up with that I think are cool are made into books or movies at around the same time.

  8. PokerNemesis says:

    Welcome lastgunslinger!

    lastgunslinger wrote:
    —The screenplay for this film was actually written in the year 2000, six years before Rule of Rose was released.—

    It would be interesting to see how much that early version of the screenplay actually resembled the final product (i.e. the finished movie).

    I’ve been interested in attempting some screenplay writing myself, so I have learned that once the rights to a screenplay have been purchased, the shooting script can be so radically transformed that the resemblance to the original screenplay can sometimes be hard to find. Perhaps Sergio G. Sanchez was not influenced by Rule of Rose but rather someone (Bayona? Del Toro?) involved in determining the transformation of the screenplay into the movie.

    Extreme example: When Orson Welles bought the screen rights to the novel “The Lady From Shanghai”, the ONLY thing that Welles used from the novel in making his movie, “The Lady From Shanghai”, was the title. Analogous things can happen to screenplays… sometimes to the great embarassment of the screenwriter when the changes are very lame but his name is still listed as author of the screenplay.

    I still suspect that someone deeply involved in the making of the movie had been greatly influenced by Rule of Rose.

  9. lastgunslinger says:

    I’m not denying that the screenplay could have been altered or the style of direction could have been influenced by other factors, but by the time the film went into production I doubt that, even if they had heard of the game, they would have explored it deeply enough in time to develop the visual style or storyline of “The Orphanage” before beginning to film. That’s also not to say that a film’s direction could have taken several turns during the course of its production, but even so, we are talking about a very niche game that was not very well-received by a lot of gamers, who in turn are still considered to be a niche audience by the film industry. I find it more plausible that the creators of both the game and the movie had a very similar affinity for horror, and that in stories set in an orphanage certain visuals and motifs will occur.

  10. Maru says:

    However, you have to admit that Jennifer’s outfit and Laura’s orphan outfits are uncanny…

  11. Broken Princess says:

    o.o That was quite a creepy movie. I actually had a nightmare about the kid with the bag over their face. XD And yeah, I noticed some similarities between both the movie and the game, but just some similarities.

    …It would be so cool if there was a Rule of Rose movie. ^_^

  12. JRad says:

    You already know my opinion about this. lmao

  13. PokerNemesis says:

    JRad wrote:
    —You already know my opinion about this. lmao—

    But better to discuss details here than in the spoiler-free area…

    The use of nested objects in connection with a seeking game, in both Rule of Rose and El Orfanato, seems like an incredible coincidence if you consider how rare such things are as plot items. Can you think of any other movie or novel in which nested objects play a role… especially in connection with a seeking game? In neither Rule of Rose nor El Orfanato is it an inevitable feature of a story about the issues of which they are concerned… a childhood at an orphanage, ghosts, etc. Being unnecessary, it seems therefore like an homage… a deliberate inclusion designed to point to a connectedness between the two works.

  14. JRad says:

    but like i said, theres no way that the makers of Orphanage caught site of the RoR (i dont even think it was released in spain)/went through the game/beat it/ and revised their movie within a year of its release.

  15. PokerNemesis says:

    JRad wrote:

    theres no way that the makers of Orphanage caught site of the RoR (i dont even think it was released in spain)/went through the game/beat it/ and revised their movie within a year of its release.

    Unless you know that the shooting date (I have looked for this information online and haven’t been able to find it) was before Rule of Rose could have been seen by the filmaker, I think your assessment does not reflect the realities of movie-making. Movies tend to be of a very fluid design before they are shot. And many of the changes that might reflect a Rule of Rose influence would be simple to make:

    “We have an ugly kid that was teased by the orphans and ended up drowning in a cave, right? Hey, let’s put a bag over his head (we could say it was to hide his ugliness)… that would be creepy! And we could do an homage to Rule of Rose by putting in a scene with a searching game, and even some nested-objects that those who’ve played the game will recognize as being related to the nested objects in that bird chapter. We can even put in a scarecrow that looks reminiscent of Bucket Knight… we don’t have any real contribution that it makes to the plot, but that’s alright. That makes even more obvious as an homage.”

