'Orphan' - A Movie Review
'Orphan' is such a dark and gripping film that immediately draws you in.
We’re adopting our new child today. Her name is Esther. What, why are you looking at me like that?
Ten years ago, Orphan, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, was released into theaters. The Colman’s adopt a new member into their family. At first, Esther is a sweet girl getting along with everyone. As time goes by, something is not right with Esther as she commits crimes no child in their right mind would ever do.
Orphan is a well-directed horror film starring incredible actors in a story that has your mouth gaping at such a well-crafted revelation. I love to watch this movie every year around Halloween. Now, Orphan makes you think twice about making sure you research all the information about the child you are adopting.
Isabelle Fuhrman is engrossing from start to finish. At only twelve years old at the time of filming, Fuhrman does an incredible job. Fuhrman establishes a mature demeanor and crafty skills to establish her true nature. I enjoyed every scene she was in. Fuhrman even sent chills up my spine with her icy stare.
Vera Farminga as Kate was riveting! Orphan sets an important message to those who have had drinking problems. Her past plays a huge role in her behavior. I loved Kate’s incredible love for her children, her unending fights to win battles she is clearly losing, and her ability to act in genuine moments of horror.
While John (Peter Sarsgaard) is a good husband and father, I feel that he was too manipulative and aloof about the situation. There were times when I just wanted to shake his head when he couldn’t see even the smallest fragment of suspicion. If this movie took place more from his perspective, I think I would have understood his character better.
Jimmy Bennett (Daniel) and Aryana Engineer (Max) were outstanding as the youngest children. I was most impressed by Engineer, who is actually deaf in real life as her character! In her very first film role at the tender age of eight, Engineer’s incredible reactions to horror while having to comply with harsh orders were very remarkable.
This is one of my favorite Jimmy Bennett roles. In contrast to his other films when he was a child, Bennett's rebel attitude, who still has a heart, was fun to watch. Orphan gave Bennett a chance to play a character instead of making him the kid who gets in the way.
Every single actor delivers a top-notch performance. Other notable actors to star in the film are CCH Pounder, Rosemary Dunsmore, Jamie Young, Lorry Ayers, and Brandan Wall. Even if they had a small part, they made a big impact on this dark story.
One of my favorite scenes is the playground scene. Jamie Young (Brenda), who has been bullying Esther, finds that she is not alone as she is slowly making her way to the slide while turning her head about. The direction of this scene was so eerie even making you jump at the littlest things.
I love how certain story elements are subtle, especially Kate’s dark past with alcoholism and John’s shorthanded affair. It would have ruined the film if filmmakers decided to show us a scene from the past. Subtlety is the key and it works.
Jaume Collet-Serra’s stellar direction crafted creative camera angles, genuine jump scares, and a jaw-dropping twist that easily surprises audiences.
I will never get tired of Orphan. It is such a dark and gripping film that immediately draws you in. Be warned that there are some unpleasant and disturbing scenes. Orphan is a spell-bounding film to turn the lights out and enjoy.