Excerpt: Getting a genuinely thrilling suspense film out of Hollywood is about as rare as stumbling over a winning lottery ticket in a drainage ditch. It can actually happen in real life, but you don't want to count on it.
Excerpt: The smartest movies in the evil-child genre expose nuclear families as never-ending horror shows of misery, rivalry and constantly simmering resentment. Is it any wonder that the beleaguered bourgie parents in Jaume Collet-Serra's enjoyably nasty Orphan are named John and Kate? The couple, played by Peter Saarsgard and Vera Farmiga, is not plus eight but three: pubescent Danny (Jimmy Bennett), deaf moppet Maxine (Aryana Engineer) and preternaturally poised, 9-year-old...
Excerpt: When I received “Orphan” in the mail, I thought I had the movie all figured out just by, you guessed it, judging by the cover. And, in a manner of speaking, I did. But at the same time, I didn’t. We’ve all seen films like “Orphan” before whether it be “The Good Son”, “The Bad Seed” or the grandaddy of them all, “The Omen” in which the child literally is the spawn of Satan.
Excerpt: The Movie Following a miscarriage, a vulnerable woman (Vera Farmiga) and her family adopt young Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman), a mysterious yet charming nine-year-old Orphan with a tragic past. Fitting in at home and at school is a bit bumpy for little Esther, but rather than suffer quietly she is violently, duplicitously confrontational, although only her new mother seems to notice.
Conclusion: 'Orphan' is a charming, if imperfect little horror movie that sits comfortably in the evil little kid sub-genre while trying desperately to transcend it. While that doesn't happen, exactly, it's still a whole lot of fun, with some fine performances and generally twisted revelations. This Blu-ray disc from Warner Bros. is quite impressive, with wonderful audio and video.
Excerpt: Orphan initially fails. Its trend of ridiculous, repetitive fake scares and preparation for another “creepy kid” movie are almost too much. Something happens to Orphan though. It begins to build deep, flawed characters. Kate Coleman (Vera Farmiga) lost her unborn child, succumbing to alcoholism and undergoing recurring nightmares about the incident. Her husband John (Peter Sarsgaard) cheated on her 10 years ago, and their marriage remains strained.
Summary: Is there anything more terrifying than parenthood? Haunting every can of nursery paint, every stuffed elephant, every empty picture frame is the overwhelming fear of failure. Expectant women wonder if they'll be more loving, more understanding than their own mothers. Soon-to-be fathers are consumed with visions of babies tumbling out of cribs, obsessed with identifying death traps like electric sockets and curtain cords, and assaulted by feelings of inadequacy and...
Excerpt: Orphan deserves four stars. Not because it’s good, quite the opposite actually. There should be a different scale for Orphan , a scale that would include films like Feardotcom , Pearl Harbor , and probably Transformers 2 , movies that are laughably bad, that almost seem to go out of their way to be truly over the top and dreadful. They shouldn’t get graded on the same merits as films like The Departed (which actually may come back later in this review, oddly enough).