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Orphan, The (2009)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Orphan, The (2009) John and Kate Coleman, who already have a boy and a girl, decide to adopt nine-year-old Russian girl Esther after they meet her at the orphanage. But the couple have some marital problems, such as Kate (Vera Farmiga of the other evil kid movie, JOSHUA) being an alcoholic who is trying to maintain her sobriety. She's responsible for an accident that caused her daughter to become deaf. And her last baby was a stillborn, which prompted them to adopt another child. To top it off John had an affair ten years ago for which she's never truly forgiven him. All of these things come out as sweet innocent Esther starts manipulating them. She also terrifies her new step brother and involves her younger step-sister in covering up a murder. When the nun who runs the orphanage comes to the house with some unsettling information about Esther, she kills her with a hammer and dumps the body off the road. She hides her bloody clothes and hammer up in the brother's tree house. But when he finds all this she locks him up there and tries to burn him down. He jumps out and survives but is in critical care in the hospital. When the family visits him Esther gives it another go...

Then Esther sets her sites on her new father, John, and turns him against Kate. After all, how can this innocent little girl be doing all of these horrible things her step-mother is accusing her of? While I was watching the movie I kept on thinking there would be this supernatural revelation at the end that would explain her behavior. But what happens took me by surprise. I did not see that coming--and it's way more creepy that being possessed by demons. This movie gets lots of points for originality. For me, THE ORPHAN is at the top of the killer kid sub-genre of horror movies.

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