I'll admit when I'm wrong. I was one of those people that went into this movie thinking I've seen it before. Technically, I have, the creepy kid, the few cheap scares, Vera Famiga having another crazy child. (anyone see 2007's "Joshua"?) The last hour of this film changed my mind and it's the reason I rank it up there with my favorites of the "creepy kid" genre.
'The Orphan' revolves around a copy played by Famiga and personal favorite Peter Sarsgaard. After the stillborn birth of their last child they decide to adopt, they already have 2 children. Dan (the always talented Jimmy Bennet) and nearly deaf Max (Aryana Engineer) they adopt little Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) she's a sweet, well-mannered Russian girl who loves music and dressing like a china doll. Complete with ribbons she always wears in her hair and around her neck. She seems sweet enough, but then curious things start happening around Esther.
The reason I enjoyed this film so much was because it takes you some place you think you've been before than totally changes it. The acting (which isn't always the best in horror films) really helped this one. Sarsgaard is great as always, I only wish that he would've been given more to do. Famiga is a talented actress and she shows it. The three children were great as well. I've always enjoyed Jimmy Bennet, from 'The Hearts Decietful Above All Things" to "South of Pico" to "Star Trek". The kid has obvious talent. Little Engineer was great as well, but who I was most impressed with was Fuhrman. Having only seen her in 'Hounddog' (Remember, that Dakota Fanning movie everyone prematurely freaked out about) I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought she nailed the Russian accent, although I know some thought it was over the top. She was just as good as the other kids playing sinister children (Linda Blair, Daveigh Chase, Harvey Stephens, Patty MacCormick, etc) She carried the movie on her little shoulders.
This is the only horror movie to open wide since May's "Drag me to Hell" and I think you should see it. I promise it's not just "same old same old" this movie has something special.
Recommended: Yes. 3/3 stars.
Memorable Quote: "I don't think Mommy likes me very much. It must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own." Esther - Isabelle Fuhrman (Just because that quote got everyone in a tiff because they thought it might actually scare people away from adopting.