4.2/10
152
6 user 6 critic

The Orphan (1979)

R | | Horror | November 1979 (USA)
A disturbed young man is plagued by horrific headaches that he believes make him commit murders.

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, (story "Sredni Vashtar") (as Saki)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Peggy Feury ...
Aunt Martha
Mark Owens ...
David
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Afolabi Ajayi ...
Akin
Stanley Church ...
Dr. Thompson
David Foreman ...
Percy Ford
Jane House ...
Jean Ford
...
Toyman
...
David's Mother
Eleanor Stewart ...
Mary
Donn Whyte ...
David's Father
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Storyline

The film plots a child's descent into madness without the guiding forces of a benevolent adult. After the mysterious nasty death of both his Roaring '20s party animal parents, young David is left in the care of his prudish, restrictive aunt, who refuses to let him indulge in his adolescent instincts. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | animal | death | aunt | boy | See All (18) »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Friday the 13th: The Orphan  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The producers of the Friday the 13th franchise, which began production shortly after this film was released, had to negotiate a settlement with this film's producers in order to use the title. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Did You Ever Dream?
Written by Teo Macero & Carl Sigman
Performed by Judy Roberts
See more »

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User Reviews

A film that could narcotize the most preponderant speed addict.
26 June 2003 | by (fabulous Las Vega$!) – See all my reviews

THE ORPHAN is a professionally wielded film with a few decent performances(the youngster in the title role most notably), and it certainly doesn't merit a critical belting in response to its basic efficiencies. What I personally found off-putting was its bland self-possession...this is actually less a horror film than a vague, drawn-out mystery with a lot of red herring "coming of age" infusion. It has something to do with a pubescent boy being put in the hands of his difficile, prohibitive aunt following the demise of his parents, and the gradual expedition of his potentially lethal hostilities. The proceedings are dusted with moments of fever-dreamy surrealism, and take place in a time around the Great Depression(stylistic details to that effect are surprisingly impressive).

I wanted to like this film, and I did appreciate its inveigling directorial uniqueness, but it's so dull it couldn't saw through sand...there's a scant minutiae of bloodletting and scares, and frankly, it's not nearly as cleverly devised as it thinks it is. There's not much about THE ORPHAN which would classify as "marketable"...it's basically just a purposefully packaged and atmospheric dearth of what most people want in a horror film.

4.5/10


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