Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Orphan: DVD Review

Orphan: DVD Review

Orphan
Released by Warner Home Video
Rating: R16

It appears the scary kids are back.

Kate (Vera Farmiga) and John (Peter Saarsgard) are two parents trying to put the pieces back of their lives after losing a third child - however, the strain is showing as Kate also battles with going back on the booze and blaming herself for her youngest daughter Max's deafness after an incident involving a lake near their home.
So as they try to get back on track, they head to the local orphanage where they're immediately charmed by 9year old Russian girl, Esther.
Esther becomes a part of their lives - and splits the younger kids - with the elder Daniel wary and Max (Aryana Engineer) being overly welcoming and in thrall of her new sister.
However, it soon becomes clear that Esther is not all she seems&.
For the majority of its (slightly long) two hour running time, Orphan is racked full of suspense - with the sense of foreboding quite powerful at times.
It's quite an honest portrait of a family trying to get back to a normal life - both Farmiga and Saarsgard are compelling and realistic in their portrayal of a normal couple who are stretched to the limits by what's happened.
Of the younger kids, newcomer Aryana Engineer gives an impressive debut performance as Max (traumatized and empowered in equal measures)- but it's Isabelle Fuhrman who provides the requisite spooks and gives you the creeps as her Esther skulks around on screen.
Some will find the brooding build up a little slow in places - and at times the soundtrack pulls no punches in screeching its terrifying intentions (not always to the best effect).
Unfortunately after the end twist sucker punch, Orphan sadly has nowhere left to go and descends into a conclusion mired in clich├ęd horror films - but for shocks and moments where you find your nails digging into the cinema chair, Orphan delivers the necessary goods.
Extras: Additional scenes including an alternate ending don't add too much to the package - but at least there's something.

Rating: 6/10

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