***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
Orphan - 1 out of 5
One thing I've learned from my years on this Earth is that there will always be a market for horror films. They don't have to be good in anyway for them to make even the smallest amount of money because horror flick fanboys are, without a doubt, the most forgiving fanboys around. It doesn't matter if the story is weak, the characters are lame and the scares are nonexistent, horror flick fanboys will pay their hard earned dollars to watch it.
This movie, without a doubt, is one of those really bad horror films that, for reasons I will never understand, fanboys paid money to watch...and some even liked it. But for me, there wasn't a single thing working in this movie.
The story is weak beyond comparison as it is plagued with aspects that make no sense. The movie is about a young, well off couple who, after losing their third child during pregnancy, they decide to adopt but it turns out the kid is a homicidal maniac. Right off the bat, I have a problem with the story. I understand the couple is upset over the death of their baby and they have love they want to give but the problem for me is this: the couple already has two kids. Why do they need a third? Can't they shower their love and affection that is seemingly as deep as their bank account on the two they already have? Kids are not Pokemon, this couple doesn't need to collect them all.
The story continues to weaken as it breaks into the usual horror/slasher film cliche and it builds to one of the worse twist endings I've ever seen in horror film history. Another problem with the story is the fact that Esther (the adopted child) is actually considered a threat. I'm sorry, she's a puny little thing, how can she take out anyone who is larger than her? The filmmakers try to alleviate this by stacking the deck in Esther's favor however, it still doesn't change the fact she's tiny and the deck is never stacked enough in her favor for the adults around her to NOT just destroy her.
On top of the story problems, this film uses every horror film cliche in the book. And because the story is so weak, these cliches actually turn out to be a source of humor for a movie that is SUPPOSED to be dark and scary. For example, you know how in scary movies the filmmakers build tension by focusing on random things in a person's environment and over-emphasises the thing's sound to make it creepy? You know, like when someone hears a sound and walks incredibly slowly towards it and, as they do, the camera will cut to a creaking door the character passes or their feet coming down on the moaning floor, etc. Well, this movie does that but does it in a completely hysterical way because it happens in a playground. As the victim wanders around the playset, worried that Esther is coming after her, the filmmakers focus on the chains on the swing and slides. If that wasn't funny enough, the cheap scares that happen during this sequence isn't your typical cat jumping out of a closet, instead it's kids running around and laughing. Yes, nothing is scarier than children having fun. It was VERY hard to take this entire scene seriously. In fact, I spend the entire time laughing hysterically at the pathetic attempt to be scary.
Even the acting is pathetic. The children in this film aren't convincing at all but that's not surprising because it's nearly impossible to find child actors who are decent but the true crime comes from the adults who have spend years perfecting their craft. Peter Sargaard continues his track record of phoning in his acting but Vera Farmiga, who plays the mother, is the biggest crime in the acting department this movie commits. The 2nd hour of the movie, all she does is scream, cry and run but in the 1st hour she hams it up like someone told her that she could win an Academy Award for this role. It's like Sargaard and Farmiga decided to be opposite ends of the acting spectrum.
All in all, this movie is just one big pathetic attempt. It does absolutely NOTHING right.