Posted by: Adam Charles
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, 2009
Written by David Johnson, Story by Alex Mace
Have you ever experienced a situation where your preconceptions about something are shattered, only to have the pieces put back together again with the cracks visible? Like walking into an elementary school classroom and hearing the teacher shout obscenities, only to find out later you just misheard the whole thing. That’s ORPHAN.
It puts you into a position of complete unease then goes down a more conventional path as if it felt a need to ease your discomfort. What starts out bold ends up familiar, and tame.
The orphan of the title is Esther, played by young Isabelle Fuhrman, who has been adopted by Kate and John Coleman (Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard) from an orphanage that specializes in caring for children that have trouble finding homes because they’ve gone past the age of preference for most adoptive parents. Kate and John have two children already, a son Daniel in his terrible tweens and adorable hearing impaired daughter Max. The family had a third child on the way, but a stillborn pregnancy left them devastated – in particular Kate who has yet to fully acclimate back to routine.