HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Orphan Little Child Running Wild
Year: 2009
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder, Jimmy Bennett, Margo Martindale, Karel Roden, Aryana Engineer, Rosemary Dunsmore, Jamie Young, Lorry Ayers, Brendan Wall, Genelle Williams
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Kate Coleman (Vera Farmiga) is heavily pregnant and going into labour, so it's lucky her husband John (Peter Sarsgaard) has taken her to the hospital. However, not anywhere near as lucky is when she begins bleeding profusely and when she is taken into the operating theatre the staff have to break it to her through her incredible pain that the baby has died - and push the infant's body into her face to show her. But they didn't really do that, Kate was having one of the nightmares that she has been suffering, and they have only increased with her anxiety at John's suggestion that they adopt... but that's nothing compared to what happens when they do.

Orphan was one of those evil child horrors that intermittently appeared on the movie radar, and had done ever since The Bad Seed had been such a hit back in the nineteen-fifties. Here our creepy kid was one Russian orphan called Esther, played with scary self-assurance by Isabelle Fuhrman, who Kate and John discover when visiting a children's home with a view to adopting, something Kate needs a lot of coaxing to do. But John is charmed by the little girl, who seems like a lonely soul in need of a good home; to say this probably put the case for adoption back about a century would be putting it mildly if anyone took it seriously.

Thanks to that ending which became slightly infamous after enough people had opted to give the film a chance, it could be that Orphan seemed better than it was, proving that maxim of Roger Corman's that all you needed for this kind of thing was a strong opening and a strong ending, thereby letting the rest take care of itself. Yet while this does grow very silly indeed, it is presented with such a straight face that you're willing to go along with it, especially as when you find out what is really going on it is a genuine surprise as even if you had an inkling of what was happening you wouldn't expect the film to actually go through with that. Not after its would-be chilling build up at any rate.

Naturally, movies like this have a campy quality often foisted upon them by a section of the audience unwilling to take the story in the spirit of horror, but there are signs that the makers were aware that they were skirting close to being ridiculous. Certainly there were a few good laughs after we're assured that the little girl is not one to be felt sorry for, as up till the halfway mark (and this is a surprisingly long film for a shocker such as this), we're uncertain if we should be sad for Esther and her idiosyncratic mannerisms that make her the target of bullies. After she deliberately pushes one of those bullies off the top of a slide at a playpark, we start to wonder if we haven't been taken in by her apparent innocence as much as everyone else has.

Well, everyone except Kate, who after being as nice as nice can be to the child, begins suspecting that all is not right here. She's not as suspicious as her two kids, the deaf mute girl Max (Aryana Engineer), and the older Daniel (Jimmy Bennett), both of whom see evidence of their new "sister" acting strangely: seeing a nine-year-old girl commit murder can bring out a degree of doubt in a person as to her moral character. But this is a film about manipulation, and our diminutive villainess - superbly played or superbly directed, or maybe both - can wrap people around her little finger to persuade them innocents she does not like are in fact as wicked as she is in actuality. It's a slow ascent to the lunatic revelation at the finale, but worth sticking with as its cheek is quite something, and if it then turns into every slasher movie ending you've ever seen, you do admire the gall of the enterprise. Music by John Ottman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2608 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: