Director Jaume Collet-Serra's "immaculately plotted and photographed chiller, Orphan," said Tirdad Derakhshani in The Philadelphia Inquirer, "will keep you on tenterhooks from its nightmarish opening scene to its chilling last frame." Starring Peter Sarsgaard and Vera Farmiga as a husband and wife who adopt a 9-year-old Russian orphan with hopes she will help heal their troubled marriage, this "eerie" film gives "clever nods to earlier classics" like The Omen. (watch the trailer for Orphan)
"There's a veneer of class to Orphan," said Moira Macdonald in The Seattle Times, "though it's a B-movie by right." Orphan "stays faithful to every cliché of the genre," it's "overlong and overwrought," Farmiga and Sarsgaard "are fine actors slumming," and "it's hard for anyone other than the most devout horror fan to connect with this movie."
"Just because Orphan is relentlessly bad doesn't mean it's not entertaining," said Rob Vaux in Mania.com. Especially the film's last half-hour, which "is so chock-full of loony toons campiness that all but the most heartless filmgoer would be hard-pressed to suppress his giggles." If you're in the right mood, Orphan "makes for quite a ride"—but "don't expect anything approaching legitimate scares."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- The slippery slope of Twitter's attempts to stop harassment against women
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Hey, scolds: Stop telling us to enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving
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