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Robert Harris

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Jaume Collet-Serra's 2009 Orphan was part of the Dark Castle universe, a little horror/thriller whose producers included Joel Silver, Susan Downey and Leonardo DiCaprio. The central character was beautifully played by then 11 year-oldish Isabelle Fuhrman, who has made a wonderful transition to the adult acting arena.

So much so that she appeared as the same character in a recent prequel, which may have been a not wonderful idea. I not at all certain that the public is seeking an Orphan series.

Others have brought up old verbiage similar to "makes Patty McCormack's Rhoda in The Bad Seed look akin to one of the kids in The Partridge Family," but I'll not go there.

Orphan goes way beyond sweet little Rhoda, to places that you'd never expect.

For some reason I missed this film in its original release. I had the original Universal Blu-ray on my self, and don't recall ever seeing it or reviewing it. I checked, and the closes I was able to find was Annie, which is a different film.

What's wonderful about Orphan is that the set up uses so many things that have become horror/thriller tropes over the years - a mirror being opened, and then closed to reveal someone/something suddenly reflected, shock sounds, something running in front of the camera along with a shock sound, along with other attributes of the set-up, that we can be very certain that we've been here before.

The reality is that with a single exception of which I can recall, we haven't.

And it works, and works beautifully.

I found something else shocking about this Scream Factory release of the WB film.

It's a Blu-ray.

I double checked it.

But from a NSD, especially as finalized with extremely rich, deep blacks and brilliant colors, it appears so close to 4k that I wasn't certain. I normally have a pretty good idea, but occasionally a Blu-ray just jumps to the fore with all the attributes of it's higher resolved sibling.

For those who may also have missed this film, I suggest that you pick up a copy of the Scream release. It's derived from a new scan that's amazing.

Here's a link to the great Roger Ebert's original review. I agree 100% with his thoughts.


Image – 10

Audio – 10 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Upgrade from earlier Blu-ray - Yes

Worth your attention - 9

Slipcover rating - 3

RAH
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
18,712
Real Name
Robert Harris
Something that I’m realizing about this film is meticulous plotting. Bits of background that have little meaning while viewing the film that blossom in hindsight.
 

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