Orphan (2009)

4 stars

“There’s something wrong with Esther, you’ll never guess her secret”.

Watching the trailers it is impossible to tell whether this is going to be really really good or really really awful. Thankfully it was really great.After a family tragedy the Coleman decide that they should give their love to an orphan. Arriving at the orphanage for the first time it is not long before Kate and John are won over by 9 year old Esther. Her art skills and politeness mean that it doesn’t take much else for them to adopt her. It all seems so easy. She is the perfect child. Or is she?

After arriving home things seem perfect apart from a little jealousy from older boy Daniel everyone seems welcoming and Esther forms and instant bond with her new younger sister Max and is eager to learn sign language so that they can communicate.

It is not long before things seem odd. Why is Esther so private about bathing and her belongings? What is with the ribbons on her neck and wrists? Why is she getting into fights at school? Did that girl really slip in the playground or was she pushed? And where has Sister Abigail disappeared to?

It is not long before we learn that Esther will do anything for a family. She will take out anything or anyone that threatens her? Are these really the actions of a child or could there be something more to it?

The mystery unveils and one family has to accept that Esther may not be the perfect child. She has secrets in her hidden past. Secrets that may kill.

The acting in the movie is superb. The star of the show was definitely Aryana Engineer who played the youngest of the Coleman kids. Acting the part of Max Aryana who is deaf in real life was just seven. She played a part that most adults would find challenging. We will definitely be seeing more of her in the future.

Isabelle Fuhrman also played the part of Esther remarkably well. It was clearly a tough job for a 12 year old although it is going to be hard to see her as anyone other than evil Ester in future roles.

Other cast members are played by Vera Farmiga (The Departed and Boy in the Stripped Pajamas),CCH Pounder (Avatar, Law and Order SVU, ER) and Peter Sarsgaard (The Skeleton Key, Law and Order)

Overall view. Expect the unexpected.

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