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
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- How to make corn dogs
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Bob Odenkirk's 6 favorite books
Subscribe to the Week