Although the premise of evil child in a middle-class family in a large rural house sounds about as unoriginal as a horror film can be, this chiller turns out to have both more originality and more quality than most of its peers. As directed by Spaniard Jaume Collet-Serra, Orphan demands attention and respect instantly, due to the fact that the director treats his material seriously, and the performers are given time to turn what might at first seem like stereotypical situations into believable and effective drama. That the more than capable Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard are leading the cast obviously makes the director's job a lot easier, but what is perhaps more impressive is that Collet-Serra handles the segments in which the children interact in a probing and sober manner. Eventually, Orphan is populated with a handful of horror set-pieces which come off as a combination of chilling and cliched, but for once, the denouement is credible both from a psychological and logical point of view. Orphan doesn't have to turn to supernatural deus ex machina explanation, but rather introduces a neat solution (if you buy it) which ultimately gives the film meaning on more levels than what you might have thought initially. Young Isabelle Fuhrman impresses with style and depth in the title role.