  16. JRad says:

    see my thread on the other page. (and the scene with the searching game has to do with the whole movie…it isn’t just a random scene that RoR could have inspired. It had to do with the game of taking something that someone holds dear and searching for it. This reflects on what Laura has to do later. Laura pretty much has to play a searching game with nested objects to find her son. That was a key part to the movie and I doubt that the only reason why it’s there is because of RoR) And i posted the shooting date in my comment on the other thread. It was on the Orphanage official Europe site.

  17. JRad says:

    ^^^ comment* not thread lol

  18. Amaritude says:

    In an article that can be found here:

    the author of the screenplay cites her inspiration as:
    “I wanted to do a haunted house film that would also be read as the downfall of this poor woman who is losing her mind as she is unable to cope with the loss of her son. So, basically, I just started from that in my own fears.”

    Make of that what you will.

  19. Sabi says:

    Hm, very interesting, I’m now going to watch this movie to look for more similarities…plus it sounds interesting.

    But I watched the interview with the director and writer on SciFi once, and they said they based it all off someone elses movies. I haven’t watched any of his movies, but maybe RoR, those movies, and this movie all have things in common? I don’t know, but the interview is on veoh.

    Here, found the link for you, incase you are interested in it.

  20. PokerNemesis says:

    Welcome, Sabi!
    Thanks for the link.

    The director doesn’t seem shy about mentioning influences, so one might think he’d mention Rule of Rose if there was an influence.

    But there might be reasons for him not to do so. For instance, citing a banned and maligned game as an influence might not be good for box office income. He might fear that some of the stigma would carry over.

    And citing a game (any game) as an influence might bias film-art award committees to take his film less seriously. After all, nobody thinks of video-games as being serious art.

  21. JRad says:

    “The director doesn’t seem shy about mentioning influences, so one might think he’d mention Rule of Rose if there was an influence.
    But there might be reasons for him not to do so”

    Yeah maybe because it just wasn’t. lol.

  22. ladymaria says:

    I just rented and watched this movie today.

    True it wasn’t a carbon copy of ROR,but the resemblances were definately noticable. Laura’s outfit,use of items leading to more items,mass murder of orphans which she escaped,and her wanting to find something dear to her were all executed in a very ROR style. The ending*SPOILER* also made me think of ROR. In the movie,after Laura offed herself,she made her peace with the orphans and Simon,kind of like how Jennifer made her peace with Wendy and Brown.Also,The Orphanage really makes me think that Jennifer is possibly dead in the bonus chapter,as she is able to see both Wendy and Brown who have long since passed.

  23. PokerNemesis says:

    Welcome ladymaria!

  24. HewieAlbino says:

    Just discovered this site. Awesome in-depth Rule of Rose discussions.

    Watched the movie on DVD. Very sad but beautiful story. I was quite hesitant to watch it at first since I’m not really into horror films, but I can say I didn’t regret it one bit. When I first saw the movie poster with the sack boy in front, I did the double-take. The first thing that came to mind was, “Rule of Rose?”. I saw the title and I was shocked. It was such a coincidence. Orphanage, kid in a sack mask and the clothes and hair. I went home, watch the trailers on Youtube and was quite excited about the movie. Sadly, couldn’t watch it because on school and blahs.

    Not your usual ghost story. The film doesn’t throw you sudden scares like a white figure popping out of the closet, flying objects and such. But it does get the tension up in certain parts. Though the story is not quite Rule of Rose, it was eerily similar in some parts.


    Like ladymaria mentioned, the treasure hunt game where Laura finds one item and follows it to the next. Sorta like Brown sniffing out items for you.

    Next is obviously the sack boy. Though in the game it looked more like paper bags, it still covered the kids’ faces, leaving you to wonder what’s underneath? Are they deformed like Tomas? (he kinda resembles the imps doesn’t he). At the party, the kids and adults put on paper mache animal masks. Another connection to the game. Animal masks.

    Laura has a past in the orphanage. So she stays behind to remember that past and is able to meet her old friends again. The only difference between Laura and Jennifer is Laura remembers her past in the orphanage while Jennifer forgot hers.

    Laura is trying to find her son, whom she had unknowingly caused the death of. Jennifer is trying to find that “special friend” of hers (Brown), whom she may have caused the death off, by giving him to Aristocrat Club.

    Also, when Laura resembles the scarecrow in the yard, notice how the film only shows her attaching its head? Just like Jennifer putting a pail on the Bucket Knight.

