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 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: 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.
Conclusion: Disbelief, confusion, stunned silence, outrage, laughter: just a few of the possible reactions Orphan will elicit from genre junkies and casual horror fans alike. Logic is continually tossed out the window, Collet-Serra fails to settle on a tone, and a ridiculous, outright silly plot twist ruins what little Farmiga and Sarsgaard manage to accomplish.
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).
Excerpt: In most cases, a movie’s first scene sets the ground rules for what’s to come. Sadly, Orphan is no exception. Following Peter Sarsgaard and a heavily pregnant Vera Farmiga through a nightmarish trip to the hospital, it features the image of Farmiga leaving a Peckinpah-worthy trail of blood from waiting room to delivery room. That’s followed by appearances from ghoulish doctors, a stillborn corpse, and other delights.