A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.
Anna Rydell returns home to her sister (and best friend) Alex after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother, aloof father, and the presence of a ghost in their home.
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
In earlier drafts of the script, the song Esther sings and hums throughout is "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" by Doris Day. See more »
When Esther is introduced to her new class, she is holding a Nelson Spelling book. These books are not used in the United States, where the film is set; they are, however, used in Canada, where filming took place. See more »
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 »
I had been reading a lot about this film. Internet rumors made "Orphan" sound depraved. Advocacy groups protested that the film is offensive to adoption. "Orphan" is neither depraved nor offensive if you watch it as a thriller.
The plot development and character development are on the same level as most Hitchcock films. Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard are excellent as the parents. The three child actors also do a good job. Expert direction by Jaume Collet-Serra and first-rate production values also make this film worth seeing.
"Orphan" is not a film where you can take your children. However, it is a decent film if you approach it as a thriller.
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