Orphan (2009)

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra


Orphan is a little too slick for its own good. It looks and feels stylistically like so many other films, which in turn made it difficult for me to really recall anything specific about the film other than the final act. I did remember that I was surprised at how much I liked it, so I gave it a re-watch.

It is much better than you might expect it to be. Isabelle Fuhrman, who plays the titular orphan, is phenomenal and really makes the film work. Vera Farmiga is great but I grew very tired of the frequent weeping sessions, which she tends to lean on a bit too much. Peter Sarsgaard is creepy, and not in a good way. More in the completely two-dimensional male ego way. There is a sort of weak backstory for the family that’s entirely unnecessary, not really used, and barely even touched on.

I wouldn’t consider this my first choice if I were digging through the archives looking for something to watch, but it isn’t half bad for a back-up plan. If it wasn’t for Isabelle Fuhrman’s performance, I’d pass this one over completely.

— B

My rating: 6/10

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