Orphan : first kill

Orphan : first kill
Original title:Orphan : first kill
Director:William Brent Bell
Running time:99 minutes
Release date:19 august 2022
Esther returns! The terrifying saga continues in this thrilling prequel. After orchestrating a brilliant escape from a mental institution, Esther travels to America posing as the missing daughter of a wealthy family. But, faced with a mother willing to do anything to protect her family, her plan takes an unexpected turn. There is still a lot to discover about Esther

Mulder's Review

Orphan : First Kill is a pleasant surprise as it is not a simple facsimile of the first part. Released on July 24, 2009 in the United States and distributed by Warner Bos Orphan was an excellent psychological horror thriller and had imposed the young actress Isabelle Fuhrman as a very promising talent. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson and based on a story by Alex Mace, this first film featured a mysterious young person who, under the guise of a nine year old child, was in reality a thirty-three year old adult suffering from hypopituitarism, a rare hormonal disease that stunted her physical growth and caused proportional dwarfism. 

This disturbing thriller featuring this young girl adopted into a traditional American family would turn out to be a real psychopathic killer. At the end of the first part, we witnessed the death of Esther, whose real name is Leena Klammer. With such an end we thought that this film would not know a new chapter as it was enough to itself and benefited from an excellent casting with Isabelle Fuhrman, Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard.

This new film, almost thirteen years later, is a prequel providing us with more information on the tortured past of the character Leena Klammer during her internment in a psychiatric hospital in Estonia and on her first American family before she was welcomed in the first part.  From the first film we only find the main actress Isabelle Fuhrman, the director and writer being now William Brent Bell and David Coggeshall. However, the continuity and the atmosphere between the two films have succeeded despite the time to find the same effectiveness and specially to show how the actress Isabelle Fuhrman holds there one of her strong roles of her career. Despite the thirteen years between the two films, the character Leena Klammer has remained the same and shows how much the violence she emits corresponds to her way of surviving at all costs in a world of adults and often revealing deceptive appearances.

While many horror movies have simply seen their cast changed but their plot remain mainly the same (case of Friday the 13th...), the screenwriter William Brent Bell easily understood that to retain the attention of the public it was necessary to at least change the deal and avoid remaking a movie about Leena Klammer / Esther playing on the nerves of her foster family and wanting to kill the members of it to find herself only with her adoptive father. As a result, the film seems to have been conceived in three distinct acts: the time she spent in a mental institution and how she manages to escape, then how she is taken in by an American foster family and how after an interesting new twist (which we won't say anything about to leave you with the surprise), she finds herself facing a reversal of fortune and how she has to extricate herself from a trap that she didn't see coming.

Orphan: First Kill avoids falling into an apparent simplicity and manages to hold our attention by the convincing acting of the main actors and a use of music and sound effects of undeniable quality to immerse the spectators in an immersive and disturbing atmosphere. Even if we know the outcome of this story because it is announced in the first part, the director William Brent Bell (Stay Alive (2006), The Devil Inside (2012), he Boy (2016) and Brahms: The Boy II (2020)) masters his film amply to make it a worthy successor of the first part even if we would have liked a greater originality on the treatment and a stronger psychological and visual violence. The fact remains that Isabelle Fuhrman after The Novice (2021) and The Last Thing Mary Saw (2021) continues to confirm that she has the makings of an excellent actress ready to choose independent films to find better and more original roles to build her very promising career

Orphan: First Kill
Directed by William Brent Bell
Screenplay by David Coggeshall
Story by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Alex Mace
Based on Characters by Alex Mace
Produced by Alex Mace, Hal Sadoff, Ethan Erwin, James Tomlinson
Starring Isabelle Fuhrman, Rossif Sutherland, Matthew Finlan, Hiro Kanagawa, Julia Stiles
Cinematography : Karim Hussain
Edited by Josh Ethier
Music by Brett Detar
Production companies : Entertainment One, Dark Castle Entertainment
Distributed by Paramount Players (Paramount+) (United States), Metropolitan FilmExport (France)
Release dates : July 27, 2022 (Philippines), August 17, 2022 (France), August 19, 2022 (United States), 
Running time : 99 minutes

Seen on August 17, 2022 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 12 seat A16

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