No Future presents: Jaume Collet-Serra's ORPHAN
Thursday April 19, 2018
7pm — Preshow | 8pm — Film
Admission: $12 Advance / $14 At the Door
“The rare ‘shocker’ that genuinely shocks, Collet-Serra’s all-purpose offender takes the utmost care to be careless in its phenomenally amoral attitudes towards everyone and everything that slithered across the dank dungeon that is screenwriters David Johnson and Alex Mace’s shared mind.” — Michael Koresky, Reverse Shot
Critical darling Jaume Collet-Serra positioned himself as Brian De Palma’s heir to the elevated trash cinema throne with Orphan (2009), a lean, mean, and ingeniously crafted thriller about what happens when the child you take home isn’t the one you planned for. Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard star as a couple hoping to shine a little light into their tragedy-darkened home. Enter Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman), a preternaturally wise 9-year-old Russian orphan who the grieving parents adopt as an uncanny replacement for their lost child, before they realize she’s hiding more than just what’s under her quaint Victorian choker.
A high stylist with an incorrigible appetite for exploitation thrillers, Collet-Serra is at the height of his genre powers here, landing memorable sequence after sequence, from the gothic reveal of Esther’s creepy black light paintings of her new family to a virtuosic runaway car set piece and a jarring bathroom stall meltdown. But what really makes Orphan a cut above its killer kid brethren is its breathless commitment to its bold (if often tasteless) twists, its surprisingly complex and mercilessly funny script about the horrors of bourgeois parenting, and emotionally varied, truly go-for-broke performances from both Farmiga and Fuhrman.
About the series
No Future — For anyone who’s not so sure the children are our future, a monthly film series devoted to the best monstrous births, creepy orphans, spectral kids, and possessed teens genre cinema has to offer.