Do you enjoy a movie more if it’s free? A friend of mine had tickets to a preview of Orphan this past weekend, so off we went to see one seriously messed up girl wreak havoc on her adoptive family. (In my neck of the woods, Orphan premieres this Friday.)
It’s a passable movie, with unusually good performances and some clever touches. But for the plot mechanics to work, too many coincidences and convenient circumstances have to mesh—which they do, obviously. The most naïve shrink in the world, in particular, bothered me. And things aren’t helped by a twist that’s just too weird. Still, all in all, I enjoyed myself. Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra keeps things tight (despite the two-hour running time), and it’s all set in a picturesque, wintry gloom. But if I’d actually had to pay for my ticket? Hmm …
Even before that strange twist, Orphan is heading into The Hand That Rocks the Cradle territory. And The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is one of the very few movies I unequivocally loathe! Don’t get me wrong, Orphan is far better, but the similarities would have irked me more had I actually paid to get in. If I were a mathematician, I could probably have devised some clever equation to express exactly how much the viewer’s enjoyment is amplified when a movie is free. But I’m not, so this is all you get:
Free = Better
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