26. ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ (2001)
Memorable quote: “What is a ghost? A tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again? An instant of pain, perhaps. Something dead which still seems to be alive. An emotion suspended in time. Like a blurred photograph. Like an insect trapped in amber. ”
Scare factor: Before “Hellboy” and “Pan’s Labrynth,” Guillermo del Toro was crafting this chilling ghost story about an early 19th-century Spanish orphanage. There aren’t many movie character who deserve more sympathy than Carlos, who struggles to fit in and is harassed by bullies and paranoid caretakers. Throw in the ghost of a boy whom Carlos keeps spotting, and you feel the hair stand up on the back of your neck with each passing moment.