The golden rule is – if you decide to adopt an evil, Eastern European Orphan then make sure that you keep the receipt, that is if you are alive long enough to use this. Orphan (2009) has positives and negatives. Lets get the latter out the way. The parents in this are dumb and I mean really dumb. They are the type of people who would give their kids a box of matches and suggest that they go play at the nearest petrol station. They turn their back when something unspeakable happens behind them and the audience shouts ‘LOOK BEHIND YOU!’. Both mother and father have the stereotypical broken family traits, he cheats, she drinks etc.
Now good/bad points – the movie has a fantastic and original revelation in the final quarter but does not follow it through with the finale that I was craving for (but I will discuss this when you all have seen this). Things could have went ultra twisted but I guess we’re talking Holywood here?
LH praised this movie and it is great fun. If you can squeeze past the stupidity of the parents and the silliness of the script, this is probably one of the most enjoyable thriller/ horrors I have seen for a long time. The pacing is extremely good with a repellent first scene and a good number of graphic and brutal accidents!/ kills spread throughout its running time. It really pushes the 15 cert to the brink.
The story is formulae, couple lose their third child and adopt a charming/ but creepy Russian orphan called Esther (a fantastic Isabelle Furhman). They introduce her to their young deaf daughter, Max (Ayrana Engineer -also very impressive) and older son, Jimmy (Daniel Coleman) and the first half of the movie follows her integration to the family unit. Max takes to her instantly but Jimmy does not.
I will not go into what happens next but suffice to say, Esther makes your skin crawl and is really one of the most loathsome villains you will see this year. I loved to hate her pantomime monster with over exaggerated Eatern European accent. If the movie tries too hard to shock (it does not need to)it is probably due to the lack of running time for all hell to break loose at the end after a patient and superb first half build up. Proceedings got shocking enough for my wife to ask me not so kindly to switch it off, so I watched the final quarter downstairs. I was a little let down that the black hearted tone (or should I say blacker tone?) did not carry on to the final proceedings but hey, I was really impressed with this silly but superbly paced thriller. Recommended (like a greasy black pudding supper) with the tinnaes in hand.