1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Scary but with a plot!,
This review is from: Orphan [DVD] (DVD)
At first I was a little wary of going to see another horror film, there have been so many disappointments. The scary but unsatisfying "Strangers", the pointless "Prom Night" and of course the lamentable "Unborn". I feared perhaps this would be no different, however, I was glad to discover that I was wrong.
The film not only has a storyline which it thankfully sees through to completion (something many horrors seem to sadly forget when churning out the scares) but it has likeable characters. Often I have found with these films that the characters haven't been properly developed and we don't give a monkies when we see them suffering in the most horrific ways. In "Orphan", however, we understand their motives and actually will them to triumph. In this case, the characters in question are a family of four who have recently suffered the tragedy of a still birth and are now looking to adopt. Enter Esther, the 9 year old Russian child who seems so innocent and likeable in the beginning of the film that even those who have seen the advertising material will begin to doubt anything could possibly go wrong.
The young actress who plays Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) is very talented, and handles a very challenging role extremely well. She really is genuinely chilling. The whole film is quite disturbing, not because of its gore factor (while it does have some gore, this is not what truly causes its scares.) or its jumpy moments (again while it is suspenseful and may have you yelping in places this is not what makes it disturbing) it is the rapid way in which family dynamics can change, a character can reveal its true colours and still not be recognised and the removal of that feeling of safety most people come to rely on in their own homes.
Another strength of this film is that it does not lower itself to a lot of CGI, a good premise can be so easily ruined by building suspense and then suddenly saying "oh and by the way the thing that was causing all that intrigue and horror was actually some monstrosity which came out of a computer."
Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a horror with a bit of thought behind it, however, if you are uninitiated with scary films or easily disturbed then I would give it a miss. This is a really powerful film which will leave a lasting impression on you.