Sunday, August 16, 2009
Orphan (2009) & My 10 Favorite "Killer Kid" Movies
Shockingly, it's taken me a good 3 weeks after it's release to finally get around to go see this summer's Killer Kid Movie offering, ORPHAN. As a big fan of the Killer Kid sub-genre, it's almost an insurmountable crime to miss out on the potential of seeing some troubled tyke take on the terrifying and totally awesome task of playing villain in such the adult world. The veneer of innocence the children have on display in these kinds of films is always their greatest weapon, and the fun is in watching them dole out their lust for blood and mayhem in the most unexpected yet cozily familiar ways. Home is where the heart is, but also where one usually gets thrown out of a window.
Jaime Collet-Serra (House Of Wax) directs Orphan with a most welcome restraint (how unlike the rest of the Dark Castle catalogue) He lets his actors do their thing and bring a reality to a movie that teeters on silliness and total disbelief. Peter Sarsgaard and especially Vera Farmiga manage to make the parents of the film seem fresh & real and not the typical manufactured Hollywood inventions who only exist to cope with and finally deal with their brat from hell.
The child actors of these films are usually hit or miss in terms of their performance but Isabelle Fuhrman brings it on big time and gives one of the very best to be found in a Killer Kid movie. Her role is pretty complex and Washington DC born Fuhrman manages a Russian Accent seemingly without much effort. She's the real deal.
ORPHAN has a good number of scares, some twists & turns (which my fiancee disturbingly seemed to figure out pretty early on) and goes to some wacky and fun places in it's final reels. The movie show goes out of it's way to entertain you and deliver the goods while not compromising too much it's reality [it also adhears to the "fill in the blank from hell" rule of having the dad be an Architect!] One of my favorite movie experiences this summer so far.
A welcome addition to the fold, ORPHAN is in mighty fine company. My love for the Killer Kid sub-genre more than likely started with my favorite horror film of all time, John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) Little Michael Myers started his little murderous rampage with the murder of his sister that fateful Halloween night, and i've been glued to the screen since waiting for some evil kid to pick up where he left off.
Here are my 10 favorites:
THE OMEN is The Godfather of all killer kid movies, there is no way around it. It doesn't get any better than Richard Donner's vision of cute little evil Damien causing such malicious mayhem to a gallery of prestigious actors. The little seen THE PIT is a must-see for fans of weird cinema. You'll never forget it!
I also have love for:
THE CRUSH (1993)
BLOODY BIRTHDAY (1981)
THE CHILDREN (1980)
IT'S ALIVE (1974) & IT'S ALIVE III: ISLAND OF THE ALIVE (1987)
THE PAPERBOY (1994)
DEVIL TIMES FIVE (1974)
THE BUTCHER BOY (1998)
ALICE SWEET ALICE (1976)
What are your favorites?