    When Laura found the bodies, I think the white powder was ash. I didn’t examine the sacks in Gingerbread house so I can’t really compare it to the game. I doubt Gregory would incinerate the bodies of the kidnapped kids (if they were the kidnapped kids in the first place) since he would most likely had butchered them to sell or feed Joshua with. Unless he grounded up the kids’ bones too. (he ground up the “pea”.)

    The main plot is almost the same as Rule of Rose. Laura has to find her son and whilst doing so, remember her past in the orphanage. Jennifer has to find Brown and she also remembers her past in the orphanage. Also, Jennifer said she’ll remember her friends and protect them forever. Laura does the same too. She remembers them and promises to take care of them forever.

    Amazing coincidences. I don’t think this kind of plot is so simple and common that both Japanese and Spanish could come up with almost two similar products. There has to be a connection somewhere.

    Sorry for the long and messy post. Was quite hyped up with what I wanted to say.

    A few more interesting things to note. 1. The orphanage has a rose bush planted right outside. 2. The kitchens in both orphanages has almost the same layout. Table in the middle, stove and countertops at the back. 3. Both orphanages had a shack quite a distance away. 4. Not really from Rule of Rose. But the grandfather clock in the Orphanage makes the same deep tick-tock as the grandfather clocks in the game Haunting Ground.

  25. Masq says:

    The Rule of rose had two grandfather clocks that were important in it so no need to worry about not connecting that.

    Mary fell out of one and the other was in…was it Hoffman’s room or the Reception room? … I’m so scatterbrained on Mondays…

  26. PokerNemesis says:

    Welcome HewieAlbino!

    Good job pointing out similarities.

    HewieAlbino wrote:

    Amazing coincidences. I don’t think this kind of plot is so simple and common that both Japanese and Spanish could come up with almost two similar products. There has to be a connection somewhere.

    Seems that way to me too, despite the arguments of the nay-sayers.

  27. HewieAlbino says:

    Oh, yeah. Found another similarity. The stairs have the same layout too. L-shaped and following the wall. Not sure if Rose Garden Orphanage had a storeroom underneath though.

    Watching the Making-of now. There are some concept sketches and inspirational images in the background when the cast and crew are talking. Maybe I’l find some RoR images. Will let you all know.

  28. Masq says:

    Yeah… Laura’s entire dilemna at the end is almost exactly like Jennifer’s. She just goes a different way to get her happy ending.

    One thing… I don’t like to cry. At movies…at stories… I don’t like to cry. But at the end of this movie and at the end of Rule of Rose, I did. Like a little girl. After crying at the end of Rule of Rose, I knew i should probably watch this movie alone because I don’t like people to see me cry.

    So when we got to the part where SPOILER!

    Laura is pretending Simon is still alive and she’s rescued him even though it’s been nine-ten months and then she begins putting all the peices together, there was water all over my face…

    But what REALLY sealed the deal for me that this was inspired by Rule of Rose was Laura’s final scene where all the orphans are gathered around her.

    “Laura is old!” “Like Wendy!”

    That and Simon’s”game”. “They take something. Your treasure. And you follow the clues to find it.”

  29. ruleofrosemisfits says:

    i so wanna see this movie it looks amazing. i would probally watch it with my brother. i mean cause i grew up watching horror survival games. my mom makes fun of me. “your scared of slappy but not these games.” back to the game. what i heard of it ,it sounds like rule of rose material i will get the dvd and watch

  30. ladymaria says:

    I was crying at the end of the movie too. Especially the scene where you realize that Simon had been dead for awhile. You almost thought she had been able to find him at the end,and then it crushes you when you realize there is no way he could have survived for that long T_T

  31. AmE says:

    wew,interesting it is!! now i’m soo looking for this movie,,wahahaha…thanks PN!awesome site,been through it a whole day,,hehehe…

    maybe the orphanage and the RoR is based on something else??perhaps when the creators of both researched for british orphanage or something, they would bump on to this kind of style? like maybe the treasure hunt game is common in the orphanage of britain and the building site are common to be like that?
    interesting, really! a coincidence that doesn’t quite look like a coincidence,hehehh.

  32. PokerNemesis says:

    AmE wrote:

    awesome site,been through it a whole day,,hehehe…

    I’m glad you’re enjoying it! 😀

  33. Anonymous says:

    I just realized that Wendy’s name is Wendy.

