Orphan

Film

Horror films

orphan_1.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Aug 4 2009

Spaniard Jaume Collet-Serra’s wickedly entertaining, if slightly over-stretched, variation on the familiar ‘evil child’ scenario displays an unusually complex grasp of twisted psychology. Rather than simply dumping a disruptive child into the heart of a happy family, it shows how grieving ex-alcoholic Kate (Vera Farmiga) and her architect husband John (Peter Saarsgard) – whose third child was stillborn – introduce a nine-year-old Russian orphan, Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman, right), into their nest. But the precocious Esther is more controlling than consoling, a fully fledged cuckoo who starts to manipulate both her adoptive parents and her siblings, younger daughter Max (Aryana Engineer) and older son Daniel (Jimmy Bennett). Whether ingratiating herself with the innocent, deaf Max by turning their sign language into a conspiratorial game, or exploiting the adults’ secrets, Esther knows which buttons to push.

Producer Joel Silver regularly specialises in routine horror remakes, such as Collet-Serra’s previous ‘House of Wax’. But here, courtesy of an insidious screenplay by David Leslie Johnson, we are in more disturbing territory. More of a psychological thriller than a horror movie, ‘Orphan’ does contain explosions of shocking, though not especially graphic, violence. More frightening by far, however, are the subtly vicious mind-games, as Esther drives a wedge between her parents by insinuating that Kate is unhinged. There’s also a killer twist that forces the audience to rethink everything they’ve seen.

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|24
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Georgie

Orphaned from an East European institution Esther needs love and care to reintegrate herself into a caring family structure. She imagines the best when adopted by a teetering alcolholic stepmother and a loving but distant stepfather. Of the two existing siblings Max uses her lip reading skills to spy on her mother and secretly converses in an arcane language with Esther revealing dark secrets from the family's past. Esther's stepbrother, Danny, hoards porn in his tree house and shoots innocent birds. Esther is an accomplished pianist - this drives the stepmother mad with jealousy - as her drunkedness has ruined her own music teaching career. Esther's love is rejected by her stepfather and in a cataclysmic finale Esther is abandoned yet again by a stepmother as she pleads for a better chance at life.

Georgie

Orphaned from an East European institution Esther needs love and care to reintegrate herself into a caring family structure. She imagines the best when adopted by a teetering alcolholic stepmother and a loving but distant stepfather. Of the two existing siblings Max uses her lip reading skills to spy on her mother and secretly converses in an arcane language with Esther revealing dark secrets from the family's past. Esther's stepbrother, Danny, hoards porn in his tree house and shoots innocent birds. Esther is an accomplished pianist - this drives the stepmother mad with jealousy - as her drunkedness has ruined her own music teaching career. Esther's love is rejected by her stepfather and in a cataclysmic finale Esther is abandoned yet again by a stepmother as she pleads for a better chance at life.

Charlie

Orphaned from an East European institution Esther needs love and care to reintegrate herself into a caring family structure. She imagines the best when adopted by a teetering alcolholic stepmother and a loving but distant stepfather. Of the two existing siblings Max uses her lip reading skills to spy on her mother and secretly converses in an arcane language with Esther revealing dark secrets from the family's past. Esther's stepbrother, Danny, hoards porn in his tree house and shoots innocent birds. Esther is an accomplished pianist - this drives the stepmother mad with jealousy - as her drunkedness has ruined her own music teaching career. Esther's love is rejected by her stepfather and in a cataclysmic finale Esther is abandoned yet again by a stepmother as she pleads for a better chance at life.

Charlie

Orphaned from an East European institution Esther needs love and care to reintegrate herself into a caring family structure. She imagines the best when adopted by a teetering alcolholic stepmother and a loving but distant stepfather. Of the two existing siblings Max uses her lip reading skills to spy on her mother and secretly converses in an arcane language with Esther revealing dark secrets from the family's past. Esther's stepbrother, Danny, hoards porn in his tree house and shoots innocent birds. Esther is an accomplished pianist - this drives the stepmother mad with jealousy - as her drunkedness has ruined her own music teaching career. Esther's love is rejected by her stepfather and in a cataclysmic finale Esther is abandoned yet again by a stepmother as she pleads for a better chance at life.

Thomas Noctor

For once we all agree, this is an excellent and very under rated film! In the same spirit as The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, this little twisted bitch tries to turn a family against each other and plays her cards well. By the way the lead character is the spitting image of Gillian Anderson! Great flick!

Thomas Noctor

For once we all agree, this is an excellent and very under rated film! In the same spirit as The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, this little twisted bitch tries to turn a family against each other and plays her cards well. By the way the lead character is the spitting image of Gillian Anderson! Great flick!

precious

I saw this film at the vue cinema in shepeards bush. It was wicked but the ending could have been better, when is part two coming out.

Siobhan

i think that this was a very thrilling horror film that i really loved to watch,, i think the ending was very unpredictable and i think that this film was one of the best i have seen in a while,, definetley a muct see :)

Siobhan

i think that this was a very thrilling horror film that i really loved to watch,, i think the ending was very unpredictable and i think that this film was one of the best i have seen in a while,, definetley a muct see :)

Matt

Very good, and horrible, with sufficient restraint to engender a real sense of tension, this is a serious film, not just a gorefest.

madison

A entertaining horror movie which is at just the right level of scariness for people who handle 18 certificate horror films.

xXLottieXx

I don't even like horror films. . . and I thought this film was amazing! Some great jumpy moments, brilliant build up of tension throughout, awesome story line, fantastically portrayed by brilliant actors, great use of music, and an absolutely mind blowing twist at the end! I haven't seen a film combine child actors and horror - the end result being this good and refreshingly original - since Sixth Sense. Highly recommended!! P.S. DO NOT READ THE REVIEW OF 'flix' (below) IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE ENDING OF THIS FILM!!!

xXLottieXx

I don't even like horror films. . . and I thought this film was amazing! Some great jumpy moments, brilliant build up of tension throughout, awesome story line, fantastically portrayed by brilliant actors, great use of music, and an absolutely mind blowing twist at the end! I haven't seen a film combine child actors and horror - the end result being this good and refreshingly original - since Sixth Sense. Highly recommended!! P.S. DO NOT READ THE REVIEW OF 'flix' (below) IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE ENDING OF THIS FILM!!!

Chloee

i went to see this film with my bestnmate and it was really really good , keeps you at the end of your seat the whole way through ... the twist at the end is exelent ,,, 10 out of 10 :) x

Chloee

i went to see this film with my bestnmate and it was really really good , keeps you at the end of your seat the whole way through ... the twist at the end is exelent ,,, 10 out of 10 :) x

Pete

Dear kind parents beware who you let into the calm of your family home. Terrible danger befalls those who seek to offer love and care for Esther - she's not what she seems. Edgy plotting all the way through elevates this dark character play to original levels - a must see.

Pete

Dear kind parents beware who you let into the calm of your family home. Terrible danger befalls those who seek to offer love and care for Esther - she's not what she seems. Edgy plotting all the way through elevates this dark character play to original levels - a must see.

Amy

Orphan is a very well thought out film wich has you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole entire film. I do recomend this film as it is a guarenteed to entertain.

Amy

Orphan is a very well thought out film wich has you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole entire film. I do recomend this film as it is a guarenteed to entertain.