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Orphan; Movie Review
This isn't Annie!
We often think of poor, suffering, mistreated children when we get a vision of an orphanage. Think Annie singing about the sun coming out tomorrow.... now, watch an alter ego version of this larger than life musical; remove the happy songs and put in suspenseful and spine chilling music. Secondly, get rid of the red hair and freckles and put in a cute and appealing girl that can change her looks from innocent to maniacal. Last, add a loving family of two parents that love each other, a deaf sister and a brother that hates his new sister from the beginning and you have the makings of a horror movie with a twist.
Esther seems like a mature, sweet girl who has been placed in an orphanage after her last foster family and their home burned down, with Esther barely escaping. A couple who lost their soon to be born child decide they have to replace the still born baby with another child; a girl, to hopefully replace the sorrow they feel over their loss. Their son is angry about the whole thing and their little girl is excited about getting a big sister.
Esther's entry into the home is happy and surreal. She seems to fit and has the best of manners. She easily bonds with the younger daughter, even though she does things to horrify the child. The brother ignores her. School children tease her. She throws herself into fits of screaming and yelling. She shows a violent streak early on to her new siblings, scaring them into keeping their thoughts of her to themselves.
Esther is talented in painting and paints incredible works of art that later show invisible secrets of her past life and her present violent self. Only the mother appears to notice that Esther is not who she thought and despite her attempts to convince her husband, Esther soon has the children fighting for their lives and the mom ready to be committed while the father continues to dote on this spawn of Satan.
Not the plot I had expected..
I went into this film assuming that it would be another Exorcist type film or an Audrey Rose version from the late 70's. It was neither.
This talented young lady that plays Esther is convincing no matter what she does. From playing the sweet, homeless orphan, the religiously convicted child who states that dying souls go straight to Heaven or the demon that has the strength of six humans; Vera Farmiga is the scene stealer throughout this movie. Her variety of scenes in the film show her ability to shape herself to the necessary character.
This movie is not for young children and unless your child is familiar with people having sex "doggy" style, it is best that you discuss sex positions before taking your tween to the film as there is a scene in the film that gets pretty steamy.
For those of you wanting blood; you won't be disappointed. I have a difficult time watching heads getting bashed in and people spewing blood as they are stabbed. If you like this, then you will relish the scenes that supply this type of blood fest.
The ending, of which I don't want to ruin is the best part. A total twist than what I would have ever imagined. Perhaps a bit over-acted, but nonetheless, thrilling.
I recommend Orphan to all of you that enjoy suspenseful music, scenes that have you flinching; just waiting for something to happen and gorey deaths. It's everything a horror movie should be and more.