Ester has many talents but this little Orphan is no Annie, this cute little girl doesn’t sing and dance, she kills. Kate(Vera Farmiga) and John(Peter Sarsgaard) are a couple that have had their share of misfortune. Kate had a drinking problem, almost killed one of her children, and recently lost a child during birth but, now she is doing better. After a couple years and a lot of therapy, the lovely couple decide to adopt.
During a visit to a local orphanage they meet Ester and she dazzles them from the start, she is incredibly smart, she can paint and she can swing a hammer like a pro. After seeing this long list of attributes their was just no way the Colemans could leave without her. In the beginning it seems like everything has turned out great but, after a little while Kate starts to notice that Ester may be a little off, and when a little girl “falls” off a jungle gym Kate really starts to worry. After Kate does some investigating into the life of her new nine year old her fears only grow. Remember though Kate has problems and John disregards her theories and starts to wonder about Kate’s mental health leaving Ester free to prey upon their family.
When I first went in to this movie I had low expectations, to me it looked like a remake of the Good Son and about the only thing that it shares with that film is its creepiness. There is just something about watching kids do horrible things that just turns the stomach. What makes this movie so startling is the performance of Isabelle Fuhrman and at age twelve it was shocking how believable she was. She had the ability to turn Ester into an iconic horror character that does not hesitate to kill and afterward turn to someone and says, “don’t worry, they are going to heaven.”
The Orphan is not as gory as some of the shock horror that has been hitting your local cinema but, it will leave you wondering about the mental stability of the person that wrote the film. It was nice to see a horror film that took a little time to develop a story and also take jabs at the genre even if they are subtle, long time horror fans will enjoy a laugh. I had to suspend belief a few times through out the film but I still enjoyed the ride. It is beautifully shot and a good time if your looking to be shocked and are willing to just go along for the ride.
I give Orphan 3 “Twisted children” out of 5.
by Ryan Davis