Isabelle Fuhrman as Leena Klammer in the Horror/Thriller/Mystery film, ORPHAN: FIRST KILL, a Paramount Pictures release. © 2022 Paramount Pictures.
Isabelle Fuhrman as Leena Klammer in the Horror/Thriller/Mystery film, ORPHAN: FIRST KILL, a Paramount Pictures release. © 2022 Paramount Pictures.

Movie Review: ‘Orphan: First Kill’ (2022) Delivers A Twisted and Unique Origin Story

Orphan: First Kill was one of my most highly anticipated films of the year and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint. I’m a huge fan of the original Orphan (2009) and was stoked to learn more about Esther’s origin. This film was directed by William Brent Bell and written by Coggeshall. It stars Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther, as well as Rossif Sutherland and Julia Stiles.

Orphan: First Kill

Synopsis for Orphan: First Kill

Esther’s terrifying saga continues in this thrilling prequel to the original and shocking horror hit, Orphan. After orchestrating a brilliant escape from an Estonian psychiatric facility, 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 from the murderous “child” at any cost.

One of best and unique things about Orphan was the thrilling and unexpected twist. We knew something was off about Esther, but nothing could of prepared us for that amazing reveal. So, going into Orphan: First Kill, most of us already know what twist is and are thinking, “how can the prequel live up to the original?” Well, somehow they nailed it. Orphan: First Kill delivers just as much suspense and thrills along with a phenomenal cast and eerie origin story.

Julia Stiles as Tricia Albright in the Horror/Thriller/Mystery film, ORPHAN: FIRST KILL, a Paramount Pictures release. © 2022 Paramount Pictures.
Julia Stiles as Tricia Albright in the Horror/Thriller/Mystery film, ORPHAN: FIRST KILL, a Paramount Pictures release. © 2022 Paramount Pictures.

All of the performances are phenomenal, David Coggeshall and Julia Stiles are incredible actors and have a great body of work. Isabelle Fuhrman was just as impressive as she was in the first one and continues to portray one of the most most evil, smart, and resourceful characters in this genre. I loved see the same characteristics and behaviors she had in the first film connected to this one. That being said, I think Julia Stiles gave a standout performance. She blew me away with her character development and made this delightfully twisted story extra special.

Isabelle Fuhrman as Leena Klammer in the Horror/Thriller/Mystery film, ORPHAN: FIRST KILL, a Paramount Pictures release. © 2022 Paramount Pictures.
Isabelle Fuhrman as Leena Klammer in the Horror/Thriller/Mystery film, ORPHAN: FIRST KILL, a Paramount Pictures release. © 2022 Paramount Pictures.

I’ve seen some people complain about how much older Esther looks in Orphan: First Kill than in the Orphan, it’s important to note that there’s a 13 year gap between these films, so naturally, Isabelle Fuhrman has aged since the original film. That being said, Doug Morrow, the makeup designer, did a wonderful job with ensuring she looked like the same old Esther. Between her iconic wardrobe and killer makeup, she still delivers eerie, evil kid vibes.

If you loved the first film for the great performances and unique storyline, I highly recommend checking out Orphan: First Kill. It’s one of my favorite films of the year, running almost hand in hand with Black Phone, and has one of the best twists I’ve seen in a long time. Orphan: First Kill is now available in select theaters, On Digital, and is streaming on Paramount+.

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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