Monday, April 25, 2011

Baddest Film Kid: "The Good Son" vs. "Orphan"

The original evil child from 1956 was a little blonde girl by the name of Rhoda from The Bad Seed. She was everyone's little angel, but there was one person who could see through all that sweetness: their maintenance man Leroy. Sure, there were other evil children coming out on the big screen from Damien to Isaac and Malachai duo.

In 1993, we met Henry in The Good Son. Before we met Henry, we were introduced to his cousin Mark and learned how he came to live with Henry and his family. While staying with him, Mark is encouraged to enjoy himself with Henry and open up to his Aunt Susan and a psychiatrist about his mother's death. Throughout his stay, Mark learns how devious his cousin is and is convinced that he is evil with no reason. Perhaps more formally psychopathic.

Before I move onto the details, let me introduce you to the artistically talented Esther from the 2009 thriller Orphan. A loving couple finally decide that they are ready to adopt, after an unfortunate stillborn of their third child. They choose a sweet, secluded girl by the name of Esther and bring her home to meet their other two children, Daniel and Max (who is hearing impaired). Daniel is immediately very wary, perhaps even a little jealous, and embarrassed of Esther.

Now, the only thing that ties these three movies together are seemingly innocent, but evil children. As far as stories go, they veer far from the blueprint. The Good Son and Orphan are my main focus due to similar situations. Before I begin the comparison, I must warn you that this post contains some spoilers, but nothing that ruins the ending. So, you have to watch them to see the conclusion.

Case 01: Henry (The Good Son)
His Main Target: his cousin Mark
Person that knows the truth: his little sister Connie

Henry displays very strange behaviors around Mark, but seems innocent and normal for a 12 year old boy around his parents. We slowly learn that he tends to delve into conversations about death, occasionally mentioning Richard, his decease baby brother, and uses this topic against his target. His mother, Susan, has something to remember Richard by, but cannot find it. This object was a rubber duckie. He is also very manipulative and uses love as a weakness toward others. Putting two opposing sides against each other and making one person think the other is crazy due to their supposed emotional/mental state. He doesn't have a sense of a conscience. He harms an animal and enlists Mark to help him hide the body, then somewhat uses it against him. He causes a ten car accident, makes his parents fight each other, and puts Connie in a near death experience on thin ice. He also plays with Mark's emotions he has for Connie and messes with him during a game of hide and seek in complete darkness. He also plotted to suffocate Connie in the hospital and convinces the psychiatrist that Mark's delusional. Later, Uncle Wallace, Henry's father, stops Mark from fixing things, because Henry has convinced him that he's emotionally unstable and Henry confesses the truth about the past to Susan, his mother. So, is it possible for someone to be evil with no reason?

Case 02: Esther (Orphan)
Her Main Target: her adopted mother, Kate
Person that knows the truth: her new gained siblings, Daniel & Max

Esther also displays strange behavior, but in a different way than Henry. She reveals that she knows more than the average 9 year old about sex. Kate has flowers to remember her stillborn child. Esther also causes an accident, but it's only a single car. She ends up enlisting Max on finishing the job and uses it against her. She also harms another girl in public, which is quite bold, but there are no witnesses. She also uses the thin ice maneuver and darkness against her target(s). She puts Daniel in a near death experience and tries to get rid of him during his recovery. Like Henry, she uses love as a weakness and forces Kate and her husband John against each other. John thinks Kate is delusional and is regressing back to her alcoholic ways, after Esther fooled their usual psychiatrist. Perhaps this is the face of evil.

Both children display a lack of conscience and enjoy what they do. Both movies also have similar elements to them like using the emotion of love against their targets, killing animals with no remorse, and being so seemingly innocent. Unfortunately, I can not decide which is the badder kid, but I would love you, my precious Cult followers, to discuss here in the comments who think is the face of evil.


Eden said...

The bad child from The Good Son is worse in a lot of ways...

Lastdays guy said...

The Orphan was a serial killer.

Anonymous said...


Cosmozarella said...

I'd still pick Henry