Cast: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman
Synopsis: A family with a whole load of problems decides to bring another fucked up person into the family, adopting some crazy and violent Eastern European girl from an orphanage that clearly do not run background checks.
Welcome to my second Halloween-themed post. This time, I decided to watch a psychological horror and I opted for Orphan because I needed something to put me off having children for at least another five years. I think parenthood is something a lot of people are scared about. Lord knows I am. That’s 18 years of tantrums and back-talk, not to mention the first year or so when kids are just poop and vomit machines. I don’t think anyone ever feels ready or prepared for kids, but most people settle into it once it happens. You can never really know when you should have kids…unless you’re a woman in which case you should have a kid sometime roughly between the ages of 18 and 35. Clock’s a ticking ladies.
You can always tell when you shouldn’t have kids, though; when your marriage is falling apart due to an affair, when someone in the family is an alcoholic, or when both parents already have their hands full raising a disabled child. However, that doesn’t stop the fuck-tards in this movie from adopting another child. Seriously, no wonder the girl went bat-shit insane. OK, that’s unfair: the girl in this movie was already insane when she joined the family but the toxic environment couldn’t have helped any. The mother shouts at her deaf child for making too much noise. That’s fucked in the head. She is almost as bad as the mum in Home Alone.
I feel that Orphan makes light of quite difficult subject matter, namely troubled families and parent who fail to form an emotional attachment to their children. Also, there is a pretty harrowing miscarriage nightmare scene, which will make audience members very uncomfortable. It feels tasteless to deal with this subject matter and these themes in a horror movie, one that is designed to give audiences a cheap thrill and one that is frankly rather predictable. A hard-hitting drama would have been more appropriate than setting a horror film in a barren landscape to mirror the barrenness of Vera Farmiga’s womb.
Having said that, the tastelessness does not entirely ruin the movie. In fact, there are still many things to enjoy. For instance, the performances from the children were impressive and, collectively, they are probably the best child actors I have seen in a movie in long time. Fuhrman, in particular, stands out. She outperforms every adult and manages to grasp the subtleties of her character’s sinister and scheming nature and executes her shocking actions with a confidence that emphasises the brutality. Also, there are some scenes that are so uncomfortable that they become comedic and it’s always good to cut the tension with a bit of humour….then again, I don’t know if a child putting on a sexy dress and makeup to sleep with her adoptive father is supposed to be all that humorous.
- Good performances from the child cast.
- Some gruesome but well-executed violence.
- In soviet Russia, brick kill pigeon.
- “I’m not your fucking mommy!!!”
- Seriously, why did no-one do a background check on either the girl or the parents?
- Inappropriate and tasteless at times.
- Kind of puts you off adoption.
Orphan is a horror film for people who do not like horror films. There are no ghosts, serial killers, or monsters in this movie, just a sociopathic and psychologically disturbed girl from the Soviet bloc. It won’t give you nightmares. Still, prospective parents may want to give this film a miss as it may cause you to regret your decision to spawn…don’t get me wrong, you will regret it at some point but it’ll most likely be after the kid is born and you’ve gone months without a good night’s sleep. Children are such a blessing.