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Film Review: The Orphan Killer (2011)


The Orphan Killer is a tour de force murder flick that defies classification. It goes far beyond current trends in gore and breaks open a new suffering genre of horror. Marcus Miller is a serial murderer hellbent on teaching his estranged sister Audrey what it means to have family loyalty. His lessons are taught in massive doses of vulgar and unimaginable pain. Throughout her brutal torture we learn that Marcus is not the only Miller with Killer in the bloodline as Audrey proves to be a formidable adversary.


I was assuming low budget with the kind of title this film is wearing, but then after seeing the opener birds-eye city shots I knew I might need to stick around as the film had a little bit of money invested into it. “The Orphan killer” is a really an almost-homage to those 80’s slasher type films. The whole mask thing, yep we’ve seen that a few times now..more recently “Midnight Movie“, or “Behind the Mask“. But masks seem to be a big component of slasher fare presentation. Now as a slasher film this movie rocks, and wears its flag pretty proud. The kill scenes are unrelenting and done well with some great practical effects added.

The Orphan Killer (2011) movie - still 1


A smashed in head, a machete thru the face…..all that great slasher mojo that says “don’t mess me with me or I’ll gut ya!  Now our killer is yep…an orphan. We get a pretty decent back story on a loner who had a affinity with violence from an early age. It also didn’t help that the nuns tortured him, made him wear a mask when he was bad and kept his back pretty scarred up with lashings and beatings. If anything in the world is to piss off a child, it’s abusive nuns who don’t have any sense of real moral ethics. Oh ya, he had a sister. One who was taken away to much more suitable childhood upbringing. This child is the now grown up Audrey.

The Orphan Killer (2011) movie - still 6

David Backus plays the role of the infamous orphan killer. His approach is pretty dead on….killer without mercy. At times, you have to wonder why he is killing every one, but isn’t that the tradition of bang-up slasher faire? Though an impressive back story does more than its share of giving adequate explanation.

Diane Foster as Audrey is one smoking hot lady who grants us a few worthy nude shots to snapshot into our psyche. Though make no mistake, this is one tough lady who not only co-produced the film but stars in it and takes alot of onscreen abuse. As Audrey, she is the target of the killers interest. He tortures a priest, kills a few others and slices up a cop pretty bad. None of them take the prolonged abuse that Audrey does. Suspended by her 2 hands in a barbed wire, she is toyed with, carved and made to endure a pretty long dose of pain herself. At this point I’d love to give away every detail, but that might keep you from checking out this gem. I’ll say that Audrey has to really contain her pain if she hopes to escape the situation.  Her performance is so believable that you forget that there is a practical effects team standing by. This says alot for the collaboration between producers and the director. Another interesting facet is the orphan killer who grunts most of the time but speaks rather intelligently at other times. At first I thought this might be a movie flaw, but it actually just makes his faceless character even more creepy.

The Orphan Killer (2011) movie - still 5

The movie is well shot and well directed with Matt Farnsworth leading the pack on this one. I’ve seen bits of his previous film Gacy, but wasn’t as impressed. This one will surely put Matt’s name on the map. It was also somewhat refreshing to pay homage to the old days in the this modern release. There is enough “extreme” to make this experience nail biting. Though its not extreme for only extreme sake. The hardcore parts make sense to the premise and movement of the film.

The Orphan Killer (2011) movie - still 4

The Orphan Killer is great horror and great genre potion. Outstanding return to classic horror with a lethal bang! An impressive visceral contribution that will be talked about for quite some time.


  • Behind The Murder – Exclusive Video Diary
  • Trailer
  • Music Clip
  • Slideshow
  • Collectible O-Card

The Orphan Killer (2011) at long last comes to bluray per the fine folks over at Reelgore Releasing


  1. Firstly please don’t roam the net and steal a free copy from some torrent site. As far as I know there a few places to get the DVD TOK from – mainly facebook. Be sincere and respectful to the film and Mr.Farnsworth and put your hand in your pocket and buy this classic movie.

    After reading the other reviews on this film there is little else to say bar 10/10. If you are reading this, as it is the newest review, I am not here to spoil the viewer as to its contents.

