September 18, 2011

Filthy Review - The Orphan Killer

The Orphan Killer (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

Horror movie icons have been around for decades, from Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula and the Wolfman through to Freddy, Jason and Leatherface, they have always been with us. Recent years have given us John Kramer, even though he was dead for most of the Saw movies, and to a lesser degree Victor Crowley, Leslie Vernon and Chromeskull. What makes an icon though is the fans, the movies themselves don’t always have to be any good, I mean just look at some of the later Elm Street movies, which were average at best, and how popular Freddy Krueger became. Fans made them the icons they are and it is the fans that will continue to do so.

This brings me to The Orphan Killer, an independent movie written and directed by Matt Farnsworth, which threatens to unleash a new psychopath into the unsuspecting public consciousness. It may be a tough ask though, and this is not down to the quality of the movie which is very good, as this movie really does push a few buttons. The content is quite strong at times, which for a horror flick is just fine with me as the more buttons a movie pushes the better. Horror should challenge what is acceptable viewing. Don’t worry though, we aren’t heading into new born porn territory here. However, the potential is here for The Orphan Killer aka Marcus Miller, who already has close to one hundred thousand fans on one social networking site, to become a B movie icon.

After the murder, during a home invasion, of his parents Marcus Miller and his sister Audrey are shuttled off to an orphanage to live. It is whilst he is here that he takes exception to another one of the orphanage’s residents. The Nuns don’t take too kindly to this and keep him locked away. His sister is adopted by a police officer and Marcus is left to languish in Nun hell. Now, the story is revealed piece by piece with flashbacks slowly putting everything into place. The long and the short of it though is that Marcus is none too happy with his sister and hunts her down with less than pleasant plans for her.

The first thing I noticed about The Orphan Killer is that is a very nicely shot movie, the images are crisp and fluid, and the overall look is of one that belies what I imagine is a fairly low budget. The script is minimal yet through the actions of Marcus and Audrey the story is conveyed well enough, even if the plot is not really the strongest. Diane Foster, as Audrey, puts in a good turn, especially during the latter stages and David Backhaus transforms Marcus into a brutal killing machine.

The real strength of The Orphan Killer is in its cold-hearted and nasty scenes of violence, which are aplenty. Graphic, bloody and disturbing they certainly do the trick, with no-one spared. Some scenes may be considered distasteful by some, myself not included, but it is this brutality that really sells the movie.

I would have liked to have seen things tightened up in places, a couple of scenes go on for longer than necessary and caused the film to lag slightly, and there were a few plotlines that came a little too close to other movies for my liking. Aside from that though I thought The Orphan Killer was really solid psycho-run-amok movie.

Any movie can deliver blood and gore, here though Matt Farnsworth has managed to make it uncomfortable to watch as well as very effectively done. I would think that fans of the Laid to Rest movies, and other brutal slasher movies, will get a real kick out of this.

Whether or not Marcus Miller will find his way into the hearts of horror fans and into the realms of horror icon only time will tell, but on this showing he is well on his way. 

The Orphan Killer is available to buy at the TOK Store


jimmie t. murakami said...

Jude, have you ever seen a horror movie (or indeed a movie from any genre for that matter) that you`ve been genuinely offended, shocked, or sickened by ?.

Lord of Filth said...

I'll have to give that some thought and get back to you Jimmie

jimmie t. murakami said...

Cheers my old mate.