Saturday, July 25, 2009
Review by Rob McKinnon
Running Time: 123 min
Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
The poster for the new terror film, ORPHAN, reads, "There's something wrong with Esther." You bet there is! But, there's nothing wrong with this movie. From beginning to end ORPHAN grabs the audience by the throat and never lets go. You'll note that I call this a terror film, and not a horror film. The reason is my own definitions for genre films: a horror film, in my opinion, must contain some supernatural component, ghosts, demons, and the like. While a terror film on the other hand may be wildly horrific, but concerns situations which though extreme, might actually occur in our "reality" such as serial killers, psychopaths attacking with axes, swords, machetes, and various knives, etc. Both are certainly scary and make timid folks squirm. Both may or may not be bloody and/or gory, but the supernatural element makes the differnce for me.
This is why I refer to ORPHAN as a terror film. But don't think it won't keep you in a constant state of anticipatory tension and fear. It is horrific, and all the more so because it could happen...perhaps to you!
The screenplay, from the story by Alex Mace and written by David Leslie Johnson, is tight, intelligent, and believable. Jaume Collet-Serra's direction holds us in a constant state of suspense and tension with only a few moments of humorous relief in which to catch our collective breaths. This film makes the classic The Bad Seed seem like a Walt Disney family movie.
If you enjoy experiencing unrelenting terror, adroitly served up by talented filmmakers who clearly wanted to tell this story well and effectively, scaring the hell out of you, while solidly entertaining you, don't miss ORPHAN! Esther is looking forward to meeting you. I highly recommend it. - Rob McKinnon