July 24th, 2009



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Still of Isabelle Fuhrman and Aryana Engineer in OrphanStill of Vera Farmiga and Isabelle Fuhrman in OrphanRobert Downey Jr. and Tommy Davidson at event of OrphanStill of Vera Farmiga in OrphanStill of Isabelle Fuhrman in OrphanStill of Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Jimmy Bennett, Isabelle Fuhrman and Aryana Engineer in Orphan

A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a 9-year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.

Release Year: 2009

Rating: 7.0/10 (52,166 voted)

Critic's Score: 42/100

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Stars: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman

Kate and John Coleman are rebuilding their troubled marriage. Kate had a drinking problem, but is in therapy and is doing well. She has been sober for one year. The couple decides to adopt a child. When they meet the nine-year-old Russian girl, Esther, at the St. Marina Orphanage, they immediately fall in love with the well-educated orphan. Their young son, Daniel, is hostile to his new sister; but their deaf-mute daughter, little Max, is enchanted with her - at first. Eventually, Kate begins to feel that Esther is manipulative and possibly even psychologically disturbed. John refuses to listen to his wife's misgivings, and the wounds in their marriage reopen. Kate calls Sister Abigail at the orphanage, and the nun informs her that Esther has a troubled and mysterious history. Kate delves further into Esther's past and discovers she is not at all who she pretends to be.

Writers: David Johnson, Alex Mace

Vera Farmiga - Kate
Peter Sarsgaard - John
Isabelle Fuhrman - Esther
CCH Pounder - Sister Abigail
Jimmy Bennett - Daniel
Margo Martindale - Dr. Browning
Karel Roden - Dr. Varava
Aryana Engineer - Max
Rosemary Dunsmore - Grandma Barbara
Jamie Young - Brenda
Lorry Ayers - Joyce
Brendan Wall - Detective
Genelle Williams - Sister Judith
Mustafa Abdelkarim - Daniel's Friend
Landon Norris - Daniel's Friend

Taglines: There's something wrong with Esther.


Official Website: Kinowelt [Germany] | Warner Bros. [Australia] |

Release Date: 24 July 2009

Filming Locations: Centennial College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Opening Weekend: $12,871,483 (USA) (26 July 2009) (2750 Screens)

Gross: $41,573,740 (USA) (4 October 2009)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Isabelle Fuhrman developed an interest in knitting from watching Vera Farmiga pass time on knitting projects during breaks in filming.

Factual errors: When John opens the fish tank and sees the images on the wall the light goes across all the walls, however the light is not strong enough to give off that much light. Fish also do not use blacklights.

[first lines]
John Coleman: Hang on. I know. You're doin' so good. You're doin' so good, honey. You all right?
Kate Coleman: Yeah.

User Review

Finally a GOOD HORROR FILM. Good film period.

Rating: 9/10

Finally, a horror film about adults. Adults with complex issues and children that act like children and not hyper precocious sex models. The reason to see this film isn't to find out the over advertised " Esther's secret" of the film (a MAJOR misstep in marketing. Too many people now enter the film trying to figure out the "secret" before they normally would have been surprised), but rather to see a well-acted (extremely well acted by Vera F.)slow-building suspense story with excellent direction and cinematography. John Ottman's score also serves the film well, without becoming overpowering in signaling this is a "creepy" film. The actress who plays Esther shows a skill in performance that makes one think we may actually have another Jodie Foster to keep an eye on. This film works because we LIKE the characters (Rob Zombie please take note!) and fear for them and their survival. Dark Castle's best film, and it gives one hope that the horror/suspense genre still can be presented with intelligence and depth. Hollywood take note: we don't want a xerox of this film, but we do want more films that share this films strenghts: good script, likable real characters, excellent acting and nice, tension building direction.


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