Released in 2009, Orphan is a tremendous, edge-of-your-seat thriller/horror movie. With a premise that sounds kind of ridiculous at first, the fantastic acting and amazing direction truly make this a movie that keeps you invested right until every end. We even got an unexpected prequel called Orphan: First Kill that was released in 2022 which is an even better movie.
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The Movie Review
The movie is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra who before this did the far better than people give it credit for remake of The House of Wax. The story of Orphan is about the Coleman family who is really struggling after the stillborn death of their child. They have two other children, but this has really strained things for the couple.
The couple are husband John who is played by Peter Sarsgaard, and wife and mother Kate who is played by the incredible Vera Farmiga who you may know better from The Conjuring series. Kate has had trouble in the past with alcohol and John is very distant, they do also have two children.
They decide that they still want a third child and this is where they make the decision to adopt and they adopt a little 9-year-old girl from Russia called Esther. Pretty much right from the start we can see that there is something off about Esther and she soon starts to manipulate things with the family and cause real trouble.
This is not a spoiler as it is well known, but Esther is actually a full-grown woman and not a 9-year-old girl! Esther has a condition that keeps her looking like a child and she uses this as a way to get into a family and get what she wants. The performance here by Isabelle Fuhrman is truly something amazing, even more so when you consider how young she was here.
As a premise, I know that it does not sound like it would work, but it does work and it works incredibly well. You truly do feel for Kate who is the one to realize before anyone else that there is something not right with Esther. The two kids also realize that she is not what she seems, actually, all of the child actors in this movie do an amazing job.
What I think Orphan does really well is keeping you guessing all the way to the end. Will Esther get found out or will she be able to manipulate things and get what she wants? It is done amazingly well and Esther despite her childlike appearance is a truly frightening and dangerous killer that has you on edge each time she is on the screen.
I have watched this movie more than once and I have always been entertained. This is just a really good, well-acted, and fun thriller that will hook you right until the end. I will say that once you have watched this movie, make sure you go and watch the prequel, Orphan: First Kill as that is even better in my opinion!
- Esther truly is an amazing character
- I am a big fan of Vera Farmiga and she is great in this role
- You are never sure if Esther’s plan is going to work out
- Isabelle Fuhrman is an amazing and very talented actress
- Some may find some of the things that Esther says and does rather uncomfortable
- As great as this movie is, I do think the prequel is a better movie