    There are aspects of Halloween within the film but that IS a good thing! The random camera angles are mind blowing and the music is so fitting – often mixed into the unique soundtrack glimpses of music found in other horrors I will not name. The film is NOT meant to be a shock horror, in my opinion, just a good old fashioned slasher. Marcus is a twisted dark character to the extent you feel very little sorrow for the victims of his hideous acts – you are sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next glorious demonic act he is to carry out.

    IF there was anything to say against the film it would be one thing. After a glorious deadly encounter, resulting in ample blood to keep any blood fan happy, TOK aka Marcus is always fresh and clean ready for his next victim. – This in my opinion is totally deliberate and I love Matt Farnsworths brain in thinking of this randomness.

    The plot is good, the acting excellent (it is MEANT to be slightly OTT) and the gore is just moreish!!! There can be no other rating for this film other than 10/10.

    Well Done Matt and Diane – I hope we will see more of your work in time to come. Marcus Miller deserves a trilogy at least.

    • Theorphankiller

      Thanks for the bloody comment Mike. The brutal revolution is alive.
      The 10 out of 10’s are real and here to stay.

    • Hello Mike…
      I agree with you. I love this movie and I watch it often. I was hooked even before I ever seen this film. I was a fan on the page even before the movie was released and the pictures that were posted sucked me in. I am honored to know the star s and directors and I can not wait till the next chapters of this movie

  2. stop hyping this sh*t everywhere!

    For god sake stop hyping this sh*t everywhere!!!

    every message board, every review its mike – “hey I’m really a crappy film maker called matt farnsworth” willis –

    hillarious and so transparent. if you really need to do this – and ask people to not download your “film” from free sites, like it’s ever going to be for sale anywhere – I think you really need to get a job where you actually might be able to succeed.
    Give it up and move on.

    • nicola bulloch

      You are very deluded and you need to do your research properly before you make accussations that are very untrue, Mike Willis is NOT Matt Farnsworth, Mike is just a very passionate fan from the oxfordshire in England, I know this as he is my friend and I live near him,
      So please please never join the police as you detective skills are pretty lame

      • We are all entitled to our opinions. I have been a huge fan of Matt’s work since I saw his movie Iowa. Mike Willis is a fan as well. I happen to think that this movie by far is bloody genius to say the least. I am a huge fan of horror movies and the fact that in the first 20 minutes there are 5 kills,well I am sold. The story line is great and the process behind this film (in my opinion) is fantastic

    • I personally have nothing to do with the film or the people behind the scenes.
      I wrote what I felt and looking at later statements on this page what I wrote was justified.
      I am not ‘upping’ the film just giving my opinion.
      IF you bother looking at the facebook page you will see there are close to 95,000 fans thus far and many have either streamed the movie or indeed bought it.
      Everyones idea of a movie is different. Us fans from facebook however like this movie and all that Matt Farnsworth does outside the film – mainly on facebook again.

      IF you are not interested in this movie please find a movie that does interest you and allow TOK fans to leave their opinions in peace.

  3. I don’t like bantering with idiots, so I’ll just offer you a little help:
    mike willis did not make tok
    if by “hyping sh*t” you mean “marketing”, just say marketing.
    marketing is good.
    your intelligence level is bad. by bad i mean not good. got it?

  4. Hannibal Caine

    Oh jeez.. for real? this movie was horrible.. come on.. seriously.. to give this movie a ten is like saying eating out of the toilet is pleasant. My fiancee and i sat through the MAYBE 2 or 3 pages full of dialogue in this movie and laughed our asses off as to why anyone would consider even giving this a second glance.. It stopped being interesting after the first few minutes.To say this movie deserves a ten is admitting you either are a friend of the producer/director/actors or the same said person(s) are the ones who wrote this review. The s’story’ (if you want to call it that was fragmented and stupid, character development was non-existent, the effects were mediocre and the acting?… well, let’s just say I’ve seen better at high school plays.. Too many loose ends, and an entire septic tank full of loose ends that were never resolved. MAYBE worth a ten 1 being great, 10 being under the bottom of the barrel.. Come on!

