Thursday, August 18, 2011
There's a troubling twist at the end of Orphan that trumps nearly every horror movie surprise ending since Psycho. The twist itself almost transcends disturbing, but what may be worse than being surprised by it is knowing about it before the movie even starts. This was my experience as I went into Orphan. Someone had told me around the time the movie came out two summers ago about the stunner ending, and thus my perspective was changed completely while I viewed the film. If you've seen the movie, think about it and imagine knowing about the twist the whole way through. Think about when little Esther goes to her parents' room during a storm and curls up next to dad, then think about the end, and suddenly the movie gets really unsettling. There will be a lot of people who find that Orphan is morally reprehensible, but the repugnance that surrounds the film can only be excused because this is a horror picture, and this genre has no limitations. I really did enjoy most of this movie, but as it went along it got increasingly obvious, partly because I knew the twist, and also because it's stamped with familiarity. But the first hour or so worked really well because it took its time, didn't try to be too scary, and made sure to get the message across that something is terribly wrong!