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Archive for 2009 年 11 月

ORPHAN

I thought Orphan was an intelligent and scary horror film and I have been very disappointed in some of the unfair criticisms I have read. Critics who thought it ridiculous that an adult could pass for a small child are simply misinformed. While not common, things like this do happen in real life. Just googling “adults pretending to be children” reveals several creepy real life examples. It is true that some of the scenes in Orphan have been done before. Orphan references several other classic horror films – the body in the road (The Bad Seed and Children of the Corn), the creepy artwork and mysterious foreign adoption records (The Ring). However, critics who give the film a bad review for this reason confuse blatant plagiarism with paying homage to genre classics – which this film has done quite artfully. The body count was fairly low for a horror film of this length. The film did an excellent job of playing on audiences’ fears by placing major characters where they could experience the things people commonly fear: nightmares, stillbirths, drowning, castration, heights, burning buildings, darkness, out of control vehicles, car accidents, icy roads, and losing loved ones. I only have three complaints with this film. First, I find the relationship between the parents and the son to be nearly non-existent from the beginning. I think Esther’s usurpation of the affection due Daniel and the development of her viewing him as competition would have moved forward better if we would have seen Daniel be closer to his parents at the beginning of the film. Second, whoever designed the jump scenes demonstrated that he or she could deliver really good jump scenes. However, they were sometimes placed in the film at awkward moments that did not advance the film. Third, they are showing us too much. We need a little time to wonder if it is Esther or the recovering alcoholic mother who is really the crazy one. They shouldn’t show the kid pushing another kid on the playground. It would be better to just see the fall and see Esther there and wonder. They don’t need to show Esther putting the car in neutral and releasing the parking break. They could just have the car start rolling down the hill and Esther standing next to the school house with an innocent look on her face. Then we could wonder if she did it. The film would have been much better if the mystery had been preserved a little longer. Still though, quite a good horror film. Two thumbs up. Four out five stars.

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