Written by David Johnson
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Vera Farmiga...Kate Coleman
Peter Sarsgaard...John Coleman
Aryana Engineer...Max Coleman
Jimmy Bennett...Daniel Coleman
CCH Pounder...Sister Abigail
A couple recovering from the infidelities (his), alcoholism (hers), and loss of an unborn child (theirs) that rocked their marriage to the core have decided to adopt a youngster as part of their road to recovery. A visit to the orphanage introduces them to the 9-year-old Russian immigrant Esther, and after the proper formalities, Esther becomes part of the family.
But like the tagline says: There's Something Wrong With Esther.
It's not just that she dresses like a Victorian era China doll, either. The girl has a dark and spotted past that makes one wonder why every time there's some sort of accident, Young Esther was there. A troubled child? Perhaps. A trouble chid? Definitely. And she's exhibiting a dangerous influence over her new sister Max, if not her suspicious brother Daniel.
I've seen Orphan twice now, once in the theater and once at the drive-in, and both times I walked away with the same dazed expression. Just how the hell did Dark Castle--the yahoos behind such celluloid crapfests as Gothika and Ghost Ship--finally pull their heads out of their collective asses and explode upon the scene with such an expertly crafted thriller? It hits all the right notes, is simultaneously heart-warming, heart-wrenching and heart-pounding, and equal parts creepy and sick.
The performances were dead on all around, even by the children (especially 11-year-old Isabelle Fuhrman in the lead, who was such a multi-faceted character that it was almost as if she was playing two roles; and Aryana Engineer as the deaf daughter Max, who is hearing-impaired in real life).
We've all seen the Killer Kid shtick before, from the Bad Seed to the Good Son, but what Orphan brings to the table is a mind-blowing twist ending that you honestly won't see coming (if it hasn't already been spoiled Sixth Sense-style by the time you see it.)
Call me over-zealous, but this movie is destined to become a cult favorite in the years to come.
Read more about it at the IMDB, save it at Netflix, or get off the couch and go see it already!
"That's the story of, that's the glory of love..."