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ORPHAN (2009) *** ½

A couple (Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard) still grieving over the loss of their unborn baby, decide to adopt a little girl named Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) from an orphanage.  At first, Esther is polite and charming (despite the fact that she dresses like one of the Waltons and wears some weird ribbons around her neck and wrists) but she soon reveals herself to be a manipulative, homicidal, kill-crazy, bat shit insane, loony tunes, psychopath.  Whenever Esther’s perfect family looks like it will crumble, she grabs the nearest hammer/Exact-O razor/kitchen knife to whoever is fucking up her shit.


In short, this Esther chick could give Damien the Antichrist a run for his money.


Orphan is one Hell of a nasty, mean-spirited, and sadistic horror movie.  This movie perpetually goes THERE.  You’ll be sitting there thinking to yourself “Man, this movie isn’t going to go THERE is it?”, then it does.  Repeatedly.  Again and again.  Nothing is sacred.  Juicy bloody baby fetuses?  Yup.  Extreme bone breaking that would make Annie Wilkes cringe?  Uh-huh.  Continuous displays of violence and cruelty being inflicted on and by little children?  You got it, dude.


And I haven’t even told you what Esther’s big “secret” is yet.  (No, I wouldn’t dream of spoiling a secret this F’ed in the A.)  Let’s just say that when you do find out, you’ll probably shout out loud, “OH NO THEY DIDN’T!”


If you are a parent, this movie will put you through the wringer.  Being a new father myself probably made Orphan a queasier experience for me than it would’ve been in my salad days.  Women who are pregnant and/or have kids will definitely not want to see this movie at all.  It will definitely make you feel icky all over.  But a good horror movie should make you squirm in your seat.  Orphan certainly does that.  In spades.  Sure, it may go on too long (the flick runs just over two hours) and perhaps has one too many fake endings, but there is no denying that this is one damned unsettling little fucked-up piece of exploitation cinema.


Farmiga (who is steadily making Killer Kid Movies her niche after this and Joshua) gets the best line of the movie when she tells Esther off once and for all:  “I’m not your fucking mommy!”


Final Verdict:  Three and a Half Stars.  That’s One Star for each shower you’ll have to take after watching this flick.


AKA:  Esther.



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