Esther was not the scariest thing in “The Orphan”

I’m really not into horror movies…especially the new ones. To me, being afraid, startled and disgusted isn’t really my idea of good entertainment. However my BF loves them…so for him, I’ll indulge. A couple of nights back, we opted to watch “The Orphan”; a horror movie that actually caught my eye due to the villain’s Jewish name (though she wasn’t Jewish at all it turns out) and the twisted premise of a child being a serial killer (well she wasn’t a real child either). But as the movie progressed, I found myself being more horrified by a subplot, than with Esther’s murderous ways.

The couple in the story, Kate and John seem to have everything on the surface – a gorgeous home, two great kids, their relative good looks and health. However it turns out (and I guess this is where fiction mirrors fact) that they are quite dysfunctional. Kate is a recovering alcoholic struggling to fill various psychological voids and John is emotionally detached from her and the kids (he gets better…but way too late in the game). What struck me as strange from the very beginning was the urgency that this family placed on “fixing their lives”. I do not have children, and I cannot begin to imagine the devastation that occurs from losing a child. However many women in my family had stillborn babies. Usually, it is not the end of the world. Instead of counting their blessings and appreciating their two other children, they look towards adoption to help “fill the void”. What is that all about?

Another big dysfunction was John’s relationship with Kate; especially when Esther came into the picture. He totally minimized and disregarded her opinion and wishes…instead always defending Esther, making his wife feel inadequate in the process. This, to me, was absolutely disgusting! Your spouse should be your partner in running a home and protecting your children. You don’t have to always agree, but you should never pit the children against your spouse and/or stand by idly while that happens.

All of the tragedy in this movie could have easily been avoided if the interpersonal relationships in the family were anywhere close to normal. Who adopts a 9 year-old child without first introducing them to their other children (who are around the same age)? What real people are so clueless as to let both a toxic mother-in-law and an adopted bully wreak havoc on their lives? If Kate and John would have just been happy and thankful for what they had, everything would have been perfectly fine.

Marriage is shallow without trust and gratitude. Esther sure knew what she was doing when she picked those two to exploit and torment, that’s for sure.