Various groups representing orphans and adoption agencies protested the Warner Bros. horror picture, “Orphan,” before it opened Friday, but the movie is too dumb to merit such serious attention.
The poor souls who see the Z-grade flick are not going to think any less of 9-year-old Russian orphans — a last reel “surprise” deconstructs the movie’s whole premise in a ludicrous manner — but I was offended by the sheer stupidity of the Connecticut family in the movie (not to mention the heroine’s wacky psychologist and the dopey nun running the orphanage where the little monster is found).
I can imagine audiences in Russia — and Estonia (part of the twist ending that I won’t reveal here) — clutching their sides laughing at the idiocy of the well-heeled Americans who take such a suspicious little girl into their home.
The kid who calls herself Esther wears bizarre vaguely Eastern European clothes that must have gone out of fashion there 40 years ago (even the villagers in “Borat” were better dressed). And the girl never removes the thick neck and wrist bands that add to her weird look. Where in the world does a poor orphan girl find these clothes in suburban Connecticut!
It’s a sign of how bad things are for really good actors that two of New York City’s finest — Peter Sarsgaard and Vera Farmiga — were reduced to taking roles in this unsavory little dud.