An outwardly angelic little girl displays an unforeseen devilish streak upon moving into the home of her new adoptive parents in this shocker starring Peter Sarsgaard and Vera Farmiga. In the aftermath of a miscarriage, prospective parents Kate (Farmiga) and John (Sarsgaard) find their lives turned upside down; their marriage is falling apart, and the demons of Kate’s past begin manifesting themselves in a series of horrifying nightmares. Deciding that the best means of achieving some semblance of normalcy is to simply adopt, the dejected couple visits a local orphanage. There, they are both drawn to a nine-year-old girl named Esther. But Esther isn’t as sweet as first impressions suggest, and almost immediately after welcoming the young child into their home, Kate and John suspect that something is terribly wrong with their adoptive daughter. Kate can see right through Esther’s seraphic charm, though her attempts to convince everyone else of the truth go unheeded by her skeptical family and friends. By the time anyone bothers to take Kate seriously, it may be too late to prevent a devastating tragedy from unfolding.
“Orphan” is one of those movies that is going to stir the pot. It’s actually not a bad movie, I expected it to be a horror movie, and from looking at the posters that’s kind of what everybody assumed, and it’s really not. It’s a study of two–a young couple, Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard whose marriage is sort of in trouble, although its not initially obvious unless you’re a psychologist watching the opening, upsetting scene. The opening scene is straight out of a horror movie, but the rest of the movie is more a look at the family in crisis than anything else. It turns out that Kate has had two children, and a still born third child. Her husband, it turns out has probably had an affair. They decide to adopt a child, and they go visit the agency and pick out an older child who’s seemingly perfect. The audience actually laughed at several points, and I don’t know if it was intentional or not, including the raised eyebrows of one of the nuns, and the child turns out to be the bad seed. I don’t want to tell you too much about the movie, because it’s actually not a bad movie. But he’s going to make adoption agencies very unhappy in terms of bringing somebody into your household. And the problem about the movie is that it’s well enough acted and well enough written and smart enough, that its actually a legitimate fear of adoption agencies. I turned to the person sitting next to me and said, adoption agencies are not going to be amused about this. I’d still give it four stars.