Orphan (2009) | This seriously twisted Bad Seed would give even Supernanny nightmares

Orphan (2009)

Meet Esther. She’s polite, intelligent, paints cute pictures and ticks all the right boxes – or so Kate and John think when they adopt her following the tragic loss of their third child. This being Bad Seed territory, you just know Esther’s not the little angel she pretends to be – and soon bad things start happening. The only witnesses to Esther’s ‘accidents’ are Kate and John’s kids, Max (who’s hearing impaired) and Daniel (who’s threatened with castration if he dares cross his new sibling).

Orphan (2009)

It’s the kids who are at the heart of this nerve-wracking thriller. While I had little sympathy for Kate (played by the always brilliant Vera Farmiga) and her ineffectual husband John (Peter Sarsgaard) – who selfishly see Esther as a replacement for their dead one – I was rooting for Max and Daniel all the way.

Orphan (2009)

Isabelle Fuhrman is chillingly effective as the seriously twisted Esther (she’d certain give Supernanny nightmares), while Jimmy Bennett provides solid support as troubled Daniel. But it’s Aryana Engineer who really shines. She’s just perfect as Max, whose inability to communicate makes her an unwilling accomplice in Esther’s acts of violence.

Orphan (2009)

Orphan is the kind of film that, even once you’ve seen the ending, you want to go straight back to the beginning to find out why you didn’t figure it out in the first place. While I won’t give away the shock twist, director Jaume Collet-Serra has obviously been inspired by Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and Dario Argento’s Profondo rosso.

Orphan screens in the UK on Film4, with the next screening on Friday 4 July at 11.10pm


About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on July 4, 2014, in Bad Seeds, Horror, Must See, Must-See and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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