ORPHAN: FIRST KILL | ©2022 Paramount Players

ORPHAN: FIRST KILL | ©2022 Paramount Players

Stars: Isabelle Fuhrman, Julia Stiles, Rossif Sutherland, Hiro Kanagawa, Matthew Finlan, Gwendolyn Collins
Writer: David Coggeshall, story by Alex Mace and David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
Director: William Brent Bell
Distributor: Paramount Players
Release Date: August 19, 2022

ORPHAN: FIRST KILL has a title that seems a bit of a misnomer. By the time we meet, or rather are reacquainted with, Lena/Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman), she seems to have already racked up a body count.

For those unfamiliar with “Esther,” she is the title character in 2009’s ORPHAN. The new ORPHAN: FIRST KILL is a prequel to that.

ORPHAN: FIRST KILL begins at a mental institution in 2007 Estonia. Art therapist Anna (Gwendolyn Collins) comes in for her first day of work. She is warned about the asylum’s most dangerous inmate, Lena.

This upfront caution reveals the big secret of ORPHAN, so spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen the earlier film. Lena (known in ORPHAN and most of ORPHAN: FIRST KILL as Esther) looks like a little girl, but is actually an adult woman. She’s also extremely manipulative and capable of enormous violence.

Pretty quickly, Lena escapes from the psychiatric facility (demonstrating both her manipulative and violent sides). She gets hold of a computer and starts looking for missing children who resemble her. She finds information about Esther Albright, the daughter of a wealthy American family, who vanished four years ago.

The Russian police alert Esther’s family that they’ve found their missing nine-year-old. Mom Tricia (Julia Stiles) travels to Russia to retrieve Esther and bring her home to the Albright mansion. Artist Dad Allen (Rossif Sutherland) is overjoyed to see Esther, accepting any differences in her as understandable changes due to both age and whatever she’s been through. Teen brother Gunnar (Matthew Finlan) is a little less effusive, but he is a rich adolescent boy who is preoccupied with himself, so that’s to be expected.

For a while, it seems obvious where ORPHAN: FIRST KILL is going, especially since viewers of ORPHAN know how that film started. But at the fifty-minute mark, there is a huge plot twist that makes us lean forward. We still know what has to happen, but suddenly, we’re very interested in how exactly ORPHAN: FIRST KILL will unspool.

The screenplay by David Coggeshall, from a story by Alex Mace and David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (both of whom wrote on the original ORPHAN) is pretty clever, answering some of our initial questions. It also takes care to answer questions that will occur to most people at the start.

Director William Brent Bell has fun with the opulent surroundings, the artistic aspects of both Allen and Esther, and the bursts of ferocity. He’s also good with the actors, keeping things more in the realm of suspense than of camp.

ORPHAN: FIRST KILL has one huge problem at its center, though, and it cannot be surmounted by the VFX available here. When 2009’s ORPHAN was shot, Furhman was in reality eleven years old, playing a character everyone around her assumed to be ten. Fuhrman is now age twenty-five.

Although the ORPHAN: FIRST KILL VFX persuasively makes her diminutive when Fuhrman is in frame with other characters, and she can pass for a teenager, her face is not that of a nine-year-old. It’s just about this side of plausibility that one grief-stricken relative, desperate for a miracle, might buy it. That everybody else also thinks she’s a child requires more suspension of disbelief than can be mustered.

This is not Fuhrman’s fault. She makes strong performance choices, and plays “young” without overdoing it. She’s also fine with Esther’s physically powerful, psychotic side.

Despite Fuhrman’s skill, ORPHAN: FIRST KILL would have worked better if the role had been recast with an actual preteen. As it is, the movie is worth seeing for where it goes, but we have to be prepared to do a lot of pretending we’re not seeing what we’re seeing in order to get there.

Related: Movie Review: GLORIOUS
Related: Movie Review: OF THE DEVIL
Related: Movie Review: CAMPING TRIP
Related: Movie Review: THE DEAD GIRL IN APARTMENT 03
Related: Movie Review: BULLET TRAIN
Related: Movie Review: BODIES BODIES BODIES
Related: Movie Review: RESURRECTION
Related: Movie Review: NOPE
Related: Movie Review: H.P. LOVECRAFT’S WITCH HOUSE
Related: Movie Review: THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER
Related: Movie Review: THE PRINCESS
Related: Movie Review: MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU
Related: Movie Review: GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE
Related: Movie Review: THE BLACK PHONE
Related: Movie Review: A TOWN FULL OF GHOSTS
Related: Movie Review: ABANDONED
Related: Movie Review: SCARE ZONE
Related: Movie Review: THE RIGHTEOUS
Related: Movie Review: WATCHER
Related: Movie Review: THE PASSENGER
Related: Movie Review: TOP GUN: MAVERICK
Related: Movie Review: THE INNOCENTS
Related: Movie Review: ESCAPE THE FIELD
Related: Movie Review: CHILDREN OF SIN
Related: Movie Review: HATCHING
Related: Movie Review: ROOM 203
Related: Movie Review: MINAMATA
Related: Movie Review: LET THE WRONG ONE IN
Related: Movie Review: NIGHT’S END
Related: Movie Review: THE CONTRACTOR
Related: Movie Review: SO COLD THE RIVER
Related: Movie Review: THE LOST CITY
Related: Movie Review: X
Related: Movie Review: YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER
Related: Movie Review: 6:45
Related: Movie Review: THE OUTFIT
Related: Movie Review: THE BOY BEHIND THE DOOR
Related: Movie Review: THE BATMAN
Related: Movie Review: TAKE BACK THE NIGHT
Related: Movie Review: ASKING FOR IT
Related: Movie Review: UNCHARTED

Follow us on Twitter at ASSIGNMENT X
Like us on Facebook at ASSIGNMENT X

Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Movie Review: ORPHAN: FIRST KILL


Related Posts:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Increase your website traffic with Attracta.com

Dr.5z5 Open Feed Directory

bottom round