Why adoption isn’t always the best thing.
Picking up the pieces after their baby’s tragic death, the Colemans — Kate (Vera Farmiga) and John (Peter Sarsgaard) — adopt 9-year-old Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) from an orphanage, but it doesn’t take long for Kate to see through Esther’s angelic façade. When John brushes aside Kate’s paranoid suspicions, Esther wreaks havoc on the world around her.
Imagine just losing a child, and then adopting one, having a bright future and everything just set out for this child, and then the kid ends up being The Good Son.
Orphan is different from some horror films because it gives us some good dark comedy, that is mixed with scares that get held off. You think that the shock is going to come right up, and then it gets taken back and saved for later, changing our trace of suspense.
However, those are the only things that are different. Other than that it turns into your typical “demon child movie”. I mean just looking at this chick, she’s scary, white, artistic, and most of all, of Russian decent. All those things just do not add up to a girl scout, and besides why would you choose this girl out of everyone else in the orphanage. I could have thought of about 1,000 other kids I would have chosen over this creepy one.
Also, there were many times where the film is just upsetting. Esther does all this mean stuff: like beating up a nun with a hammer, lighting tree houses on fire, and overall just being a total bitch. We never got a real sense as to why Esther did the crap she did to everyone in the family, only until the end, and its just too late, cause we can’t fathom any more with this chick. The way she takes advantage of her deaf little sister, is just really sad to watch, and took away a lot from the film. I wish they paid attention more to the relationship between the two parents and coping with their loss.
I will give the film one thing that it does well, and its that the performances are actually good. Vera Farmiga is perfect as the only one with sense in the film. She knows right away that somethings up with this girl, and doesn’t let her forget about it. Her character could have easily been one-note but she adds a lot more dramatic emotion, and a strength within her character. Peter Sarsgaard is also good here, because his act does bring out a good deal of dark comedy that almost works in the film’s favor. Isabelle Fuhrman is good too, but never really gets past the fact, that she’s just some evil little bitch, and hell give me some makeup, and a cute little hair cut, then I can be the next Esther.
The twist in the end is understandable, but other than that stupid, and won’t change how you feel about the film.
Consensus: Orphan has some good moments of dark humor, but doesn’t do much to add anything new to the horror genre, and becomes something like The Good Son or The Omen.