Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Orphan - Horror Film Review

Last Sunday I went to Cineworld and saw 'Orphan'. I really wasn't expecting anything good, as it looked just like another 'creepy child' film of which theres been so so many (The Ring, The Omen etc). The trailer wasn't particularly memorable. In my bedroom I had put up a mini poster of 'Orphan', I had resolved to take it down if the film was any worse than average. The poster is still up, the film defied my expectations and was really quite good.

The films plot concerns a seemingly happily married couple (played by Peter Sarsgaard, and Vera Farmiga) who have decided to adopt a young child after their 3rd baby was stillborn. They visit an orphanage and are delighted to find an intelligent, articulate, polite young 9 year old Russian girl (played by Isabelle Fuhrman) to adopt.

At first it seems she is a great addition to the family, but bad things start happening to people around her, and it starts to seem like there might be a more sinister side to the girl. Her previous foster family all died in a mysterious fire, which starts to seem less and less like a tragic accident. To give anymore away would spoil the film, it is definitely much better to watch not knowing what is going to happen. One of the tag lines for the film is 'you'll never guess her secret', and the secret really was an original twist which is believable within the context of the film.

The film looks fantastic, the lighting for the film is very well done. Despite being a 15 the film is quite violent and bloody. Bones get broken, blood gets spilt with really wince inducing special effects. The films tone is quite creepy, Isabelle Fuhrman is fantastic as the Russian girl. Most child actors are utterly terrible (eg: the entire child cast of the Harry Potter films) but she pulls off the role really well with fantastic acting both physical and verbal which really makes the film all the more creepy. The last section of the film is a real thrill ride.

The only problems with the film are that first of all there are too many anti-climatic scares. One memorable instance is when the mum is looking in her fridge. As she goes to shut the fridge door the music goes crazy, and you fully expect to get a cheap 'jump' scare with something leaping out at her from behind the fridge door, but instead there is nothing and the music fades. It's effective once as a trick for the audience, but it happens a number of times through the film. The last 1/4 of the film goes on a bit too long, it kept feeling like it was going to end and then carried on, so could have maybe done with some cutting.

The film is really good though, and recommended. You will be creeped!


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