Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Want to Sleep Next To Daddy.

MOVIE REVIEW - Orphan (2009)
Starring Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, and Isabelle Fuhrman
Written by David Johnson & Alex Mace
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

I saw this movie on Monday night with my friend J, who is my horror movie cohort. We have a horror movie routine that runs something like this:

Horror Movie X comes out
Horror Movie X is in theaters for several weeks, causing the fervor to die down
J and I go to the theatre by J's apartment, which serves alcohol and has plush seats
J and I buy a large drink called a Snake Venom, which is a theme drink made for the film Snakes on a Plane, which I have not seen, and which is made from Midori, Blue Caracao, copious rum, sour mix, Sprite, and OJ and comes in a sippy cup
Food is purchased
Seats are taken in the direct center of the theater

Monday was no different. I got my hot pretzel and side of cheese in a carrying box. J got a hot pretzel and a side of cheese with no carrying box. I told her she could put her cheese in my box. Laughter ensued.

So the movie...

This is a timeless tale of a couple, Kate & John Coleman (Farmiga & Sarsgaard) who already have two children of their own (Maxine, a deaf grade-schooler; and Daniel, a pre-teen boy with Jo-Bro hair). A third child died in utero, and to fill the void, they decide to adopt another child.

They end up with Esther (Fuhrman), who is allegedly from Russia, and whose previous adopted family, the Sullivans, allegedly died in an allegedly mysterious housefire. We all know going in, of course, that there's probably nothing mysterious about that housefire, and that the Colemans are likely to go the way of the Sullivans.

Of course, Dad Coleman doesn't see any of it coming, and Mom Coleman, who is a recovering alcoholic, is kind of on her own. She does a little digging and discovers Esther is something other than she seems to be.

I actually quite enjoyed this movie. I've seen its predecessors (The Good Son, The Bad Seed) and there's nothing surprising here, nothing that hasn't been seen, other than some paintings with hidden blacklight delights and a mildly disturbing scene where Dad wakes up and smells the Lolita-flavored coffee.

I won't say more without giving away too much, but if you like horror films, you'll find this a pleasant sit. The children are actually quite good and not the least bit annoying, which is always a plus. In fact, the deaf kid was probably the best actor in the movie, and she says not a peep. The dad is an idiot, but not unlikeable, and the mom was decent. Esther steals the thing, though - how she managed to be sinister using sign language still boggles the mind. With her prissy Victorian curls, silly little tea party dresses and ancient Bible, she's like Children of the Corn done Northern Style.

Bottom line: Plot holes? Yes. Decent acting? Yes. Excellent villain? Yes. Deaf children? Yes. Stupid dads? Yes. Stupid nuns? Yes. Go see it. Drink heavily.


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