    • I’m sorry to hear that. Nope, I really loved this film for the reasons mentioned in the review. Thought it hit all the marks. I’ve heard of several sites liking this one, so I know I’m not alone. But my reasons are it tension and smart use of violence

      It’s funny that readers automatically think, the site has some kind of connection for liking something. Thats not how we roll here. I recently had to give a director friend’s film a really bad review,…well because it was a really bad film. I’m hoping that its used constructively though.

      thats ok, though if you found it not up to par. Everyone likes their pizza differently. I sometimes get mine with anchovies ;)

      • Well said,we all have the right to our opinions and thats what makes this country great. I love this film and I can not wait for the next ones to come. Horror is a personal taste,for example…The Evil Dead movies,many say they are great,me,I am not a fan,but I do not bash them at all. Blood sweat and tears go into all movies and that is what we should remember. Art is art by any form,who are we to judge….

    • At least you already paid for it, and thought enough about it to take the time to write about it. Youre in denial bro. Fiance? that is so gay to even say that online. Nobody cares about you loser. FIANCE???? hahahaha that is so gay. hahaha

    • I compose music for a living and I can honestly say this has to be one of the worst film scores I have encountered in a long while. I also think that the movie is ghastly and banal in the extreme.

      I have to take my hat off to the producers. To raise funding for this movie shows the sort of talent that sells ice to the Eskimo’s.

      It is a shame that such talent is wasted on, what I think, is one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a long time.

      • its funny, we have 1000’s of reviews, but out of all of them folks seem real passionate on either hating or loving this film in particular. Well I suppose engagement is better than being ignored

  5. I don’t understand why some people take time out of there day to shoot this movie down! If you don’t like the film, just keep your mouth shut. It really shows how stupid you are! Maybe you think Todd Smith is also Matt Farnsworth? TOK fans are here to stay! TOK fans will do what we want, and say what we want to support this film. So maybe you ” Mr. stop hyping the sh*t everywhere!” and nice name by the way, Put your real name on here p*ssy! If you hate this movie that bad, so be it. But the TOK revolution is HERE! And we are Not going anywhere! This film is the best horror film i have seen. Killer job Matt and Diane. And same going for you Mr. Hannibal Caine. What an original name you have. Long live TOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • Todd,hello my dear friend. Lets be the bigger ones here and not play child like games such as name calling shall we? This movie will become a cult classic. Tons of my friends who are hard core into horror love this film,and are bloody happy I recommended this to them. The negative comments are more than likely made my jea;ous no talent children. Now the comments that are negative and made with an actual thought process,they have the right to their opinion…we all do..My brother is a force to be dealt with and Matt Farnsworth has given birth to the 20th century….IN MY BLOODY OPINION!!!!!

  6. I have to admit something…this may be a shock to the negative reviewers…this movie was GOOD. This proves there are original ideas out there. There are those who can make something original and fun to watch. I know it’s a horror movie and horror movies are supposed to be fun to watch. The Orphan Killer is a better version of what Rob Zombie did to Halloween. If I were to choose to see either Halloween or The Orphan Killer, I would go straight for The Orphan Killer. The brutality is intense. I love hardcore slasher films and this film had what I was looking for in a hardcore slasher films. I like what is out there today by low budget independent artists. I HATE what Hollywood has been throwing at us, PG-13 horror, Sparkly Vampires? Really? My faith in Hollywood has ceased to exist. Another reason why I love low budget horror films. They’re original and very fun to watch. If any reviewers who seen the atrocity of A Nightmare on Elm Street and claim this is the best film ever made, I highly doubt they even know that it is a remake. Unfortunately for the younger audience or newer generation of horror movie watchers, they think this is an original movie. As for The Orphan Killer, I hope and pray to whatever horror movie god that is observing the trials this film is going through, I hope for a divine intervention and have The Orphan Killer get the attention it deserves. Marcus Miller is in my top five favorite killers. He’s at the top of the top five. If anything, I hope more films from Matt can be made. He is a storyteller and this is exactly what he’s doing. He’s telling a story and in my book, he told a really good one. Brutal and violent? Yes. Good? f*ck Yes! I hope he continues making films, he has a talent.

