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Young mother Kate Coleman is devastated by the loss of her baby (and her inability to conceive again). She and her husband John decides to adopt nine-year-old Esther, in order to fill the empty space in their broken hearts. However, little did they know the child they adopted would turn out to be anything other than what they had hoped for.
: 11 Aug 2009
: Drama / Horror / Mystery
2 Hours 3 Minutes
: WARNER BROS
, Vera Farmiga, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jimmy Bennett
: Jaume Collet-Serra
Nur Safina Othman
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Under fire from orphanage organisers and similar activist groups in North America, the unexpected horror delight "Orphan" has even gotten calls for a worldwide boycott against it. That's because it apparently puts kids from orphanages in a bad light.
You may have your own predispositions about what this movie is about, from its trailers, cast interviews and that 'evil' poster. However, the movie is precisely the sort that surprises you when you least expect it to, starting with the excellent opening about Kate Coleman (Vera Farmiga) and her range of problems like alcholism, miscarriage and also a deaf-mute daughter. It follows that her husband John (Peter Sarsgaard) still wants another child and thus they adopt Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) after a trip to the orphanage. It transpires that Kate and John might have just made the greatest mistake in their lives.
The most amazing thing about "Orphan" is that it's nothing like the first movie anyone would associate it with - "The Omen" - in the sense that it deceptively has no mystical or supernatural elements to it. Although we get the same demonic-looking child, it's really about a psycho kid. Amazing then, that "Orphan" manages to be an effective horror movie without any outrageous make-up effects and otherworldly themes. It's a mysterious little package with a solid story and some great acting, especially from 12-year-old Isabelle Fuhrman who gives an excellent turn as the demonic Esther. At the drop of a hat, she's able to switch from a cute cuddly girl to a female version of Damien ("The Omen" movies).
Every bit as exciting as you'd like, "Orphan" will keep you glued to your seats to find out the shock ending. You really want to know who Esther really is - and nobody will fault you for that if you take this reviewer's word for it.
Cinema Online, 18 August 2009
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