Orphan Art Imitates Life

Why do you think that a movie like orphan got made in the first place?  Do you think that adoptees, orphans, foundlings, whatever you want to call us weren’t perceived as creepy before?  Don’t fool yourself.

Horror movies at their very heart are morality tales.  They work on appealing to our sense of order.  If something isn’t quite right, all hell can break loose.  That is the hook.

Horror works on universal fears.  The thing in the dark, the thing we don’t know, the thing in close proximity.  Orphans always work because they are all of those things.  We come from, if not a bad place, many times an unknown place.  We are born one thing and are expected to be another.  We are by our births and or abandonment, changelings.  That it is a bit creepy cannot be denied.

The movie Orphan is not playing to anything new.  Orphans are perceived as being not right, weird, something that needs to be fixed.  If they were not there would be no such thing as adoption.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’m certain that it doesn’t differ from most other movies of the genre.  It’s good versus evil.  Most likely good intentions versus evil, and that’s the really scary part.  Especially for adoptive parents, I think.  It plays to their most basic fears concerning adoption.  What if good intentions can’t make it right?  What if they fail?  What if the orphan remains an orphan?  What if good really can’t fix evil?

As to the adoptees, the orphans, the foundlings that are upset by this preception, too bad, so sad.  Make no mistake, to some degree you are stuck with it.  We are different.  We do come from an unusual place.  This will always be perceived as somewhat creepy by some.  We do interfer with the general sense of order.

But it is just a movie.  Little Esther is no more real than Frankenstein.  She’s no more real than Damien, than Rhoda, than all the things in the dark.  She’s no more real than the foot steps in the hall that wake you at night.  She is just a figment of our collective imagination.

How powerful can that be?