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Orphan First Kill Review: A Psychological Masterpiece


Following one of the biggest breakout horror films back in 2009 is no easy task. Still, Orphan First Kill provides a cold, bloodthirsty and thoroughly enjoyable experience delivered by a stellar Isabelle Fuhrman performance. Here’s our Orphan First Kill review.

Orphan First Kill

After escaping from a psychiatric facility in Estonia, Esther travels to America by impersonating the missing daughter of a wealthy family. Yet, an unexpected twist arises that pits her against a mother who will protect her family at any cost.

The Orphan’s twist is still to this day one of the best twists I’ve seen in any horror movie. Easily one of the best and most gripping twists in the genre and one that absolutely no one saw coming at the time.

Julia Stiles in Orphan First Kill

Julia Stiles as “Tricia” in Orphan: First Kill from Paramount Players, eOne, and Dark Castle Entertainment.

William Brent-Bell (The Devil Inside) takes the reins with this prequel and with Isabelle Fuhrman back reprising her role as Esther/Leena many were questioning how she could play a little girl once again over 20 years after the original movie came out.

With camera angles and digital de-ageing, that’s how and for the most part you don’t even notice that she looks ever so slightly older than she did, the performance is so captivating that you’re led to believe everything you’ve been told which sets you up quite nicely for that classic Orphan twist.

Esther Orphan First Kill

Esther_Day4-094.cr3

Yes, Orphan First Kill has a twist that once again hits you absolutely out of nowhere. The big reveal that just takes the audience by surprise once again and keeps you hooked about what will happen next.

Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You, The Prince & Me) brings her talents to the big screen and this film just feels like a frame-for-frame respect of the original. It’s done so wonderfully and really allows you to feel more comfortable with what you’re watching rather than worrying about the prequel curse that plagues many films.

Naturally, the prequel has very big shoes to fill and for the most part, Orphan First Kill does just that. It hooks you in and keeps you guessing but after the twist is revealed the film seems to meander somewhat and loses its way.

Rossif Sutherland & Julia Stiles in Orphan First Kill (Signature Entertainment)

Rossif Sutherland as “Allen” and Julia Stiles as “Tricia” in Orphan: First Kill from Paramount Players, eOne, and Dark Castle Entertainment.

The twist comes around the mid-way point of the movie and I feel that if it was structured more towards the finale of the film there would have been a more impactful delivery. The second the audience is in on the twist that’s when you’re more likely to just grin and bare what you’re witnessing until the credits roll.

It’s a wonderful twist that will catch many off guard but the pacing just trundles along thereafter and that’s a real shame but at the same time that very twist humanizes Esther and has you as an audience caring about her, which is crazy in itself. Maybe we should be sectioned in an Estonian asylum too?

Orphan First Kill

With the story taking place before the first movie, there are a few plot holes that don’t make sense if you’re watching this and immediately jump into watching the 2009 original. There are a few inconsistencies here and there that don’t make sense if you’re watching the movies back to back.

Isabelle Fuhrmann is a delight to watch and that innocent act never fades even when she’s doing such horrific things. There’s a depth to her acting whilst hiding behind this innocence whilst still portraying this intelligence. It’s a joy to watch.

Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan First Kill (Signature Entertainment)

Isabelle Fuhrman as “Esther” in Orphan: First Kill from Paramount Players, eOne, and Dark Castle Entertainment.

I really enjoyed Orphan First Kill, it’s certainly not up there with the original and let’s be honest it was never going to reach those heights but it’s a strong and gripping prequel that is intensely captivating. 

Orphan First Kill review by Sean Evans 

Our Rating

Summary

A strong and gripping prequel that is intensely captivating. Esther is back on the big screen and it’s a joy to behold, a strong prequel instalment as terror and splendid horror twists hit the big screen once again.



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