Thursday, September 3, 2009

Little Orphan Immigrant

Haven't had such a disturbing experience in the cinema in a long time. Orphan's premise isn't new - family adopts child who is not quite there - but it does have a rather original take on the idea. It's always frightening to see such fatalistic downward spiral, helplessly witnessing someone heading towards inevitable doom or self-destruction. It's part of what makes this film so scary, and the pacing is remarkable.

Clearly another horror/thriller film symptomatic of the post-911 fear and paranoia, the increasing isolation of America from the rest of the world. If films of the slasher/torture sub-genre like Hostel and Transsiberian see Americans leaving the comfort of home to venture forth into foreign lands and come face to face with danger, Orphan takes it all back home. Infiltration by little-understood foreign elements, in this case, a mysterious orphan from Russia. Probably the irony here is that the movie is helmed by a Spanish director.

Unfortunately people chose to see this movie as a straightforward negative portrayal of abandoned children, thus drawing a lot of flak from orphanages and the adoption community.

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