Someone actually told me the end of this film before I ever even considered seeing it, so in addition to not wanting to actually see it, the ending was ruined. And I would say it has one of those “twist endings”, as the kids are saying. Or, as R. Kelly calls them in the Trapped in a Closet commetary, “cliff hangers”. Keeping all of this in mind, I had pretty low expectations, which was probably a good thing. Just kind of figured it would be like The Good Son, except with a girl. Not to be confused with the Jennifer Aniston movie The Good Girl, of course.
One of these things doesn’t belong. Yup, it’s the deaf one!
The story involves a woman played by Vera Farmiga who has a miscarriage and is having issues dealing with herself and her family, as well as her alcoholism. She starts looking into adoption and, surprise surprise, adopts an orphan! I think that’s where the name of the movie comes from….maybe. So she adopts a little girl from Russia named Esther, played by Isabelle Fuhrman, but sadly, not everything is as it seems (it never is as it seems, is it?). After a difficult adjustment period with her new family, especially the biological children, Esther’s behavior gets a little more bizarre. And by bizarre, I mean homicidal.
Typical…clearly she just wants to party, and all the whitecoats are holding her down. A tale as old as time…
It starts when someone from the orphanage comes around asking questions about Esther and paperwork and her history, somewhat vague stuff. Esther’s reaction? She has her new sister help her murder the woman with a hammer. HOLY SHIT A GODDAMNED HAMMER. She then attempts to, unsuccessfully, kill the other children. Mom starts having questions about the behavior and second-guessing Esther, but all of her paranoia is attributed to her alcoholism. Esther gets worse and worse, and even attempts to seduce the father when his wife has left the house to get away from Esther. I won’t ruin the ending for you, like it was ruined for me, but it’s wacky, of course.
Since when is watching someone sleep frowned upon?
Surprisingly, this movie was a lot of fun. Albeit, it was a little longer than I anticipated, but still fun. It was a lot more stylish than I had anticipated, especially considering the fact that I have seen similar stories as this one, but they actually had some cool visuals and some interesting concepts. Having the mother be an alcoholic and her biological daughter being deaf might have seemed a little too planned, but you don’t see deaf characters portrayed too often, and neither of those traits were done in a heavy-handed way. You sometimes forgot about those things until they actually fit into the plot in a justifiable way. All of the actors were pretty good too, especially considering Fuhrman was only 12 when it was released, but she was still just the right combination of terrifying and innocent. So the next time you see the terrifying cover of this movie when you are in a Blockbuster (if people even go to those anymore), feel free to check it out.
Wolfman Moon Scale