Critics Shrink From Adopting Orphan

Critics mixed on scary-kid horror film
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 24, 2009 2:33 PM CDT

(Newser) – Critics are divided over Orphan, a horror flick about an adopted child who makes scary things happen:

  • “Actors have to eat like the rest of us, if evidently not as much, but you still have to wonder how the independent-film mainstays Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard ended up wading through Orphan and, for the most part, not laughing,” writes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times.

  • “Once Kate and the audience discover the true reason behind Esther's path of destruction (a clever, if somewhat implausible, twist), Orphan descends into a formulaic bloodbath that barely registers a pulse,” notes Jennie Punter in the Globe & Mail.
  • But Roger Ebert, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, calls the film “shamelessly effective.” “You want a good horror film about a child from hell, you got one.”