ORPHAN

Isabelle Furhman is truly inspiring in the way she coyly captures the hopes and the fears of a struggling family in Orphan. The dark mood of the film, is reminiscent of the style of Verbinski, who’s lesser known works centered around the tale of dark haired little girl named Samara, rather than Jack Sparrow. The film managed to carve a brutal place in the heart of the viewer as we watch for the spirit of Macaulay Culkin and his traffic disturbing ways. Indeed, what could’ve been a cheap thriller with a terrible premise and unlikeable characters turned into a movie with charm and emotional investment. Every scene, prop and idea was mulled over to a perfection as we watch the transformation of the Orphan, Esther, into the villainess Nina. The films plot twist, although largely predictable and well forshadowed is played off superbly by the subtle performance of Furhman, who at 11, manages to create an onscreen transformation from little girl to viscious psychopath that is perhaps one of the creepiest displays of a monster the screen has ever known. Furhman’s performance harkens back to that of Hopkins behind the glass wall in Silence of the Lambs, and certainly the Asylum’s resident expert on the girl seemed to have a similar trepidation. The film was moody, casting an unlikeable characters( with the exception of the little sister) within actors who managed to bring an unusually human quality to a slasher film. This movie is a work of art in a media that is often debased. Aside from the implausible character of the child psychiatrist who apparently went to the the same school as Dr. Phil, this movie has all the marks of a cult classic: definitive characters, a rich mythology to build the story within, a stylized tonality, and stars who give the film such a strong performance that the very mention of the film evokes their faces. I’m impressed with the emotional wrought of Furmiga, and chilled to think what Isabelle Furhman might accomplish in future films. Though the decidely adult content mixed with young actors is difficult to swallow, I have to say that this film is worth something in art. Hopefully what it’s worth doesn’t manage to pull a Linda Blair and compromise the emotional future for them. Even so, represent.

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