Vera Farmiga in "Orphan," So Bad It's Good

Slaking my appetite for horror-flick diamonds in the rough, I watched Orphan (2009) the other night, with bigshot actors Vera Farmiga and Peter Saarsgard, which definitely fits in that most excellent category of SoBadIt’sGood. It’s like a mix between The Bad Seed (1954), one of the best of the Fifties melodramas, rife with Freudian claptrap and one truly neurotic housewife trying to corral her adorable but homicidal maniac daughter, and Donald Sutherland’s campy Nicholas Roeg horror flick Don’t Look Now (1973), with its creepy killer midget-in-red. [Spoiler Alert!] The best twist of the film is undoubtedly the little girl turning out to be a thirty-three-year-old Russian woman, which works surprisingly well, considering its high kook factor. Best moment: When Farmiga and Saarsgard have sex in the kitchen with the lights on, and three children in the house, then seem remorseful that one of them glimpsed the shenanigans. I won’t give more away, except the Saarne Institute phone call near the end made me laugh and laugh. Nothing like a campy plot twist for sheer fun.

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