Next up, a review of Stepfather, in which a homicidal maniac is living in your house, eating your food, trying to pass himself off as your father and, perhaps worst of all, having sex with your mom. But the movie is so comprehensive in its paranoias and biases, stoking such primitive and bizarre anxieties and so many of them that getting worked up about it giving adoption a bad name doesn't even begin to cover it. As the demographics of our nation shift--as stepfamilies outnumber first families, as interracial, international adoptions become not only acceptable but glamorous, and births out of wedlock those within marriage , Hollywood brings out a movie that suggests that the "real" American family is in literally danger. One might read the whole thing as kind of paranoid meditation on the perils of adopting a kid with reactive attachment disorder. When the subject matter is families, particularly imperiled families, or families in crisis, then the studio really has my interest, and very likely yours as well. At an orphanage they fall in love with Esther, a sweet and deep-seeming, doe-eyed, dark-haired little girl with a very severe part always an indicator of a serious attachment disorder. What if I end up with one? Orphan engages and exacerbates not the just the fear of adoptive parents, but of all parents. Are some kids just bad? Ultimately, a movie like Orphan recasts not just our personal fears but some of our most potent cultural terrors. Put another way, the adoption agency and orphanage were not entirely honest about Esther. Adoption advocacy groups across the world have recently been protesting that Orphan gives a bad name to adoptees. In the very worst case, children raised this way may be unable to bond even with loving, responsive, committed adoptive parents. Esther the Killer turns meaning itself on its head.