This weekend, I was sleeping over at one of my best friends' house. We had already finished "Crazy, Stupid, Love," and were trying to figure out what to watch next. Then she said, "Oh yeah! I have Apple TV! Let's see what movies I have!" So we scrolled through all her movies. When she reached "G" for "The Grudge," I screamed. Her family seriously had all three Grudge movies, much to my horror. Then we got to the O's. O as in "Orphan."
Being my naive self, I said, "Ohhhh!!! I've been wanting to see that movie FOREVER!! Let's watch it! It's not too scary, right?"
My lovely friend said what any girl who was raised watching horror movies would say: "Of course not! It's more freaky than it is scary."
I said, "Sounds legit," ripped the remote out of her hands, and pressed play twice. Before I knew it, I was in for a ride of scariness that I will never quite get over.
As you might know, "Orphan" starts the lovely Isabelle Fuhrman (AKA Clove from The Hunger Games) as the seemingly sweet orphan, Esther, who is shipped off to live with a couple (who already have two kids. Being an only child, I thought that that was already WAY more than enough family...). The mother has just suffered a miscarriage in the opening scene, which turns out to be the mother's nightmare, but it sort of briefs us on the family's whole sitch.
After a couple of days, Esther starts going crazy, like killing-a-nun-for-no-reason-crazy. Seriously, who kills a nun?! Over the course of the movie's two hours and seven minutes, Esther murders a grand total of four people (at least, we see her murder four people—there may be more).
*MAJOR SPOILER ALERT*
Kate, the mom, goes on a serious Google rampage trying to find out exactly what is making this nine-year-old so batcrap crazy, and she eventually stumbles upon quite a few articles on personality disorders. She also finds an old Russian Bible in Esther's dresser that has the words "Saarn Institute" written on the back. Again, showing her Googling skillage, she types "Saarn Institute" into the search bar, and calls the number that shows up on the first hit, hoping to get in touch with Esther's original orphanage and find out what's up with her. After finally finding someone in the institute who speaks English, she discovers that the Saarn Institute is not an orphanage at all, but a mental hospital. She argues with the man on the phone about whether or not Saarn accepts kids; it turns out they do not. She thinks that maybe Esther's mom was in there, or that Esther was born there. She rattles off an email to Saarn with a photo of Esther attached.
Sure enough, it turns out that Esther is not a nine-year-old orphan at all. She is a 33-year-old psycho with a rare disease that stunted her growth and kept her looking child-like (and yes, that disease is real!). Esther tries to seduce the dad (creepy x1000 since he doesn't know she's actually a grown woman) and she ends up killing him and the son, and almost killing the mother and the daughter. The movie ends with Kate calling the police, crashing through the greenhouse onto Esther, being chased out onto a frozen pond, falling through the ice into freezing water with Esther, and somehow climbing out. Esther screams a very chilling and convincing (but only for a second), "Save me, Mommy!" Kate retorts with an angry, "I'm not your f'ing mommy," kicks Esther in the face, and forces her back into the pond. Esther slowly sinks away into the dark water (super creepy) and..... SCENE.
All I could say at the end of that movie was wow. Just wow. This movie was scary for a few reasons:
This could completely and totally happen! Esther's disease, hypopitutarism, causes your pituitary gland to produce the wrong amount of hormones, preventing your body from reaching full physical maturity, or something to that extent—I got lost after the word "pituitary" on the Google doctors thing, because 8th grade health managed to scar me for life. But anyway, there are real people out there with this disease, and with all the crazies running around today, who knows if ANYONE is actually a real child, or just a hormonally unbalanced 33-year-old!
This could have happened to me. My mom had me when she was 32, and she didn't want to risk having a child with problems by having more children at her older age, so she looked into adoption. Luckily, she decided on a "one-and-done" approach to children, but if she and my dad had actually looked further into it, I could have ended up with a psycho for a sister, who ends up trying to do the HND with my dad and killing the rest of my family. Now, don't get me wrong, one of my best friends was adopted, and a lot of people who are orphaned turn out great! Like Steve Jobs! But sometimes adoptions come with a lot of emotional and psychological baggage.
Third, my house looks quite a lot like the house from Orphan! We have the same interior wood baseboards and doors, and semi-similar doorknobs, so now every time I turn a corner in my house, I karate chop the air in front of me and close my eyes, just in case. And also, experts say that intrusive thoughts such as ones left in your mind by scary movies tend to reverse themselves to the point where you see yourself doing the horrible deed that you are frightened of. To make matters worse, I kinda look like Isabelle Fuhrman. And not even kinda, completely. Same hair, complexion, and nose. It's scary. And when you can find similarities with things like books, movies, TV, songs, or any other experience, it sort of makes them real... or it least it seems that way, and that is what scared me the most of the mostest. So this movie is the reason I will NEVER, EVER, EVER watch another horror movie again! That was my last horror film ever, and I think that my career with horror films has gone out with a SERIOUS bang. A literal one too!
Do you like scary movies? We HATE them, but we love reading detailed recaps, so if you're a horror movie buff, send us recap posts!
Related post: How to Watch Scary Movies (If You Are a Complete Wimp)