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Published on July 25th, 2009 | by simeon

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Orphan

By Amara

For the Coleman family the idea of adopting a beautiful little Russian orphan girl is no easy task, having overcome a number of heart breaking obstacles from alcoholism to the loss of a child. But Ester (Isabelle Fuhrman) seems to be a perfect fit for the family; she is independent, clever, and interested in the arts. When a series of dangerous yet untraceable events begin to occur whenever Ester is around, the Coleman’s wonder if their bad luck is over.

When I entered the theater I expected a creepy female version of Damien adorned in a lacey Victorian dress. But “Orphan” was surprising and interesting in ways than I ever could have expected. More like the 2002 film “He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not” than part of the “Omen” series, “Orphan” packs a punch… and a stab and a gunshot or two.

The full-bodied story starts straight from the films shocking beginning. Yes at times the plot does take some significant suspended belief, a recently recovering alcoholic adopting a child, for instance.

But “Orphan” is an emotional roller coaster splicing unexpected comedic moments with stabbing suspense.
The mix of hauntingly familiar music and color filled imagery make this not just another suspense film but a more artistic take on the genre. Film themes range from love, trust, and childhood, to the ongoing questions of good and evil.

Additionally reoccurring use of color, sex, and connection to family are well woven into the film. Not to mention the use of classic horror elements such as the creepy tree house used in conjunction with newer style choices such as some subtitling and scare turned laughter moments.

A thrilling and full-bodied story “Orphan” is a chilling tale with an interesting while not entirely believable plotline. People will talk about this one.

The DVD release offers sharp sound and picture quality and numerous bonus features including an alternate ending to the film.
3.75/5


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