Above left: Vera Farmiga and Isabelle Fuhrman at the premiere; above right: Swedish DVD sleeve
Note that the novel "The Bad Seed" is not the base
for the script to "Orphan" but is a classic within The Evil Child
For some reason i didn't see the film in the summer of 2009 when it premiered. Maybe i missed it because of:
1. I still didn't know about the formidable actress Vera Farmiga then
2. I'm very sceptical to new Hollywood mainstream horrors as they usually suck badly (with lots of sucky CGI, stupid teenage
horrors, torture porn horrors, shitty haunted house horrors, shitty zombies and/or demons and fantasy horror crap
3. The fact that the spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra earlier had directed the Epic Turd - "House of Wax"
So, nothing really pointed to this film "Orphan" being any good. But, kudos to Jaume for making a really great horror film
The first time i watched "Orphan" was in 2012 and
i re-watched it on a Blu-ray in 2019.
The Story is a variation on the Evil Child theme and with a spectacular ending Twist that is strangely resembling the Hong Kong
thriller "Murderer" directed by Roy Chow, a film that premiered some weeks before "Orphan" in the summer of 2009.
HK 2009 movie "Murderer"
Roy Chow's great and bizarre but in Hong Kong very hated film
(people are idiots, i knew that) had a twist that made the Hong Kong
audiences to shout, boo and throw stuff at the screen, and the reviewers had a battle in smearing the film the most.
99 % seems to hate "Murderer" and they can go F themself as i loved it. A hysterically funny and inspired weirdo twist it was.
What's wrong with people ? The Mainstream herd of Sheep who loves any sleeping pill of hipster QT but can't understand or accept
a divinely weird ending as in "Murderer" or a unique genre-bending South Korean cult movie as "Save the Green Planet".
No hate attacks please! QT makes awful snail pace films but the soundtracks are killers and he's a sympathetic nerd when he hails
forgotten actors, actresses and directors of forgotten genre films.
Back to "Orphan" - The direction is OK with a lot
of genre tropes as jump scares but Collet-Serra really succeeded with the personal
direction of the kids, as all three of the children actors, with Isabelle Fuhrmann especially, were good, VERY GOOD.
There's something strange about Esther, that anyone can see
after watching the DVD or Bluray sleeve, and seldom, if ever, have i
seen a more evil child on film, well, that would be Rhoda Penmark in/from "The Bad Seed" then.
The Coleman family has experienced a tragedy when their third child died in an accident and now they adopts a little russian girl, the
9 year old Esther. Ok, she's really from Estonia, but there are lot of ethnic russians there so that explains her russian accent.
The Sensational Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther
A talented in art, playing the piano, and apparently intelligent
and well spoken little girl with a charming russian accent. A girl that
seems to have her own agenda and who soon clashes with her class-mates, with her brother and with her mother, Kate (Vera Farmiga).
Vera Farmiga is great as the harassed mother, but this film belongs to Isabelle Fuhrman who as Esther chews the celluloid.
But she's a child-actor and you never know what happens when child stars grow up, some quits and some continues with films.
Linda Blair was sensational in The Exorcist and grow up to make some B movies in the 80's as a busty starlet, Jodie Foster was also a
child-star and she became a big star as an adult, and Jennifer Connelly a child-star and model became a Oscar winning actress.
The Evil Child genre: The Bad Seed - Rhoda Penmark - Patty McCormack
Pic above: Swedish edition of The Bad Seed; Bokförlaget Prisma pocketbook 1962
But the evil little girl in "Orphan" do have her predecessors,
and then i'm not thinking of kids possessed by Satan or some demon.
No, i'm thinking about Bad Genes - a bad seed. In 1954 William March wrote the masterful thriller "The Bad Seed" about the Evil
little girl Rhoda Penmark. A great novel that i recommend everyone to read, The Holy Mother of all Evil Children horror thrillers.
Just like Esther and her mother in "Orphan" the evil
Rhoda Penmark in the novel can dupe everyone she encounters, except her
mother Christine Penmark and the old handyman. A psychological fascinating relation and some sort of a power-struggle exists
between them. The novel is both frightening and fascinating and it created some buzz upon its release.
A great novel that was filmatized in 1956 by Mervin LeRoy and with Patty McCormack in the main role as Rhoda, and she's good,
very good, and maybe even the best Evil Child on film ever .... that is, until Isabelle Fuhrman come along.
The Hysterically Funny John Waters on the sleeve of his book "Crackpot" - look at the photo on the table at the right (Patty McCormack)
Patty McCormack's performance in "The Bad Seed" has
put her in the Cult Pantheon and the director-writer John Waters is a Fan of
But 1950's Hollywood didn't dare to film the novel straight on with the for it's time dark and depressing ending, they had to add a sugary
false happy ending ending, and raping March's novel (i hope he was payed generously).
That added ending is surely one of the most cringy Hollywood moments ever, yuck!
The DVD presented the film in anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1, english audio. Orphan was shot in Canada but it's supposed to be in USA
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