You know how horror movies like to use little kids as object of fears? This one's different. I'm a horror movie buff, and I should know. From American to Asian horror movies, I've seen how kids end up as the scariest instrument of horror. The Ring, The Grudge and the Tale of Two Sisters amongst Asian horror movies have used kids and/or teenagers to scare us all, but this kid--Esther of the movie Orphan is indeed the most different of all.
You'll never guess her secret. And, yes that's true. I never found out about it towards the last part of the movie, at the very climax of it.
My honey never did like horror movies, but I wanted to watch this movie, and so we agreed to watch G.I. Joe afterwards. I was really eager to find out what Esther's secret was. The movie started out with a vague plot. Kate, the mom was a rehabilitated alcoholic. She and her husband John, had two kids. Their eldest was a boy who was an attention seeker, and youngest was a young deaf girl. Kate recently lost a child while it was still in her womb. The family was struggling as both parents are having a hard time coping with their differences and past difficulties.
[original source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/47/Orphanposter.jpg]
With these, they planned to adopt a child to fill in the normalcy that they needed in their lives. They intended to adopt a grown child from an orphanage. The first few scenes where Esther appeared was quite weird, although I must say, Isabelle Fuhrman is a beautiful child. Really perfect for the role.
Esther was quite composed and had a very serene face. She knew how to manipulate how people would perceive her--sweet, calm and composed. She liked to paint. She was very artistic. Her paintings were really admirable and beautiful. I really wouldn't have guessed the truth about her. Everything was normal and okay up until the times that Esther was expressing distinct interest in John. Some interest that looked beyond a child's love to a parent. At first, I thought that was it, but then again, I was mistaken.
Further onto the story, Esther showed signs of aggressiveness that was way past childlike behavior. She said 'f#ck' blatantly to Kate's face when they had to discuss the issue. She was also able to kill a pigeon using a big stone without any form of regret nor shock. Her first mischief was to actually push down a schoolmate in the playground area.
She continuously manipulated the two kids of Kate and John to get whatever it is that she wanted. Max, the little girl was deaf and mute and so she wasn't able to tell on her at all. After having made attempts to hurt the kids, Kate had made research about Esther. She urged the people around her to watch out for signs about Esther and that they should turn their attention to keeping their family safe.
Esther was able to exploit the family's weaknesses. Having read Kate's diary, she found out that John had cheated on Kate before, and that Kate was an alcoholic. Esther even learned about the death of Jessica (the lost child). When the family was falling apart, Esther took advantage of making her secret known.
The eldest child was rushed to the hospital because he fell from their treehouse when he tried to find the evidence that Esther hid. Kate, broke down while at the hospital when Esther tried to kill the boy. That night started the climax of the story. Esther's most treasured bible and ribbons were the key to her secret after all. The ribbons were cover for her scars on her neck and wrists. The bible that she carried around bore the title of a "Saarne Institute". Kate thought that this was another orphanage. To our surprise, it was a mental hospital!
The twist of the story was suddenly amazing and the Director really did take the advantage of this sudden surprise with a quick time-chasing turnabout of events. Kate had to rush out of the hospital and head home. She attempted to warn her husband about Esther and her motives, but it was too late. Esther was really a thirty-three year old woman who suffered a certain hormonal disease which makes her look only like a nine year old girl.
Esther disguises herself as a kid in order to get what she wants. She destroys the families who take her in and seduces the husband. If the husband does not succumb to her wants, she kills him and the rest of the family then burn the house down.
Really amazing twist! Kate arrived late only to find her husband dead on the floor. She was able to save Max though after putting a quick though dangerous fight to save her child.
The movie was quite disturbing (says my honey). I did find it quite surprising that this movie would be different from the rest. I didn't find it quite disturbing (as I'm quite used to watching horror movies). I somehow saw a different light about mental problems. Knowing that Esther knew what she was and how she'd like to get what she want was quite the weird part. She was brought to a psychiatrist, though she passed. Everybody saw her as a bright, mature kid, with an extreme talent for painting.
It only goes to show that mental problems could be in every one of us. Sometimes, not all are very distinguishable.