The original Orphan had a twist that’s been hailed as one of the best in modern horror history. Then along came prequel First Kill, a movie no one knew they wanted.
What I expected to be a procedural cash-grab from Paramount+ ended up as a razor-sharp horror entry boasting a twist that may well surpass the original for sheer brazen insanity.
First Kill follows Esther, our main antagonist, who is in an Estonian psychiatric facility. The grown woman — whose condition keeps her body as if she’s a 10-year-old child — escapes from the facility and heads to America.
Once there, she impersonates a missing girl who had disappeared years prior, and infiltrates a wealthy family. But things aren’t what they seem.
Director William Brent Bell — a horror filmmaker best known for The Boy and The Devil Inside — makes what I dare say is his most ambitious film ever here.
Isabelle Fuhrman returns as Esther and give a batshit, breathtaking performance. She’s evenly matched by former 2000s megastar Julia Stiles. Once a rom-com queen known for Save The Last Dance and 10 Things I Hate About You, she’s seen a recent resurgence.
In the last decade, Stiles has been nominated for an Emmy for her role in serial killer show Dexter, she’s enjoying success on Amazon Prime hit show The Lake (recently renewed for another season), and now she gives the edgiest, most twisted performance of her career to date.
It’s a gory affair to be remembered, featuring a committed performance from up-and-comer Matthew Finlan, and a too-short turn from Hiro Kanagawa (Star Trek: Discovery, The Man In The High Castle).
I couldn’t believe a sequel that came nearly 15 years after the shocking original could be so good, and I only wish it had opened in theatres. This truly is a film that could have been a ton of fun on the big-screen.
Orphan: First Kill will delight fans of the 2009 modern classic, and it’s bound to be a hit with horror fans.