A Review by Jason L. King
Starring: Peter Saarsgard, CCH Pounder
Directed by: Jaume Collette-Serra
Rated: R for disturbing violent content, some sexuality and language
Movie Released: 2009
There is something wrong with Esther. If you are like me as you stare at the DVD cover you wonder to yourself, just what is wrong with Esther and why do I suddenly care? Is this the sequel or even a re-imagining of The Good Son with the Culkin kid? Is this worth my time? What time period is Esther from? Should I watch this? So many questions, and today I am going to answer most of them, except the twist ending.
Esther looks like your quiet typical, very reserved young girl. The orphanage said she arrived from Russia, and has an extraordinary skill for the arts. While the others play, Esther loves to draw and paint. John and Kate fall in love with Esther from the moment they meet her. As the adoption papers are signed and Esther heads to her new home, it takes some time for her new brother and sister to warm up to her. Her new brother hates her, mostly because she dresses strangely in ribbons and dresses all the time. This causes his friends at school to make fun of him for his oddball sibling. Her new baby sister, is deaf, but seems to warm up early on to Esther’s seemingly kind ways. Suddenly problems seem to appear, and Esther turns out to not quite be the perfect little girl John and Kate thought she was.
I’ll start out by saying that I knew the story of Esther and the twist ending before I watched the movie. In fact, it was the twist that made me give this film a shot. In this review, I will not be giving you the ending, it is up to you to find it on other sites if you truly want to know it. I will say because I knew the ending, it made the sheer and udder stupidity of this movie bearable.
Orphan is a BAD movie. It is a plot hole riddled, worthless pile of drivel that probably isn’t worth much more than the celluloid it is printed on. Just when you think the plot couldn’t get any more ridiculous, and Esther couldn’t get any weirder or more horrific, it does. She threatens to kill her family, burns down a tree house, and forces the deaf girl to read lips for her like her little slave girl. The reasons for this are never truly explained although they give you a twist that is unlike any other twist I have ever seen in a film of this caliber.
Things that are good in this movie- well I am struggling. I guess Peter Saarsgard in the fatherly role is kind of fun. As fellow Box Office Boredom.com writer The Mike put it, no one in Hollywood can do passive-stoic quite the way Saarsgard does. However, his passive-stoic approach as a father and a husband grows old through the movie, especially as everyone begins to tell him they think something is wrong with Esther.
I can’t suggest Orphan. I laughed at a lot of it, even though it wasn’t meant to be funny. The film is so over the top and so silly it’s hard not to. My suggestion to my reader, feel free to spoil the twist for your self. If the twist intrigues you and you want to see how they pull it off, go rent Orphan. I can’t say you will be glad you did, but you will have one heck of a good time laughing at the premise of this film.