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Review: Orphan

Delightfully gonzo
By BRETT MICHEL  |  July 28, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars


John (Peter Sarsgaard) and Kate (Vera Farmiga) don't have eight children to contend with, but after the miscarriage of their daughter, they adopt, bringing their brood to three. Perhaps they should have cut their losses. The poster for the latest from Jaume Collet-Serra (director of the 1995 House of Wax) warns, "There's something wrong with Esther."

As if the dark, ee-vil eyes of the preternaturally intelligent nine-year-old Russian orphan (Isabelle Fuhrman) weren't a dead give-away. The film's snowy white palette becomes stained with blood not long after the homicidally gifted girl begins playing Russian roulette with her adorable little deaf (yes, lip reading factors into the plot) sister Max (Aryana Engineer) threatens to excise the "hairless little prick" of her brother Danny (Jimmy Bennett) with a box cutter, and grows maybe a tad too close to dad.

Meanwhile, recovering alcoholic mom is hilariously driven to google "kids who kill" en route to the film's delightfully gonzo final twist.

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