Peter Sarsgaard and Vera Farmiga star as a couple who adopt a 9-year-old girl after losing their own baby ... then slowly discover their new daughter is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be. The tragic loss of their unborn child has devastated Kate (Vera Farmiga--The Departed) and John (Peter Sarsgaard--Rendition, Kinsey), taking a toll on both their marriage and Kate's fragile psyche as she is plagued by nightmares and haunted by demons from her past. Struggling to regain some semblance of normalcy in their lives, they decide to adopt another child. At the local orphanage, both John and Kate find themselves drawn to a young girl named Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) ... but Esther is not what she appears to be. Kate desperately tries to get John and others to see past Esther's sweet facade. Now, as her warnings go unheeded until it may be too late -- for everyone.]]>
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Isabelle Fuhrman is the "orphan"; that is, 9-year-old Esther who seems a little strange and morbid despite the adopted parents instance attraction to her. When violent events began taking place that are connected to Esther, the parents began to suspect that there is more to the little girl than appears.
Fuhrman definitely was the right choice for the role of Esther; she has an attractive face and her youth doesn't strain her acting abilities which were very convincing. I won't lie though; the movie was very grisly, and even I had to turn away from the screen a few times. Even the twist ending really shocked me, and I'm not easily shocked. I really think that despite how it looks, give it a shot, because it wasn't a bad little movie. It was well acted, well thought out, and seriously creepy.
Esther is played by Isabelle Furhman, a twelve-year-old playing a nine-year-old, although age doesn't count much here. She speaks with a flawless Russian accent and masterfully runs the emotional gamut between sweet and sadistic. Esther is a consummate manipulator, able to advertise herself as the nicest girl you'd ever want to raise as your own before switching gears and making those who stand in her way suffer. We first see her sitting all alone in the classroom of an orphanage, painting a colorful and happy picture that tells a story. Her dress is nice, if a little old fashioned, and the ribbons she has tied around her neck and wrists make her look like a princess. When she smiles, it's not the toothy perfection of a mouthwash commercial but a real girl's smile--so cute and innocent and loveable.Read more ›
"Orphan" is NOT a horror film. It's more along the lines of a SUSPENSE THRILLER. When I think of horror films, I think of sex-crazed teenagers being sliced up one-by-one by a machete-wielding maniac (Jason Voorhies, Freddy Krueger, Micheal Myers, etc.). The only real weapons wielded here is just a hammer, a knife, and a .38-caliber pistol. You think scary when it comes to horror films and "Orphan" isn't scary. Has some frightful moments, yes, but scary? Wishful thinking!
Set in the winter-bound parts of Conneticut & Canada, the story centers on the Coleman family: Kate (Vera Farmiga), a Yale University music teacher recovering from alcoholism and bouts of depression after having a stillborn from her third pregnancy; John (Peter Sarsgaard), an architech whose nice guy persona overshadows his increasing issues with Kate that led to past affairs; Max (Aryana Engineer), their deaf 5-year-old daughter who communicates through sign language and their oldest son Daniel (Jimmy Bennett), who feels bitterly neglected & increasingly isolated from his parents. As a way of coping with the loss of their would-be 2nd daughter, Jessica, and to amend their existence as a family, Kate & John make a fateful decision to adopt a young girl at the local orphanage.Read more ›
Farmiga and Sarsgaard star as Kate and John Coleman, a successful and loving (or so it seems at first) couple with two children and the desire to adopt another when Kate's third child is stillborn. They believe that they've found the perfect child in Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman), a nine-year-old Russian orphan who is sugary sweet, highly intelligent, and very artistic.
Once Esther arrives at the Coleman home, she is immediately met with resistance by the Coleman's son, Daniel (Jimmy Bennett), and takes their deaf daughter, Max (Aryana Engineer) under her protective wing. She is also teased at school for her dresses and the Bible she carries with her.
Slowly the viewer sees sweet Esther turn into a very dark and sinister little girl. Not only does she seek out revenge on those who pick at her, but she begins to manipulate Max and force her to help out with her dirty work.
Esther also opens old wounds from Kate and John's past and drives a wedge between them. Kate becomes suspicious of Esther and seeks out more information on her newly adopted daughter. The head mistress of the orphanage, Sister Abigail (CCH Pounder), tries to help Kate and becomes a target for Esther as well.
As Esther's dark past is revealed, her actions become more wicked and, in some cases, fatal. It is at this point that the film begins to rely on well-worn cliches that have been trod out in a number of other films about evil children, particularly "The Good Son" and "The Omen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Should have read the description better, I did not like the movie. But I passed it on to a friend and he loved itPublished 3 days ago by Sande
This is a GREAT movie. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and lets say sometimes LOOKS can be deceiving because towards the ending of this movie you will be "BLOWN... Read morePublished 10 days ago by The Ring Man Here 2 See
This held my attention and has a good twist, so I gave it 4 stars because I'll watch it again.Published 10 days ago by LISA LOU
I've seen this movie three times and it's still interesting to me. A must watchPublished 12 days ago by Gen
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Thoughts on alternate ending?||
The alternate ending began right after the greenhouse scene: after jumping through the roof, Kate got up, took Max, and they fled the house. Then Esther regained consciousness and, instead of going after Max and Kate, she decided to go back into her little girl persona. Enter the police, shining... Read More
Dec 2, 2009 by JR Corry | See all 13 posts
|The 20-Song Playlist Mentioned In My Review Can Be YOURS!||
I think it's cool you've made this mix CD, and I'll definitely be making a copy for myself!...
Just to let you know, I made a comment on your review of Orphan, so please feel free to read it! :)
Thanks a lot,
Jun 22, 2010 by M. Sorge | See all 2 posts
|I'm curious: Why is the ending so surprising.......... possibily||
Because you really do not see that coming. There are small clues but you only notice them after you know the end. It's a pretty good twist, and a pretty good movie too.
Jul 29, 2009 by Stotan | See all 7 posts
If you ordered the Blu-Ray then yes, a digital copy should have been included. When one opens the case, the disc with the movie is on the right side and the digital copy disc is on the left, with an instructional insert placed over the disc that gives you the special code. I'm assuming that in... Read More
Jan 9, 2010 by eric_f | See all 4 posts
|Chiller 13/scariest movies of the decade?||Be the first to reply|
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