    • I agree with you. Matt is an amazing writer/director to say the least. No need to bash him for his eye. Horror is an art form and there are many types of art. Matt’s is raw gritty and hard core!!!! Matt,we have to have more of TOK…..

  7. This film has everything a horror movie should have. The gore is there for sure. The acting is great. I am not sure about the Halloween aspect, TOK can actually talk and make a sentence.. Not like Micheal Myers. Great slasher film!!!! And it leaves you wanting more. Cant wait for TOK 2. Full Fathom 5 rocks! To all the haters, go blab your trash some place else!

  8. Such and awesome movie. Loved every minute of it also.

  9. Well a similar motive, but better than what Rob did with the sequel. I hope there is a sequel to The Orphan Killer coming soon. This could be a whole new franchise. I can’t wait to meet Matt and Diane. I thought the kills were very realistic and well done. I didn’t see anything amateurish about them at all.

  10. OK, WTF are these people that are saying such bad things about Farnsworth and TOK doing on this site? Obviously you watched the movie, right? So you must have bought it? Right? Otherwise you would be a criminal and nobody cares wtf a criminal thinks anyway. Are you stupid f#%ks still following me? Ok, did what he wanted to do, he got people to watch this movie. Duh, this world is built on people wanting or needing what you got. Matt is a freaking genius. Whether you like it or not you still bought the effin movie, Dbags!
    TOK is a great slasher flick. I grew up with the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Yes, TOK has ‘that’ potential. Its such a great premise and the story can be complex in future sequels. Its set up perfectly, classic american marketing. If I was to guess, Matt may have some marketing courses under his belt. The special effects and the pure evil just lures people in. And then to be able to chat on FB about it with other fans is perfect. This is genius at its best. And as far as the actors, they are excellent. Diane did what a scream queen should do, but she is also excellent in other works. One word, AMAZING! This girl rocks. that alone will make millions. FU to all you haters but congrats to Matt on a great memorable piece of art. Love you all. Just got cut off at the bar. Goodnight

  11. I know what it is like to tell stories. To actually get your vision out there is a challenge unto itself. I’m a writer and artist and I give a lot of kudos to Matt for his passion. Unfortunately when I did my review on Youtube, I’m starting to attract these assholes who have a tendency to attack me rather than the movie because I’m a horror fan and my appearance somehow offends them. I’m grateful for the block and remove button. None of them knows me and an opinion is like an asshole, everyone has them.

  12. the trailer got me hooked cant wait to see the main thing for a home made low budgit thing its lookin pretty f*ckin awsome holywood would pay big f*ckin cash for ideas like that if they dont then screw them more cash for you lol

  13. Tired & Grumpy

    This movie is pretentious 32##@^&%^. No wonder you had to self-distribute it as no one else would touch it.

  14. Okay, so I read a boat load of reviews on this movie, and saw all of it’s Facebook comments giving this movie tons and tons of praise so I just HAD to check it out. I personally LOVE gore, but this movie just didn’t do it for me. Every kill scene looks like the victim was dead as a door nail before they even got impaled or even assaulted. That was a major downfall for me. The first kill especially. I honestly watched this movie THREE TIMES before I could get through it all the way without falling asleep.. and That was because I refused to not watch a movie I paid money for.

    Anyway, just my opinion, i’m no critic, i’m just a real horror fan.

  15. The Black Saint

    OK, I finally got to watch this today. I really wanted to see both this & “The Woman” as I am preparing a “Best Of 2011” list & I’ve read so much about these two that I felt I had to watch them before I could really finalize my list. Sadly, neither one will make my list. Although I thought that both had their virtues eventually I found them both to be a bit tedious & trying too hard to shock their audience. “TOK” succeeds on a purely visceral level. It has enough gore for five slasher movies but I thought it’s ultra low budget eventually undermined it’s lofty ambitions. Perhaps with a little more money & a plot that didn’t rely so heavily on “Halloween” to propel it forward we might have had something. As it stands, I’d give it 4.5 out of 10 but I do admire the pluckiness of those behind it & I understand the ardor it’s gathered from fans. It’s not unworthy of some accolades but it’s hardly the next big thing either.

