Movie Review: Orphan (Spoilers)

This past weekend I checked out “Orphan” at my partners request.  He tends to like the horror / scary movies while I tend to gravitate to Action / Comedy and the occasional “chic flick” aka Romantic Comedy.  We ended up going to the Regal Cinema in Potomac Yard instead of our usual place in China Town due to cell phone calls, babies, conversations, etc that distract from the movie.  This is really too bad since it is within walking distance.  On the other hand Potomac Yard has a Target where we were able to get reasonably priced snacks for the theatre 🙂

After the usual commercials and previews the movie got started.  After learning that the focal couple lost their third child near the end of pregnancy, we find out that the wife is a recovering alcoholic who would have lost her daughter in their pond had her husband not been around.  This was a very sobering experience for her and she has not had a drink in a month, though temptations have existed and show up whenever she is being stressed.

The Family

Husband: Works in the construction industry if memory serves designing buildings.

Son: Daniel does the usual things boys do.  He plays Guitar Hero with friends and has a tree house.

Daughter: Max was born hearing impaired.  She apparently can hear a little, but relies on her hearing aids to read lips.  Apparently she is unable to do so without them.  This seems a little odd to me, but when they disappear near the end of the movie…don’t seem to hinder her.


The parents decide to adopt another child.  They seem to be leaning toward a girl so Max has someone to play with.  Their third child was a girl and was named by them.  They have a memorial where the ashes were spread of the still born child and have planted white roses there.  The mother believes that as long as the rose bush grows, memories of her unborn child will exist and the love will help her stay sane.


It is no surprise that they are looking to adopt and not have another child naturally.  In fact, it appears that the couple has not engaged in sexual activity since that time which leads the husband to cheat on his wife and is ultimately a touchy subject when that is brought up.  Thankfully she has come around to the idea again which makes the husband happier.

They head to a Church run school for girls to search for a child to adopt.  The husband finds a very talented girl singing in a room by herself painting while looking for the bathroom.  The rest of the girls are enjoying an annual party, perhaps an adoption event.  He is very impressed by her abilities as an artist and her manners.  While she needs a new wardrobe and looks like “Little Bo Peep,” she is well mannered and articulate.

The wife and head nun find them together and while the nun seems a bit concerned, the wife also indentifies with the talents of the girl and they ultimately adopt her.


Max gets along very well with her new sister, but Daniel finds that his friends make fun of him for how she dresses and he announces to the family at dinner that “She is not my sister.”  In the end Daniel is amost killed by her for knowing too much.

While she bonds with her new sister and favors the husband, she looks to her mother for piano lessons and seems to get along…this is all a facade and ploy to drive the wife away from the family, or in this case, make the family believe that the mother is hurting her and needs to be committed.  The husband ultimately decides with the help of the family therapist that she needs to be sent away to rehab after injuries appear on the adopted girl and a bottle of wine is located hidden in the house.

The Orphan

The orphan appears to be from Russia, but when they get in contact with the orphanage there, no records are found.  After the mother sneaks around a locates an old Bible / diary in her dresser stamped with the name of an institute and investigates, it turns out she was actually a patient at a mental institution and not an orphanage.

The nun from the girls school comes to talk to the family about odd coincidences that happen around the orphan once the mother has been noticing some strange things going on.  “Something is wrong with her…”  She  mentions a number of instances where fights start or people get injured and notes that the orphan is always around.  The orphan over hears the conversation with the nun and parents and believes that she is going to be taken away from the family. 

She tells her sister that they are planning on taking her away and seeks her assistance.  It appears that they are running away but they actually plan to scare the nun to make sure she never comes back again.  After tossing Max into the snow covered road and the nun barely swerving to miss her, ending up in a snow bank off the road, the orphan proceeds to jump from the bushes and bash the nuns head with a hammer until she is dead.  They hide her and the orphan scares Max into secrecy by saying that she would be in trouble too for helping hide the nun.


More strange things happen.  Starting with the orphan killing a pigeon with a rock and climaxing with a late night pajama wetting visit from the orphan with a razer blade held to his throat asking about what he saw her and Max doing in the tree house, Daniel along with his mother believe something is very wrong with the girl.

Daniel checks with Max to see if she notices anything strange happening after his late night visit from the Orphan to find out that Max is drawing all of the bad things that she has been keeping from her mom that the orphan has made her do and scared her to be quiet.  He knows that the bloody hammer has been hidden in the tree house.  Unfortunately the orphan is outside listening to the entire conversation.

Daniel decides to locate the murder weapon and finds the tree house unlocked.  After the negative comments he made at the dinner table, his father locked him out of the tree house until an apology was made.  This had yet to occur.  He slides the panel back in the floor where he hides his dirty magazines to find nothing.  Behind him to see the orphan who has the bag and dumps out the bloody hammer, gloves, dress, and drawings from Max.  She proceeds to cover the evidence with ligher fluid and sets the pile ablaze.  She locks Daniel in the tree house and watches as it burns and he tries to escape.  He does avoid the blaze, but falls to the ground seriously injured.  Just as the orphan is about to smash him in the head with a rock, Max pushes her over and the mother comes rushing out of the house after noticing the blaze. 

Mom of course is even more suspicious now, but the husband is not so convinced.  There are many reasons for this starting with the cutting of all the memorial roses by the orphan which was believed to be something nice done for her mother at the encouragement of the father.  The mother is very upset and grabs her by the arm shaking her.  The orphan goes into the basement and using a counter mounted vise, bruises and ultimately breaks her forearm.  She calls for “daddy” which makes him even more suspicious of his wife and closer to the orphan.


When visiting their son in the hospital after his fall from the tree house, the orphan asks to get a drink and instead goes into Daniel’s room and suffocates him.  The doctors are able to ressusitate him, but the mother gets enraged and has to be sedated.  She blames the orphan for what just happened.  Dad sees this and again takes the side of the orphan.

That night while the mother is in the hospital for overnight observation, the usband gets drunk and the orphan gets dressed up in his wifes dress and puts on makeup.  She comes down to be with “daddy” and tries to seduce him.  She reaches for something that she should not as her father is explaining the difference between adult “LOVE” and the love of a daughter.  She gets very upset at this rejection and ends up stabbing the husband to death.

Max sees this and hides in her closet hamper, but knows that she is likely next.  While this is going on the mother is racing home.  She has just heard from the mental hospital that the orphan is really a dwarf that is 33 years old has basically wants the man of the family to herself.  When she gets rejected the entire family is killed.  All of the photos of men in her Bible are likely the men that rejected her and families killed.

Mom makes it home before Max is killed and ends up crashing through the greenhouse roof landing on her.  She scoops up Max and they leave the house with the gun.  The police come and the orphan is no longer on the floor of the greenhouse.  The Orphan surprises them and knocks the gun loose.  While cutting the mother with a knife, as they struggle, Max shoots the gun and cracks the ice on the pond where they are struggling.  They fall into the water and after one more appearance from the Orphan, kicks her in the head and breaks her neck.  Mother and Max are reunited and likely survive with Daniel. 


Wow did I write a lot.  I could write a novel at this point! LOL.  Very good movie with an interesting twist that being her age.  While it was over 2 hours, I did not find myself falling asleep or bored which says a lot!  There are some movies where an hour and a half is too much.

Now that I have totally spoiled the movie, I hope you will still check it out if interested.  While I am not sure I will buy this when it comes out on DVD.  I would recommend renting it if you don’t see it in the theatre.

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