I had all sorts of scathing things to say about how predictable this movie was and how it telegraphed its every move, but the ending was sort of neat. So I’ll say a bunch of scathing things and one or two nice things. This is a cookie cutter tale of a family who’s had a stillborn baby, but adopt Esther, 9 year old girl, because they have so much love to give, and their two existing kids apparently already have enough love. As the movie unfolds details are disseminated that completely give away future plot points. Tree house? Someone’s falling out of that thing. Iced over pond in winter that youngest daughter almost drowned in? Someone’s going through that ice. There wasn’t anything specifically wrong with the movie other than the fact that I’ve seen it all before. Not surprisingly the family’s son picks up on the new member of the family’s weirdness and is scolded by the parents. Then Esther successfully pits the parents against one another. It’s all very predictable save for the final twist, which I didn’t see coming. I could identify all the clues as they were revealed, but I didn’t put them together. If Orphan were 90 minutes long, it might have been more fun. As it stands it feels like a really long two hours.
Esther is played by Isabelle Furman, who was 12 at the time. Her performance pretty much kicks ass. Also, Aryana Engineer who played the hearing-impaired daughter Max gave a pretty good, wide eyed performance. Usually kids in movies irk me, this time only the brother was boringly standard child actor fare.
You could do worse than Orphan, but be warned, there’s very little in the way of new ground broken here.