Orphan (2009) Movie Review Summary

Actors: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Orphan (2009)

A family adopts a young girl who turns out to be a psychopathic killer. Vera Farmiga plays the lead character Kate. She has a nice family but she is very sad because she lost a baby while pregnant. The baby that did not survive to term was a girl. Because of this, Kate and her husband John (played by Peter Sarsgaard) decide to adopt a child to give her the love that they had for the baby that was lost. They go to a catholic orphanage run by nuns and talk with Sister Abigail (played by CCH Pounder). They find the perfect girl named Esther (played by Isabelle Fuhrman). She is an artist and very intelligent. She is very polite and bonds with them instantly. They decide to adopt her.
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Everything seems perfect until the problems start to show up. It turns out Esther is a master manipulator and able to use one person against the other. The first one she controls is the daughter of Kate named Max (played by Aryana Engineer). Max is deaf from childbirth so she only uses sign language to communicate. One young girl at school makes Esther upset, so Esther pushes her down the slide breaking her arm, claiming that it was an accident. Max watches the whole incident, but is intimidated by Esther.

Kate insists they go with Esther to a psychiatrist, Dr. Browning (played by Margo Martindale). The doctor thinks Kate is the problem, not Esther, because Kate has a problem with alcohol and has not dealt emotionally very well with the loss of her baby.

Sister Abigail comes to visit because she is unsure about Esther. Esther kills her with a hammer when she leaves using Max to help her drag the body away and hide the evidence. Esther is very loving towards John but Kate suspects her of doing wrong. John sides with Esther and does not believe the accusations against Esther made by Kate. When Kate drops off the kids at school, Esther puts the car in neutral, and takes off the emergency brake. This sends the car down the street with Max in the back seat. This incidence convinces John that Kate is irresponsible. Them John finds wine in the house and he thinks Kate has started drinking again.

Esther lures the son, Daniel (played by Jimmy Bennett) to his tree house, then sets it afire with him trapped inside. He ends up in the hospital not dead, but in a coma. Esther smothers him in the ICU. However, he is revived. Kate finds out the history of Esther and that she was in a mental hospital in Eastern Europe (not Russia as was thought). The doctor from the mental hospital warns Kate that Esther has a rare disease that makes her look like a child but in reality, she is 33 years old and a psychopathic killer. Kate rushes to the house knowing this new information, to try to save her husband and her daughter. Esther kills Kate's husband before she gets to the house. However, Kate is able to fight Esther and ultimately stops Esther from killing her daughter Max.
Best part of story, including ending: It is interesting that a young girl that appears so sweet would turn out to be so evil.

Best scene in story: The scene that is the most shocking is when Esther kills the nun, Sister Abigail by hitting her in the head repeatedly with a hammer. It is unbelievable that a little girl can do such an evil thing.

Opinion about the main character: Kate fights for her children's safety and ultimately prevails in spite of her husband's resistance and lack of trust. This is really strong and we want Kate to win.

The review of this Movie prepared by Willi Vision a Level 31 Creepy Stalker Barn Owl scholar

A couple adopts a 9-year old girl who isn't as innocent as she seems. Kate is a mom with two kids, a son Danny and a deaf daughter, Max. She is depressed because she lost her third child in a stillbirth delivery. She and her husband John are now adopting a girl who upon the recommendation of the orphanage is mature for her age. Her name is Esther, she likes to paint and wear old-fashioned clothes. She wears ribbons around her neck and her wrists. Danny is a little boy with some angst and is a bit rebellious. He doesn't like Esther. On the other hand, Max likes her and they spend a lot of time together. Esther is bullied in school, and she hurts the mean girl at the playground and says it's an accident. Soon, Danny and Max learn of her violent and manipulative side. Esther threatens to hurt them if they talk to their parents. Esther tries to isolate Kate from John, and to turn John against his wife by insinuating that Kate is irrational and drinking again. Esther also creates mishaps that try to hurt her new siblings. She also becomes attracted to John and tries to seduce him but fails. Kate finds out that Esther was a mental patient in Eastern Europe, and is actually a 33-year old psychopath. A struggle culminates at the house as Esther tries to kill off John and Kate. The fight continues on the icy pond outside, where Esther is finally drowned in the icy water.
Best part of story, including ending: The twist is shocking.

Best scene in story: When Esther tries to pull Danny off life support at the hospital.

Opinion about the main character: Kate was a little loopy sometimes which is why she didn't catch Esther's strange behavior quickly.

The review of this Movie prepared by Tina Medina a Level 30 Banded Kingfisher scholar

Script Analysis of Orphan (2009)

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Actual chase scenes or violence 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20% Time/Era of Movie:    -   present 2000+ Crime & Police Story?    -   Yes Criminal enemy is...    -   crazed boy/girlfriend/family member

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   homemaker/wife    -   student Age:    -   a teen    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)    -   Russian


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   not very bright people Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   gory visuals of deaths    -   gory visuals of torture Kind of violence:    -   hand to hand    -   knives Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--swords/knives    -   blunt clubbing (like seals) Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing    -   Some foul language

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