Leena, a murderous sociopath who looks like a child due to a medical condition, escapes from an Estonian psychiatric facility. Leena impersonates the missing daughter of a wealthy family but becomes pitted against a determined mother.
Performances sell this film. Matthew Finlan at Gunnar with a slimy rich kid flair that makes him supremely punchable. Rossif Sutherland‘s genuine vulnerability in grounds the chaos. With the audience’s knowledge, his performance is one of the most important in the film. Julia Stiles is mind-blowing as Tricia. I’ll only reveal that the rollercoaster of this role is delicious, and I did not see it coming.
Isabelle Fuhrman plays the audience like a fiddle in what might seem like a tricky undertaking years later. The final reveal in Orphan was a game-changing moment that sticks in genre fans’ minds. For Fuhrman to nail this performance, knowing the audience is in on the secret this time speaks volumes about her skills. The use of body doubles ensured that she remained in the role. Had she been recast, we might have had a very different conversation about this franchise.
The use of mirrors is a noticeable and effective trope. Growing up in Connecticut, I can attest that the costume department gets an A+ for their work. Now, we need to discuss the screenplay. A total WTF twist keeps Orphan: First Kill fresh and engaging. The terror tables overturn with an unexpected villainous turn from multiple characters in the film. The unpredictability of this prequel manages to be creepy and cringe all at once. There’s a deliberate white privilege that is chef’s kiss. I wasn’t sure whom to root for. It was a ping-pong match of vile behavior. That made me all the more invested in the madness. When I tell you that I reveled in a particular kill, you’d be hard-pressed to disagree upon viewing. Orphan: First Kill is a wild ride genre fans will happily stay on if only to see how this chapter plays out.
Paramount Pictures will release the horror/thriller film ORPHAN: FIRST KILL in Theaters, on Digital, and streaming on Paramount+ on August 19, 2022. The film is the highly anticipated prequel to the 2009 horror classic film ORPHAN.
ORPHAN: FIRST KILL stars Isabelle Fuhrman (Orphan), Rossif Sutherland (Possessor) and Golden Globe Nominee Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You). The film was written by David Coggeshall (Prey) and directed by William Brent Bell (The Boy).