Monday, April 4, 2011
Don’t text and drive.
First things first: Second-rate horror movies should have an hour-long limit. Because honestly, unless it’s The Omen or something, long exposition and drawn out climactic scenes are a snore. And that, unfortunately, is what happened here. Everyone knows the plot going in, right? It’s called Orphan, so it’s clearly about a deranged child. So, where the hell is the deranged child? Oh, she’s not showing up for about 30 minutes? Movie fail.
The opening scene here is pretty gnarly. I won’t ruin it for you, but suffice it to say, the couple at the center of the movie, played by Vera Farmiga and Pete Sarsgaard, are looking to expand their family. They’ve already got two children, a 12-or-so-year-old son and a 5-or-so-year-old daughter, who is deaf and happens to be beyond adorable. Let’s hope the kid never saw the finished product.
The exposition, as I said, goes way overboard. There’s a whole lot of backstory: drinking problems, a pond, a moron of a husband, really big windows, and an orphanage with no information on where their wards come from. Oopsie daisies.
So, after way too long, we meet the psycho, Esther, who has been shipped in shipped in from a Russian orphanage, and of course she’s sweet as blueberry pie. And she’s got quite the artistic streak. But she dresses funny, watches Mommy and Daddy get naughty in the kitchen (gross, guys, think of the food) and carries an old Bible around, so naturally she gets picked on by the Mean Girl. The instant that Esther stares down Mean Girl, we wave goodbye to Meanie. It’s been fun, but this is your last scene. My roommate made a comment while we were watching that she was glad that at least this chick is just a killer, and there’s no demonic nonsense going on. Good, old-fashioned psychopath slay fest.
The thing about horror movies that always gets to me is that it’s SO OBVIOUS what’s going on, but only one person ever realizes it, and NO ONE EVER BELIEVES THEM. Drives me bonkers. So here, Mom knows what’s up, as do the kids, actually, but they’ve been terrorized into silence, and Dad is the foolish drone with no clue. Oh, and then there’s that ending…
It’s actually a pretty fun movie, in spite of its running too long. The violence is more up-close and personal than in most recent non-Saw movies, so prep for that, if that’s a problem. And don’t play on the monkey bars. You never know who’s watching…