Orphan

PhotobucketWho knew that back in 1956 when little Patty McCormack played Rhoda Penmark in The Bad Seed, that it would lead to an entire genre, the “evil child” film?  What once was a uniquely deviant idea has now become the norm.  Indeed, these days whenever a youngster starts to exhibit some antisocial tendencies, we expect them to be the devil incarnate.  The trick is to bring innovation to the genre.  Young actress Isabelle Fuhrman is suitably creepy as 9 year old Esther.  She’s good.  At home, her adoptive parents also have a deaf-mute daughter named Max and her relationship with Esther is unexpectedly touching at first.  Their friendly bond as supportive sisters suffering from being different, is a detail that could have been explored with more depth.  Perhaps she is just misunderstood?  Later, when she attends school and attracts the nasty taunts of a fellow student, the script plants the malevolent notion that we might actually want little Esther to take revenge on this nasty classmate.  That’s an interesting concept.  Sadly, the plot ignores those ideas and deteriorates into formula.   Esther illogically turns on every person who has ever supported her, making her motivation nonsensical.  The story is even plagued by several “Surprise!  It’s not over yet” endings. By the time this overlong movie tediously concludes, we’ve already ceased to care. [Footnote: Star Vera Farmiga also played the mother of an evil child in the similarly themed Joshua in 2007, a superior film]

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One Response to “Orphan”

  1. Yeah, it had a lot of promise, and it started out real good, but come on……..add something new. First half: great, eerie, creative. Second half: standard, predictable and a never-ending death. It’s like they gave up, halfway through. Lazy.

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