Somewhere in there has to be a decent little girl, right? John, Esther’s father seems to see it, but we know better, the poster told us so. Orphan has all the pieces for a creepy kid horror movie, but they never seem to come together. The movie relies far to heavily on the BOO! scare. It seems every other minute, the film tries throw something at you to make you jump whether it makes sense or not. The film quickly becomes a game of peek-a-boo. Is there someone behind that curtain or isn’t there? Well, you’re going to find out and when you do, the camera is going to jerk really fast and there is going to be a really loud noise, so no matter what you’re going to jump. Apparently, this is the only thing that constitutes a scare. The sad part is how much this takes away from what would have potentially made this film scary, a creepy sadistic little girl.
Orphan is the story of a family who adopts an eight year-old, who is then able to manipulate them all against each other. This storyline is almost identical to the 2007 film Joshua, which also stars Vera Farmiga as the mother, only this time she’s the one being alienated by the child. Farmiga plays Kate who is the only one able to see that Esther is up to something, but is met with much skepticism from her husband. With no support Kate is unable to protect her family. Esther’s ability to manipulate and inflict pain on Kate is very haunting, but the scares get too gimmicky and they loose their potential.
Somewhere in this movie is an effective horror flick, but like its title character there’s something definitely wrong with Orphan.