Review: ‘Orphan: First Kill’ is shocking and twisted prequel.

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).


Bentonville Film Festival 21 review: ‘The Novice’ pushes past obsession.

THE NOVICE

An obsessive novice rower climbs the ranks of her college’s rowing team.


For me, Isabelle Fuhrman is someone synonymous with a certain horror franchise. Seeing her in a solely dramatic role in The Novice was a new and glorious territory. Determined to be the best novice rower there’s ever been, Alex does everything to excess. Goal-oriented isn’t a strong enough word for this character. The film challenges self-worth, ideals, and pressure to succeed. The complexities hiding inside The Novice will astound you.

Quick take editing alongside exaggerated and repetitive audio gives the film urgency, all while a string-heavy score plays underneath. The culmination of all these elements lands The Novice somewhere between tense and inspiring. Then there is Furhman’s performance. Her obsessive behavior pushes The Novice past genre definitions. Furhman brings a ferocious passion to the role. Writer-director Lauren Hadaway‘s script is ultimately not about rowing. It is about mental health. It keenly delves into privilege, relationship dynamics, competition, and self-harm. The energy of this film is extraordinary. Bentonville Film Festival audiences will be hypnotized by its greatness. It is a must-see.


About Bentonville

BFFoundation is a non-profit organization focused on promoting underrepresented voices of diverse storytellers. We champion female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, black, indigenous, people of color, and people with disabilities’ voices in entertainment and media. We do this through research, education, and supporting the production and distribution of inclusive content.

The foundation believes that by taking real action with content creators, talent, influencers, advertisers, and content distributors, we can accurately reflect the gender balance and diversity of our country. Our goal is to create a seismic change in how media inspires young minds to do great things.

Our primary research partner is the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Together, we seek to support research that proves these systemic changes are not only the right thing to do—they are also commercially beneficial. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has also clearly shown that the media children consume has an overwhelming influence in shaping their view of the world and their place in it.

The foundation also partners with schools and community institutions, working with children to educate on the challenging effects of stereotyping, unconscious bias, and gender imbalance. We also utilize media-based tools and content to build positive association and equality-based learning models.

BFFoundation is focused on working with its partners to foster inclusivity in media and entertainment to produce a positive influence in the community at large.


SUPPORT

BFFoundation is an organization that provides year-round support for filmmakers who live the mission of highlighting underrepresented voices in media. If you are interested in getting involved with our foundation, please reach out to us at info@bentonvillefilmfestival.com.


Jeremy’s Review: Michael Johnson’s ‘All the Wilderness’ Reminiscent of David Gordon Green’s Early Work in All the Good Ways

all the wilderness posterWatching movies is a crap shoot most times, most of the time not knowing what to expect especially from a first time writer-director. So, I love it when a film sneaks up on you and catches you when you least expect it. All the Wilderness is one of those films.With a similar tone and feel as David Gordon Green‘s early good stuff like All the Real Girls and George Washington, this film takes on a post-coming of age story in a fresh and interesting way. Read More →