Synopsis: In Orphan, a woman suspects her newly adopted daughter has been causing numerous strange occurrences.
Release Date: July 24, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Horror, Thriller
Orphan progresses at a very slow pace but once you get to the third act it is a whirlwind ride of revelations that will have you muttering to your companion something along the lines of “what the ?!?!”. For all it lacks, in the beginning, Orphan surely makes up for in the end, you just have to be patient. For the secret Esther, the adopted daughter, holds is one that is highly unlikely you will guess until the moment it is carefully revealed.
Orphan belongs to Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther. It is amazing how well she portrays the sweet and gentle mannered orphan only to turn in an instant into a sick and horribly disturbed girl. All it takes from her is a glance, a stare, or a word uttered so perfectly pitched to have you cringing at the sight of her and her actions. The creepiness she gives off as the film progresses gives life to the otherwise stale story.
The greatest use of cinematography techniques in Orphan is what may be called the watchful eye shot. Throughout the movie the camera is positioned at a wide angle facing a character, be it from behind or in front, with deep focus. It resembles a fishbowl effect and as the viewer, you feel that the camera is watching like it is a character in the story. This creates an ominous feeling for the viewer and adds to the tense situations being portrayed in the story. The ‘eye’ of the camera can only be construed as the eye of Esther as she watches each individual, carefully waiting for her moment to strike.
Orphan is not entirely scary, but more disturbing and shocking. There are moments of fright, but mostly out of the sheer shock you have in believing a girl could cause such harm, and perform such evil deeds as Esther does throughout the movie. The absolute seriousness becomes more than you can handle causing an uncomfortable laughter to arise. In the end, you are scared, at the sheer possibility that someone like Esther could exist in the world.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Jaume Collet-Serra
- Screenwriter: Alex MaceVera Farmiga (Kate Coleman)
- Cast: Vera Farmiga (Kate Coleman), Peter Sarsgaard (John Coleman), Isabelle Fuhrman (Esther), CCH Pounder (Sister Abigail)
- Editor(s): Tim Alverson
- Cinematographer: Jeff Cutter
- Production Designer(s): Tom Meyer
- Country Of Origin: USA, Canada