Annie, she ‘aint…
It’s a cinematic rule of thumb that having children play major roles in a horror movie makes the film about 50 per cent more scary than it would otherwise have been; would such works as The Bad Seed, The Exorcist or even The Omen have become such classics without their pint-sized protagonists? Young Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra certainly understands this and uses it well and truly to his advantage in Orphan, a horror film that’s successful enough to forgive Collet-Serra’s his 2005 travesty House of Wax.
True-life supernatural events have long proved tempting fodder for film-makers; movies like The Amityville Horror, The Exorcist and The Exorcism of Emily Rose have all been based on the horrors suffered by real people – all with a bit of dramatic license thrown in, of course. And while Peter Cornwell’s dramatization of the spooky ordeal faced by the Reed family back in the 1980s isn’t quite as scary as finding a ghost in your spare room, its atmospheric chills may send a shiver or two up the spine.