  16. Pain is Dear Friend of mine. The Orphan Killer Rocks.

  17. The black saint here is more like the black anal wart on a tight ass. Man u don’t know the next big thing. TOK already is. You’ve just been frozen off. Now wait three days dry up and fall off.

  18. Great Review Mark. Really true. It is being talked about and will be forever. It’s one of those instant classics.

  19. The Black Saint

    @Murder maker – I just read your opinion on me & I have to say I’m more than a bit confused. Firstly, I’d like to be compared to an anal fissure rather than a anal wart. Call me nuts but I like the way “Fissure” sounds….
    Secondly, I didn’t rag on the movie, not completely anyway. Did you actually read my comments? I thought it had some moments worthy of praise. I just didn’t (& still don’t) think it’s the next big thing as a lot of others do. It does have a fairly rabid following but so does “Plan Nine From Outer Space”. You get my meaning here Murder?
    Thirdly, it’s been more than three days since you posted your comment (Closer to three months actually) & I’m still here. I might have dried up but I haven’t fallen off. And as to “TOK” being hailed as the “Next Big Thing”, I haven’t heard much about it in months. Actually I haven’t heard ANYTHING about it in months. Does this mean I want it to fail? HELL NO! Like I said in my comment, “It’s not unworthy of some accolades”. I hope a sequel is in some form of production right now. I think that there is some gold to be mined in a sequel and I’d like to see one. But let’s be real here…”TOK” is hardly a classic of the genre. It’s a fair, ultra low budget movie that bit off more than it could chew in the end.
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a tight ass I’m supposed to be irritating…

  20. The Black Saint

    Oh boy… I am all sorts of things MM but a film maker? Nope, no interest whatsoever in that vocation. There are too many numbskulls with camcorders calling themselves film makers out there already, my participation is not necessary.

    I do comment on other reviews here on occasion (Or when I remember to look over other reviews posted). There aren’t too many that I’ve commented on but there are a few if you wanna dig around and look for them.

    And I do write for HNN. I thought you might have figured that out by now, guess not. Oh well…no harm, no foul. I harbor no ill will towards you for not knowing this already. Hell…sometimes I forget I’m a writer here as well.

    By the way, I still stand by my opinion of “TOK”. I fail to see the “Power” that you think the film has although I still think it had potential. Stop hating brother! Get behind a camera and show us what you can do! I’ve already come out and said I am no film maker…are you?

    Yeah…I didn’t think so. Live long & prosper MM! I’m gonna sit down & watch “Chopped” now.

  21. I’ll never understand how some films get such a great reputation!! the age of social media is a double-edged sword … it’s great that indie filmmakers can get out there and get known, but it also allows films like The Orphan Killer rise in status. This is a horrible movie!! The only thing it has going for it is the gore, and the gore isn’t even as good as the Laid to Rest films. The acting is terrible; there’s no character development; most of the plot elements had me laughing out loud; the dialogue is horrendous; and once the killer starts talking I had to keep rewinding the dvd because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t hear the absolute sh*t he was saying. And the nun’s punishiments on the little kid was just dumb.

    There is no “power” in The Orphan Killer. This is a way below average slasher flick that has above average gore effects (although not the best I’ve seen). This is not the “next big thing” in horror. It’s treading on very common ground and offers absolutely nothing new.

    • Actually we came across this film way before it started to gain some traction. After really liking it, we helped spread the word. Viewer perspective is often a matter of the individuals personal tastes and styles. Many films are really crap for just being crap, however a film like this often draws that gray line between viewers who like it and those who don’t (its very violent – which some folks just dont care for).

      It’s probably useless to try and understand that concept at times and just move on to the next thing. To make a point, I know a great percentage of folks who hate Lynch films….while I on the other hand absolutely love every one.

      In any case, no one’s asking you to watch Orphan Killer again

      Seeing that 50 films come thru a month for us…..if any of them manage to rise above just being “another” film…its usually the result of hard work on the film makers efforts.

  22. Yikes. The internet is sure grumpy about this movie. I had fun with it!

  23. In a word: CRAP! All hype and marketed.


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