    I mean, I watched the Orphanage before I got into Rule of Rose and the first thing I thought of was “Peter Pan.”
    Basically because they mention Peter Pan in the movie and the way the movie played out was very Neverland-esque.

    Now that I’ve gotten a taste of both the movie and the game, it’s so easy to tie both of them into Peter Pan.
    Wendy is Jennifer’s Wendy, except Jennifer was the one that grew up instead. Or something, of that sort.

  34. PokerNemesis says:

    And Wendy’s pet rabbit is named Peter.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Aw, that’s cute.
    I didn’t catch that until now.

  36. Ambient In Strings says:

    I recently showed interest in seeing the movie because of this particular blog-post. I loved it, especially keeping special look-out for the similarities.!

    Random analysis of Peter Pan/Rule of Rose

    Zeppelin in the sky = Neverland
    Stray Dog = Captain Hook who kidnaps [or in this case eats] children and takes them to the zeppelin in the sky/Neverland.
    Peter Pan = Mr. Hoffman-as-Peter Pan trying to make all the underage girls ‘grown up’ so he can do his mermaid-magic.
    Speaking of mermaids, Peter Pan was known to have met mermaids on his travels.
    The Rose Garden Orphanage boys reminds me a bit of Peter Pan’s Lost Boys. Nicholas, and Xavier for example have that drive to fake battles all the time with their ‘stick-swords’ and such. Also, the Lost Boys were boys that were given up, or lost by their parents/nannies, whereas the orphanage boys were obviously parent-less.

  37. Masq says:

    To further comment on Ambient’s musings on Hoffman as Peter,

    I’m not sure about in the book but in the cartoon, Peter is shown as quite the little womanizer.

  38. PokerNemesis says:

    Which cartoon is that?

  39. Masq says:

    The Disney one.

    The one where he’s got lots of female (mermaid) admirers and Wendy and Tigerlily and…

    You get the idea.

  40. PokerNemesis says:

    Thanks for clearing that up. 😀

  41. Emriss says:

    Does anyone know where I can get a decently subtitled copy of El Orfanato? I’m insanely curious, and it sounds like my kind of movie, but I only have the most rudimentary understanding of Spanish.

    Yeah, I know there’s an English remake being worked on, but I’m almost certain they’ll screw it up; America isn’t exactly well-known for it’s deep, artsy, thought-provoking games and movies, and I worry they’ll dumb it down and dump in some cheap scares to ‘Americanize’ it. :(

  42. PokerNemesis says:

    “The Orphanage” is the same as “El Orfanato” (for the time being at least… there is no remake released as of yet). Unless you are buying it from some non-English speaking country, it will be in Spanish with English subtitles.

  43. Emriss says:

    Found it, saw it, loved it.

    I have to say that, while there are some parts that did seem parallel to bits of RoR, there wasn’t really anything that one could point to and say, ‘See, it does have Rule of Rose influence!’ The nesting eggs weren’t really a plot necessity, but nor were many of the other clues. Other parts (killing the one we love, old orphanage, massacre, children, sinister games) are pretty typical horror movie fare as well. There’s always the chance it could be coincidence…or maybe I’m wrong.

    I think the only real way to find out would be to weasel an answer out of Guillermo Del Toro or Juan Antonio Bayona. 😛 As if they’d say anything if they didn’t want the bad connotations.

  44. PokerNemesis says:

    Emriss wrote:

    there wasn’t really anything that one could point to and say, ‘See, it does have Rule of Rose influence!’ The nesting eggs weren’t really a plot necessity, but nor were many of the other clues.

    I think that the fact that the nesting items, and other similarities, were not plot necessities is an argument against coincidence. There seems to be no real reason for them to be there other than as a deliberate homage to Rule of Rose.

  45. thecatmax says:

    Hum… I know I am shaking an old subject, but I have a very strong feeling that there is probably no connection at all between the movie and the game. Rule of Rose is certainly a very good game for those who have played it, but is still very unknown. Wouldn’t Guillermo DelTorro have better things to do thant to finish an unknown game in order to get inspiration for his movie. Coincidences such those we can see in the movie can happen, and to me, except for the setting, which I admit, are very similar, there is nothing to let us think that the director of such an important movie would directly put references to Rule of Rose “for the fans”, simply because those “fans” are so rare! I think the reason we see a connection with Rule of Rose in the movie is simply because we are so taken by the game ourselves!

