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Mr. Blonde Says ORPHAN Is A Uni-Balled Horror Movie Which Evokes DIFF'RENT STROKES, But It's Still Pretty Enjoyable!!

Merrick here...
Mr. Blonde sent in this review of ORPHAN from director Jaume Collet-Serra, who brought us HOUSE OF WAX a few years back (the one with Paris Hilton).
Here's what he had to say:
Hey Guys, I caught an early screening of Orphan tonight and thought I'd share my two cents. Beware the spoilers. Based on the trailers, I thought this looked kind of interesting. Nothing ground breaking, but interesting. I like Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard and the little girl looked creepy as hell, so I was actually looking forward to this a little and it pretty much met my expectations. The plot is predictable as hell, and hits all the main story beats you would expect. Couple with some issues in the past adopts a new daughter, bad things happen, mother suspects the new kid, dad doesn't believe her, things get worse as mom tries to get people to believe her. Despite the predictable plot, the movie manages to never be boring. It starts off slow and ramps things up really well. This is helped by a pretty solid performance from Farmiga. Sarsgaard is pretty much wasted, unfortunately, as the unbelieving husband. The real bright spot in the movie, for me, was the dynamic between Esther (the adopted daughter) and the youger deaf daughter, Max. All the violence in the early portion of the film is seen through Max's eyes and it's interesting to watch how Esther manages to control her and keep her from telling her parents what she knows. This same thing happens, to a lesser extent, with the son as well. The little girl playing Max is quite adorable and never annoying, which is rare for a kid on film. She also may have been the best performance in the movie to be honest. As for the horror aspects of the movie, walking out of the theater I was thinking to myself, "wow, that movie actually had a set of balls." It wasn't filled with gore, but it did some pretty crazy stuff with the kids that I wasn't expecting. However, the more I thought about it on the way home, I decided it didn't have a set of balls. It just has one ball. It's not completely neutered, but it wasn't as nuts when I really thought about. It does do some crazy stuff, but it also sets up some possibilities and then seems to just chicken out. For example, Esther pretty much mind fucks the younger daughter throughout the movie and by the end you really want to see the younger daughter do something about it. There's a fight near the end and she picks up a gun that's been dropped. Ballsy. So, naturally I'm hoping they just go for it and have this little girl shoot the other girl and end the movie, but they chicken out and have her shoot the ice on a frozen pond causing the girl and Farmiga to fall in. Weak. Or how about when Esther sets a tree house on fire, with the son locked inside. Ballsy. But then the son escapes, falls out of the tree and goes to the hospital and will live. Weak. But wait, Esthers at the hospital and she's smothering him with a pillow! And he's flatlining! Ballsy. Wait, no, 2 minutes later we're told they resuscitated him and he'll be fine. Weak. So how about the "twist"? All the trailers are saying "You'll never guess what's wrong with Esther" or some such thing. Well, the twist was suprisingly not bad. However, you might guess it, and probably earlier than I did. I guessed the ending as a joke to my friend about 2 minutes before they revealed it. I'll give you a hint, think "Diff'rent Strokes". It's actually pretty plausible, though it really doesn't explain much of anything. Sure, it makes you look at some of the events in the movie a little differently, but in the end, the explanation is still just "The bitch is crazy!" Overall, it was an enjoyable movie, with some decent scares, and wasn't too stupid beyond the usual conceits of this type of story (like the dumbass husband who won't believe his wife). If I had to pay for it, I'd do so at a matinee. Not sure I'd say it's worth full price. Though, seeing it in a crowded theater on a Friday night wouldn't be horrible idea. The crowd I saw it with seemed really into it which made it a pretty good time at the theater. - Mr. Blonde

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