Hollywood are very fond and can’t seem to stop the continuous number of prequels, sequels, reboots, and remakes, very well received and fascinating psychological horror the Orphan had its unexpected prequel.
Isabelle Fuhrman who is now 25 year old was casted in the role of Leena in the new the Orphan: First Kill, the mischievous and murderous who acted as a 9 year old to pretend and murder her victims with the little help of Kennedy Irwin as her body double.
In the 2009 movie directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, Leena was a 33-year-old woman who used her rare hormonal disorder to scam wealthy families into adopting her.
During the several events of the Orphan, she caused and rained down havoc to the Coleman family and also tried to seduce the father that adopted her.
She kills him after he rejects her numerous advances towards him and finally hears what his wife has been telling him on the phone, their adoptive daughter Esther is not who she claims to be.
The new Orphan: First Kill movie tells the origin story that no one really wanted or expected to have since audiences know all they needed to know about Leena, thanks to some exposure in Orphan.
The sequel suggests, however, that perhaps audiences are not well informed on the genesis of this movie. In this story, Leena is at the Estonian asylum she will inevitably escape.
She is deep into her murderess era and is bent on not stopping anytime soon. She makes her way to the U.S. after convincing authorities that she is the missing daughter of a wealthy American family, Esther Albright.
She is welcomed by her mother Tricia Albright (Julia Stiles), father Allen Albright (Rossif Sutherland), and older brother Gunnar Albright (Matthew Finlan).
Thinking she has the Albrights tricked, she finds herself in a situation where the tables are turned, and the family turns out to be as weird as she is
Orphan: First Kill is a bit confusing as it doesn’t really show Leena’s first kill. Within the first ten minutes, it is shown that Leena has been put into an institution after an minor episode involving her attaching herself into a family and killing them.
The scars on her neck and wrists are from forcing herself against her restraints, something Orphan had already shown. From the very beginning, Orphan: First Kill fails to tells us the origin of Leena’s murderous reign and focuses on an incident roughly two years before her adoption by the Coleman family.
It seems Alex Mace, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who came up with the story, and David Coggeshall, who wrote the screenplay, anticipated this problem and threw in a narrative twist the audience don’t see coming.
More About The Movie Review Of The Orphan: First Kill
Seeing Isabelle Fuhrman come back for the role of Leena is not quite the flex we all thought it would be. In a humorous turn towards irony, Fuhrman playing an adult woman that acts to be a young child is exactly as it looks.
The attempts to hide Fuhrman’s growth since playing Leena/Esther at age 12 are clever enough, but maintaining the charade proves difficult after the 20-minute mark.
However, the narrative twist allows Fuhrman’s apparent aging to benefit the story. Without giving away too much, it becomes okay to see Fuhrman as an adult partway through the film as Leena/Esther doesn’t have the mask on for long periods.
This gives Fuhrman room to show new dimensions to Leena and authorize why revisiting the character is worthwhile. Fuhrman is a force to be reckoned with.
Her talent is seemingly effortless, and watching her embody Leena is naughty The only thing stopping her is the odd choice to have her wear contact lenses to increase the creepiness already present in her performance. As was the case the first time around, Fuhrman is the main attraction.
The film is fun; in fact, it is at times very hilarious. While there is a important effort in covering Fuhrman’s real height with practical effects and a body double, William Brent Bell’s directing neglects the central tenants to make a psychological thriller/horror.
Instead, the film leans more toward comedic horror, especially since audiences are no longer in the dark about Leena/Esther’s secret. There is also the aspect of Tricia not being the typical mark for Leena/Esther and better suited to stop her precious daughter’s evil tendencies.
The unevenness in the directing style and the writing propels Orphan: First Kill into a gray area between horror and camp. Either way, it is endlessly entertaining from beginning to end, when it concludes with a not-so-subtle nod towards Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
Orphan: First Kill is a kooky romp, way too relaxed to be considered a psychological horror. It is hard to discern whether this prequel story proves its existence is necessary, as its unevenness works against all the good birthed from the narrative twist.
However, due to stellar performances from Fuhrman and Stiles, and the absurdity of the premise, Orphan: First Kill proves to be engaging enough for audiences to tune in.
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