Orphan (Jaume Collet-Serra, 2009)

The theme of devilish behaviour under the disguise of innocent face children have been brilliantly executed in the past. This latest thriller is produced by Dark Castle Entertainment, which specialize in making horror movies such as House of Haunted Hill (Malone, 1999) and The Reaping (Hopkins, 2007). It focus on a young married couple, Kate (Vera Farmiga) and John Coleman (Stellan Sarsgaard). They are rebuilding their frail relationship after a series of setbacks. Such as very early on we find out Kate suffered from delivered stillborn baby recently and still haunted by it. Despite they have had two children, they decided to adopt another to ease the pain of losing their 3rd child.

Enter the matured looking 9 years old orphan, Esther, who is more than meet the eyes. From the movie trailer and poster we just know something is not quite right about Esther the orphan. But nothing prepares us for her wickedness, as she turn from a nice little girl to manipulative psychopath with a terrifying secret. That secret turns out to be a chilling sucker punch to say the least. I will not disclose the twist of course, you will be guessing about Esther’s origin, be it supernaturally or “realistically”. I would say the twist surrounding Esther's origin is plausible, at maybe 1 out of 50 million chances, yeah right!

It is absolutely essential for evil child character to be portrayed remarkably; else the movie loses its appeal. This is where Orphan shines the most. There is not one shred of doubt that the brightest star in Orphan is in the shape of 12 years old actress Isabelle Fuhrman. Her debut performance is convincing, matured and most of all, more terrifying than Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers roll into one.

This scary-fest add nothing groundbreaking to the horror/thriller genre (nowadays who does?). Despite some cliché-ridden bit and a little too cardboard-ish husband and wife characters for my liking, I managed to soak up the scary atmosphere at some vital moments. Orphan the movie certainly hits my primal fear, the thought of bringing home some evil adopted child.

1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List

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