On Boxing Day eight years ago, we were all glued to our TVs watching the horror of the Asian tsunami unfold like the beginning of the end of the world. The characters in Juan Antonio Bayona’s new film ‘The Impossible’ (out on January 1) never mention the word ‘tsunami’. ‘Nobody had heard it before,’ says the Spanish director – the man who directed the creepy horror ‘The Orphanage’. In places, ‘The Impossible’ is just as terrifying – it’s like watching a horror film meets a disaster movie, with a family story at its heart. It’s based on the real-life story of a Spanish family on holiday in Thailand – separated when the tsunami ripped into the coastline. In the film, they’re English-speaking. Naomi Watts has just picked up a Golden Globe nomination for her part as the mum. Ewan McGregor plays her husband and the special effects are astonishing – with the first half-an-hour, as the tidal wave hits utterly gruelling.
‘The Impossible’ opens on 1 January.