Orphan (2009) starring Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder, Jimmy Bennett, Margo Martindale, Karel Roden, Aryana Engineer directed by Jaume Collet-Serra Movie Review

Orphan (2009)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard in Orphan (2009)

Little Orphan Angry

Kate (Vera Farmiga - The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) is doing her best to hold things together for her children and her husband John (Peter Sarsgaard - An Education) but ever since the loss of their third child it has been tough be it from the nightmares or her battle to not drink. But they feel the time is right for them to adopt and so they go to the orphanage where they meet the pleasant Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) from Russia who seems an ideal match for their family. And so she is for a little why till something sets off something inside her and she turns evil, except it is only Kate who believes Esther is the cause of all the bad things befalling the family, even John questions whether Kate is cracking up.

I have a real conflict when it comes to "Orphan" because I am a huge fan of movies where someone knows something is happening yet no one believes them. There is something about that desperate situation where others think you are going mad which appeals to me and this side of "Orphan" is great. It is great thanks to the set up of Kate already being fragile to start with as she suffers the sort of nightmares which would lead many a person down the crazy path.

Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)

I am also a fan of movies with unsettling children and Esther is certainly an unsettling child if there ever was one. Right from our first meeting with her and the butter wouldn't melt in my mouth sweetness it just creeps me out as she is intentionally too perfect. And trust me when Esther snaps and turns you don't want to get on the wrong side of her.

But that leads me to my conflict as the horror sides of things spoils it for me because of two reasons. Firstly I do not dig movies which feature violence to children especially horror violence even when by the movie ends it tries to explain things. And when it isn't this sort of horror it tries to deliver jump scenes but it does so in a very manufactured manner that you can pre-empt them.

It is a shame as the casting is spot on with Vera Farmiga delivering the fragility of Kate perfectly whilst Peter Sarsgaard delivers the everyman aspect of John with a real naturalness. And then there is Isabelle Fuhrman who as I said is unsettling from the minute we meet her and really does bring out the horror side of the young girl brilliantly.

What this all boils down to is that "Orphan" is a good movie with a good look and a good cast and the basis of a good storyline. But the type of violence and the way it is delivered is not my sort of thing.