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Review of ‘The Orphan’

Jaume Collet-Serra returns to horror territory with a psychological thriller alongside Isabelle Fuhrman and Vera Farmiga.

    Already in his debut, House of Wax (2005), Jaume Collet-Serra made clear his passion and debt to Robert Aldrich’s grand guignol. What happened to Baby Jane? (1962) was explicitly cited in that youngster slasher magnified by a remarkable, Aldrichian, cruelty. The Orphan goes through the corrupt family gothic again, through hurtful secrets (and as majestically delusional and exploitative as those of a William Castle tape) and rotten family relationships. Esther, a cruel tale could be the title of this infernal drama, a terrifying dissection of the Electra complex.

    And it is that Esther, the 9-year-old orphan adopted by a broken marriage, seems to have emerged from a punished (and punishing) sickly peterpanesque world, claiming an impossible love, unpleasantly made up with the monstrous smile of a rejected girl. About make-up (the alcoholic mother who wants to redeem herself, the father tortured by repressed sexual taboos…) goes the film, an exercise in suspense in crescendo (despite unbalanced footage, especially in the medical scenes) that gives us the best party Aldrich’s orphan birthday party: Edward Albee crouched in Jennifer, that great comic strip by Bruce Jones and Berni Wrightson.

    For parents scared… of themselves

    The best: The seduction between Esther and her adoptive father

    The worst: He has 20 minutes of psychological chatter left over

    DATA SHEET

    Address: Jaume Collet-Serra Distribution: Peter Sarsgaard, Vera Farmiga, Jimmy Bennett, Isabelle Fuhrman, Lorry Ayers, Katherine Heigl Original title: The orphan Country: USA Year: 2009 Release date: 10-16-2009 Gender: Thriller, Horror Screenplay: David Johnson Duration: 123

    Synopsis: When Kate (Vera Farmiga) and John Coleman (Peter Sarsgaard) lose the baby they were expecting, everything comes crashing down around them. Her marriage falters and Kate’s mind is filled with nightmares, fears and fears. In an attempt to get back to normalcy, the couple heads to a local orphanage with the intention of adopting a child. There they feel enigmatically attracted to a girl with an angelic face named Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman). But things go wrong after the girl’s arrival at the Coleman house, where strange things begin to happen. When Kate begins to realize that Esther is hiding a terrible secret, she tries to find out what she is, but it may be too late…

    Source: Fotogramas

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