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Orphan (2009)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  24 July 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 125,545 users   Metascore: 42/100
Reviews: 371 user | 263 critic | 25 from

A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a 9-year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.



(screenplay) (as David Leslie Johnson) , (story)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamie Young ...
Lorry Ayers ...
Mustafa Abdelkarim ...


Kate and John Coleman are rebuilding their troubled marriage. Kate had a drinking problem, but is in therapy and is doing well. She has been sober for one year. The couple decide to adopt a child. When they meet the nine-year-old Russian girl, Esther, at the St. Marina Orphanage, they immediately fall in love with the well-educated orphan. Their young son, Daniel, is hostile to his new sister; but their deaf daughter, little Max, is enchanted with her - at first. Eventually, Kate begins to feel that Esther is manipulative and possibly even psychologically disturbed. John refuses to listen to his wife's misgivings, and the wounds in their marriage reopen. Kate calls Sister Abigail at the orphanage, and the nun informs her that Esther has a troubled and mysterious history. Kate delves further into Esther's past and discovers she is not all she pretends to be. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There's something wrong with Esther. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | |

Release Date:

24 July 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Orphan  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,871,483 (USA) (24 July 2009)


$41,573,740 (USA) (2 October 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to the original script, it was strongly implied that Esther enjoyed harming and torturing animals. A minor subplot with Esther killing and dismembering the Coleman family's pet hamster was written, but never filmed. See more »


When Esther attempts to suffocate Daniel in the hospital, when she removes the pillow his eyes are wide open. When the doctors come into the room to revive him they are now closed. See more »


[first lines]
John Coleman: Hang on. I know. You're doin' so good. You're doin' so good, honey. You all right?
Kate Coleman: Yeah.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At both the beginning and end of the movie, the title briefly changes to a scratchier, more sinister font, surrounded by fluorescent paint. This effect also occurs with many of the names shown in the end title sequence. See more »


References Shrek (2001) See more »


Les Saisons
Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (as Tchaikovsky)
Performed by Mario Feninger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Finally a GOOD HORROR FILM. Good film period.
25 July 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Finally, a horror film about adults. Adults with complex issues and children that act like children and not hyper precocious sex models. The reason to see this film isn't to find out the over advertised " Esther's secret" of the film (a MAJOR misstep in marketing. Too many people now enter the film trying to figure out the "secret" before they normally would have been surprised), but rather to see a well-acted (extremely well acted by Vera F.)slow-building suspense story with excellent direction and cinematography. John Ottman's score also serves the film well, without becoming overpowering in signaling this is a "creepy" film. The actress who plays Esther shows a skill in performance that makes one think we may actually have another Jodie Foster to keep an eye on. This film works because we LIKE the characters (Rob Zombie please take note!) and fear for them and their survival. Dark Castle's best film, and it gives one hope that the horror/suspense genre still can be presented with intelligence and depth. Hollywood take note: we don't want a xerox of this film, but we do want more films that share this films strenghts: good script, likable real characters, excellent acting and nice, tension building direction.

273 of 355 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Having sex in the kitchen while kids are in the house... lieben79
More overrated trollop. shapecharge-412-133353
Would You Let Your 10 Year Old Daughter Play Esther? Cookiecrumb444
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Esther it's almost the same as Barbora Skrlová tttony07
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