Orphan review

Slow burning, but worth enduring.

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Clearly, given the ongoing flood of infant-horror films (The Children, The Orphanage), this decade’s primary fear is that our kids will eat us in our sleep.

Orphan, quite possibly the most OTT Omen redux since The Suckling (1990), at first appears to fall in line with standard creepy-killer-kid fare.

Esther (tweenager Isabelle Fuhrman, a perfect fit for the role), the parentless tot of the title, is an impossibly precocious nine-year-old Russian who first charms, then terrorises, her new adopted family (Peter Sarsgaard, Vera Farmiga).

Director Jaume Collet-Serra flogs a lot of the same slasher-gags – and clichés – he learned from his House Of Wax remake, but it’s the uproarious twist that will land this one in the horror hall of fame/shame.

There’s a lot of slow burn to endure in the first hour, but the payoff is one of the most batshit crazy finales in recent memory.

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Freelance writer

Ken McIntyre is a freelance writer who has spent years covering music and film. You'll find Ken in the pages of Total Film and here on GamesRadar, using his experience and expertise to dive into the history of cinema and review the latest films. You'll also find him writing features and columns for other Future Plc brands, such as Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine.