The Perfect Baby Blog

Perfect Backlash: The “Orphan” Trailer

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

“I guess I’m different,” says Esther, the eerily precocious child at the center of this upcoming horror film (July 7), explaining why she prefers to paint industriously instead of partying with less focused kids. And by “different,” she’s not just referring to her tenacious love of Victorian black-velvet chokers.

ESTHER: Superb concentration skills

ESTHER: Superb concentration skills

Described as “extraordinary” and “mature for her age,” she appears to be developmentally advanced. Her name, Esther, derived from the Persian word for “star,” is a typical perfect-baby name—conspicuously out-of-fashion yet regal. Think Baby Names lists “Staria” as an alternative.

Yet, apparently, there’s something wrong with Esther. Yeah, like she’s nuts. Prone to Shiva-like temper tantrums. Ill-disposed towards toilet paper. And quite possibly murderous. “You’ll never guess her secret,” the trailer taunts. (Except you probably will. Or will accidentally read a spoiler, as I did.)

It’s easy to read this movie as a backlash against the sort of slightly alien, overachieving, over-pressured, over-dressed children that have become increasingly common—in the same way that 1973’s The Exorcist has been interpreted as a manifestation of anxiety over rising rates of divorce (and what it “does to the children”).

Something tells me that Malia and Sasha will not be seeing Orphan.

Related Posts:
The dark side of Olivia
The Ghost of Perfect Babies Past: Sylvia Plath
Competitive crawling sweeps nation

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