  46. Lucas says:

    I too have written an article on a community on orkut about the similiarities between El Orfanato and Rule of Rose, and I think there are more than you’ve listed, and I don’t mean to be offensive or anything like that, but I think the “flour” thing, and using a movie projector are just too simple and too silly to be “references” in fact.

    Instead of that, I would say that Jennifer and Laura are extremely alike, mainly at the end of the movie, where Laura wears clothes that really remember the ones Jennifer wears. There is also somethings that makes Simón recall me of Brown, from the game.

    For example, Simón and Brown are the protagonists’s only and precious thing – the thing they love most and will try to protect always. When Laura finds Simón in the basement, it is just like Jennifer digging up her best friend’s grave. Both of the protagonists want to, at any costs, reunite with their best friends. Laura decides suicide, while Jennifer decides forgetting and going back to protect and do things right.

    Another resemblence? None of the protagonists can actually save their “treasures”. Simón dies. Brown dies.

    Do you agree?

  47. PokerNemesis says:

    Welcome, Lucas!

    Lucas wrote:

    Laura decides suicide, while Jennifer decides forgetting and going back to protect and do things right.

    For my comparison of those decisions, see my blog-post, Comparing Endings: “El Orfanato” (“The Orphanage”) and “Rule of Rose” (warning, movie spoilers!).

  48. Mallorie says:

    I just watched the El Orfanato for the first time yesterday (fantastic movie, btw), and I noticed several of these similarities. Like Lucas pointed out, Laura’s outfit when she’s trying to invoke the orphan ghosts even resembles Jennifer’s clothes.

    However I tend to think that a lot of the similarities are coincidental. The first draft of El Orfanato was written way back in ’96.

  49. PokerNemesis says:

    But who knows what was in that first draft, or what was missing from it? It isn’t at all uncommon for the actual shooting script of a film to be extremely changed from the first draft, or even late drafts, of the screenplay. Rule of Rose influences had plenty of opportunity to come into play, in a major way, during the big gap of time before the actual making of the film occurred.

  50. PokerNemesis says:

    Mallorie wrote:

    I tend to think that a lot of the similarities are coincidental. The first draft of El Orfanato was written way back in ‘96.

    But who knows what was in that first draft, or what was missing from it? It isn’t at all uncommon for the actual shooting script of a film to be extremely changed from the first draft, or even late drafts, of the screenplay. Rule of Rose influences had plenty of opportunity to come into play, in a major way, during the big gap of time before the actual making of the film occurred.

  51. karoleen says:

    i made you do this Lol. just kidding yea i always thought it looks like rule of rose ~_^

  52. karoleen says:

    and i want to say something please *screaming* I LOVE RULE OF ROSEEEE! thxx.

  53. Nivacolina says:

    I saw this movie (Wich I really loved) and I am positive that the writer must, at least know, Rule of Rose, since they are very similar. Oh, and well, I agree, there are many similarities, but they are different things, its more like the film beeing inspirated by Rule of Rose that it beeing Rule of Rose.

  54. PokerNemesis says:

    Welcome, Nivacolina!

  55. At says:

    Yes the movie and the game do have similarity in the art direction, looks and atmosphere. Story, characters and plot are different. Love ’em both!

  56. Nancy says:

    I finished this film today after seeing a clip of it in one of my classes, and I automatically googled “the orphanage rule of rose” to see if anyone else saw all the similarities. Glad you guys did!

    I’ve read this thread with interest, and there’s just one thing I noticed about the movie that reminded me strongly of the game that I don’t see here. At the part when Laura is digging around in the closet under the stairs looking for the little girl, the door starts slowly shutting behind her… AND THEN SLAMS SHUT AT THE LAST SECOND. It reminded me of how *just* when I thought the door would definitely open in RoR, someone would slam it shut and I would jump a foot in the air. Not to say that The Orphanage was influenced by the game, but I was like “DANG! It got me just like it does in Rule of Rose!” Everything else I noticed was mentioned above. :) Animal masks, giggling children, Laura’s dress…

  57. PokerNemesis says:

    Sorry your links got trapped in my spam-filter unnoticed for so long.
    Very interesting art!

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