This movie review is about Orphan, which stars Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Peter Sarsgaard (Knight and Day), Isabelle Fuhrman (Hounddog), CCH Pounder (Avatar) and others.
The screenplay was written by David Leslie Johnson and directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and the clue that this movie is worth your time, is that one of the producers was Leonardo DiCaprio.
Johnson worked on The Shawshank Redemption & The Green Mile as production assistant. (both faves of this site.) Collet-Serra worked on House of Wax. The experience behind the creative force of the movie seemed fair enough.
Orphan starts out like just about any other movie that has an evil-minded child who is bent on tormenting and/or killing their parents.
Back in 2009 when the movie came out, I bet when people saw the previews for this “run-of-the-mill” youthful terror movie, it more than likely generated some interest but not a ton. I would get that. The appeal needed to stand on the cast itself. Too bad. The movie turned out to be a surprisingly good / fun movie when all was said and done.
The portrayal of the young nine-year-old Esther by Isabelle Fuhrman was sublime that turned to a viewers horror and confusion as the movie evolved into the third act.
We start out watching a husband and wife, Kate and John Coleman (Farmiga, Sarsgaard) who are are on the right track, recovering from various personal issues… marriage issues, drinking problems and recovering from the death of a child. They still have two children now but there’s still a void in the family structure.
They adopt a nine-year-old Russian girl from an orphanage, Esther. Everything is perfect at first as Esther settles in, seemingly knowing the right things to say and do at first.
Esther starts to do little things at first that over time, escalate to some serious deeds. Through it all, as Kate starts to suspect Esther’s true intentions, Esther steps it up and through various deeds, sets up Kate to start taking the fall for various deeds.
As Kate gets deeper into the troubles that Esther sets her up for, she starts to investigate Esther’s background. The first troubles come from what she discovers at the orphanage they adopted Esther from, and it goes from there! Oh, does it go from there.
Orphan Movie Review Opinion
The movie does depict the standard evil nine-year-old who hates the adults scenario, and sure, she may encroach on some expected little tricks on the family, but the twist heading into the third act totally creeped me out and shocked me.
The twist of this movie makes this story that much better than expected. It’s the usual end-act makes the middle act better scenario, and wow, it worked for me. It worked so well that I may very well need a few years to get over how Isabelle Fuhrman delivered her character. It was a very mature performance for one so young.
Yes, it could be deemed a “slow moving” story, but it is about the story and not about the gory. But the story was good enough to keep me engaged and worth it. But I would very well recommend this movie, whether it be with your In Demand, rental or what have you. It does come away as a memorable movie experience for Cinema Static on Brusimm.