The P.C. Police Need to Calm Down About Orphan; or, Disclaimer Is the New Black
August 5, 2009

orphan controversy

I had every intention of simply ignoring the whole story about how adoption groups have been getting all pissy about Orphan much in the way I ignored when the gays got cranky over Brüno.  This was in part because I actually want to revisit Brüno when it’s out on DVD to really take a nuanced look at that controversy (though my initial reaction was that it was hysterical, and its graphic sexuality and general flamboyance were more subversive than damnig), so I’d prefer to make a well-rationed argument as opposed to a knee-jerk rant.

Oh, and there’s also the fact that the call for an Orphan disclaimer may be one of the dumbest things I’ve heard in my entire life.

So when the story popped back up today at Celebitchy yesterday like a killer in a horror movie coming back for one last scare, I kinda felt the need to address it as both a fan of the movie, a serious love for film, and a person with both a modicum of intelligence.  In order to have this discussion, though, we must address Esther’s much ballyhooed secret, so consider yourself SPOILER ALERTED.

The case against Orphan, as laid out in the following quote (which was originally reported by Fox News Pop Tarts), is precisely everything irksome about activists groups complaining about movies:

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So Orphan Is Pretty Much the Best Movie. Ever.
July 27, 2009

I’m not even joking, y’all.  If you haven’t already seen the instant camp/cult classic that is Orphan yet, you know what you have to do:

go see orphan

Seriously, this completely insane movie still should be reason enough for you to suddenly feign illness and catch the earliest possible showing.  This is a movie that uses a black-lit aquarium as a plot device!  And when you see what said black-lit aquarium reveals, the absolute batshit insanity of it all will make your head explode.  Twice.  And that’s just tip of the crazy iceberg.  

It has been ages and ages since we’ve seen anything so unrepentant in its ridiculousness.  Orphan has a go-for-broke, let-us-shock-the-shit-out-of-you zeal that is truly inspired.  It’s so ridiculous that it needs to come with protective glasses that keep your eyeballs from rolling out of your skull.  It’s incredibly well made, genuinely creepy, and–to be completely frank–in the worst possible taste imaginable.  And it’s so over-the-top in its bad taste that you can’t really fault it for arguably being total garbage.  I’d like to be more articulate, but I’m honestly still trying to digest it.  Having your head explode 37 separate times during a movie tends to do that to you.  That, and you really can’t discuss Orphan‘s sublime pleasures without spoiling the living hell out of it.

Still, allow me to tantalize you with the following decontextualized phrases:

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Internet Spoilers: 1, Orphan Ad Campaign: A Bajillion
July 8, 2009

Well, if this internet commenter’s supposed spoiler is to be revealed, lil’ oprhan Esther’s secret is out of the bag, and it’s even more batshit insane than I could’ve ever anticipated.  I won’t explicitly discuss the details, but I’ll say this: It’s honestly such an impressively thought-out, completely out-of-nowhere sort of twist that I believe it.  And want to see this movie immediately so I can confirm its validity.  Not since the phrase “non-religious identical twin stigmata” has an ending scaled such heights of so-bad-it’s-brilliant absurdity.   Seriously, y’all, it’s so damn trashtastically awful that it’s pretty much seals the deal: Orphan is destined for of camp/cult/bad horror movie greatness.  

On one hand, if it’s true, I’ll be terribly disappointed to not have such a wonderfully gonzo revelation dropped in my lap in the final moments of the film.  But on the other hand:

orphan secret

No, poster, obviously the interwebs cannot keep a secret.  In the age of the internet, nobody can keep their trap shut to save their damn life, and it’s a rather brilliant move on the part of Orphan‘s marketing campaign to sell a film all around a climactic narrative reveal in a time where spoilers are all but anticipated.  When you think about it, it’s a clever spin on an old advertising tradition. (more…)

Orphan‘s Marketing Campaign Ages Like Fine Cheese
June 15, 2009

Some months back, I randomly stumbled upon the totally ridiculous looking trailer for Orphan,and I immediately began to wonder what the hell her secret is.  Of course, I’m equally curious as to why Vera Farmiga keeps getting saddled with Bad Seed rip-offs, and I’d love to know why Peter Sarsgaard said yes to this mess, but none of these questions can distract me from the most important fact that this movie looks ABSOLUTELY BATSHIT INSANE, and so I naturally can’t wait.  The latest TV spot is just a 30-second taste of the crazy, but–like a good cheese–things are looking ever more delicious as time goes by:

I first thought this looked more like trashy camp, and I still get tingly whenever I see Vera’s hysterics, and there’s apparently a scene where a car is driven into there house (totally awesome, but also huh?), but I’m beginning to think this movie looks to be both completely ridiculous and creepy as hell.  There’s something about the way that girl puts her homicidal bitchface on with such aplomb.  Seriously, when I see that final shot, I don’t know whether to giggle with camp glee or piss myself in terror.  After taking a good look at the poster, though, I’ve gotta go with the latter:

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Let’s All Guess Esther’s Secret
March 19, 2009

While I was perusing the interweb this afternoon, I stumbled upon the trailer for an upcoming horror movie called Orphan.  It stars Peter Sarsgaard (yum) and Fiona Apple Vera Farmiga (who incidentally was also Joshua, another evil kid movie), and it looks like a riot.  I mean, this is the trailer:

Roh-no!  There’s something wrong with Esther, a secret that you’ll NEVER GUESS.  If that’s a challenge, then I accept, trailer.  Let’s all take a guess at what Esther’s secret is (be sure to leave yours in the comments section).  I’ll go first.  I think Esther’s possibly:

  1. A vampire.  That choker on her neck has me totally suspicious.
  2. The antichrist.  They never have birth records and are pure, unmitigated evil.  Just go watch The Omen (not the remake, the original, le duh).  
  3. An Eastern European demon/ghost/monster disguised as a girl.  Seriously, her accent is ridiculous.
  4. A robot girl that got switched to “Kill” mode.  

This movie may look like an uninspired rip-off of every Bad Seed-esque movie ever made, but I really want to see it now.  I have to know her secret.  That tag line is like a cruel taunt.  At least there’s plenty of juicy moments of hysteria (everybody is just freaking out in this movie!  EVERYBODY!) and evil kid cliches to keep the camp factor at (the very least) a solid 7.5.  Excellent.

Also, I think we can all agree: that one girl totally had that shove from the playground coming.  Jokes that are that cliched are inappropriate at any age.

UPDATE (7/8/09): Esther’s secret seems to have spoiled its way onto the internet.  Thoughts on its validity can be found here; the alleged twist in its its original comment form can be found here.

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