Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Orphan (2009)

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Writers: David Johnson, Alex Mace

Composer: John Ottman

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder, Jimmy Bennett, Margo Martindale, Karel Roden, Aryana Engineer, Rosemary Dunsmore, Jamie Young

More info: IMDb

Tagline: There's something wrong with Esther.

Plot: A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a 9-year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Cliches-ridden but not a bad horror/thriller.  Probably the best part of the picture is near the end when you see all of the black light paintings.  Those are deliciously grisly.  The gimmick is neat but that's about it.  It's well-made but it's just loaded with tropes you've seen dozens of times from other troubled child films from the past 60 years.  The wife discovers the truth, the husband thinks she's over-reacting, the more-than-obvious of who's going to die as soon as the characters are introduced, the baddie coming back from near death at the last moment to strike one more time, shit like that.  If the story weren't so by-the-numbers it'd be a much better film.   It's got a nice atmosphere but you need more substance in your stories to elevate pictures like this into a really good horror/thriller and this one doesn't do it.  I'm probably in the minority on this one as it seems the public at large praised it when it came out.  The Warner Bros. DVD has a nice anamorphic widescreen print but the only extra you get is in the way of deleted scenes and an alternate ending (4 minutes total).  The alternate ending is different but it's not a game-changer by any stretch. 

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