Orphan: First Kill
review by Bobby Blakey
In 2009 audiences were introduced to Ester in the horror/thriller Orphan. The film starred Isabelle Fuhrman, Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard. Now she is back in the new prequel film Orphan: First Kill featuring the return of Fuhrman in the title role alongside Julia Stiles and Rossif Sutherland from The Devil Inside, The Boy and Brahm’s: The Boy II director William Brent Bell at the helm. Could this attempt at telling the origins of Esther work or will it fail to be able to blend in?
Orphan: First Kill follows Esther who travels to America by impersonating the missing daughter of a wealthy family after orchestrating a brilliant escape from an Estonian psychiatric facility. Yet, an unexpected twist arises that pits her against a mother who will protect her family from the murderous “child” at any cost.
The first film was a slow build that worked thanks mostly to its big twist ending and Fuhrman’s performance. So can this prequel to where we already know her secret still manage to deliver? Thanks to some new clever twists that come out of left field and another great performance from Fuhrman and you have a pretty decent follow-up.
For so many years gone by I was confused to how they were going to bring Fuhrman back for a prequel playing Esther whom she was 10/11 years old in the original film. Thanks to some well-done de-aging CGI and some creative filming they pulled it off. She dives right back in, but this time doesn’t have to wait too long before she gets to show her evil side as we being to learn where it all started.
Right out of the gate it brings the chaos to remind fans of who Esther
really is before shifting focus to her officially becoming Esther and the new family. This slows things down a bit, but still offers up a lot more meat to the story since there is no secret to reveal and we can see what she is up to. Just when you think there isn’t anything new to learn the entire film takes a big turn in a fun way to shake things up.
There are a lot of nods to the original film and some things that explain things she does in it making it really connect while being its own thing. I would have never thought we needed a follow up of any kind to Orphan, let alone a prequel thirteen years later. To my amazement it worked bringing more of the same formula in a new way to fans of the original film. While not a perfect film it is one that if you like the original then you will most likely like this one as well.
Grab your copy of Orphan: First Kill available now on digital and then on Blu-raya nd DVD on October 18th from Paramount Home Entertainment.