Orphan: Move Over Regan, Esther’s Here

Though not in the same league or genre as The Exorcist, Orphan is as nightmarish and chilling, considering the perpetrator is a sweet 9-year old with a mind of a serial killer, whose disarming charm puts you off guard and deciding moves strike faster than lightning.

The loss of their unborn baby prompts John (Peter Saarsgard) and Kate (Vera Farmiga) to adopt a well-mannered Esther (Isabelle Furhman) from a children’s home. The seemingly ahead-for-her-age Esther gets along well with everyone, including her ‘siblings’ Daniel (Jimmy Bennet), an adolescent who can’t stand her, and Max (Aryana Engineer), who Esther takes under her wing by intimidating her. Everything looks perfect in the Coleman household until strange incidents occur, leading the trail always to Esther, which makes Kate look beyond her daughter’s facade and make an investigation of her own.

Orphan has its moments but is not an easy movie to watch. The opening scenes itself start with a disturbing visual of Kate’s miscarriage. Director Collet-Serra (House of Wax) leaves nothing to the imagination, so brace yourselves for gruesome scenes (though the plausibility of some could be questioned). The gripping thriller has a reasonably good climax but unfortunately also attempts to justify the little girl’s deeds.

The cast members perform ably. Isabelle Furhman possesses the requisites of her character, while Vera Farmiga, who also put up quite a performance in the Departed, is formidable. The others are not bad either.

Catch it know what the fuss is all about.

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