Orphan: First Kill Review: A Misfire of a Prequel – ComingSoon.net

In 2009, Jaume Collet-Serra gave birth Orphaned, a criminally underrated horror film about a family that adopts a creepy orphan. Thirteen years later, Paramount+ gives us a prequel set a year before the Coleman family adopted Esther Albright (Isabelle Fuhrman). Orphan: First Kill gives us the backstory of the escaped psychiatric patient and how she came to America under her new identity. It’s a concept that serves as a logical next step to launching a possible franchise. Still, the result is a poorly written, lifeless horror film that only manages to hurt the compelling original film.

This film was directed by William Brent Bell, who has previously co-directed terrible horror films such as The inner devil, Brahms: The Boy IIand latest, Separation. While some have praised his latest work for leaning into Orphaned‘s ridiculous premise and building on it, I see this as another installment in his never-ending career of atrocities, with a few moments of good direction throughout that never ultimately add up to anything worthwhile. Direction is a big part of what makes horror work, and Jaume Collet-Serra’s steady hand behind the camera is sorely lacking in this film.

One of the only praises I can sing for this film is their commitment to bringing the premise to life. They brought Fuhrmann back to reprise her role as Esther and she steps back into the role perfectly. She is 25 years old and plays a younger version of the character she played when she was 11 years old. This was done using makeup, body doubles and creative camera tricks instead of de-aging CGI. Of course, you have to give credit to Bell and the crew who made the illusion believable. But practical filmmaking is all the film has to offer in terms of its direction.



Mostly, Orphan: First Kill feels uninvolved. The movie is rarely scary and won’t always be. There is an obvious lack of tension early on, and that lack of tension remains for most of the film. The opening sequence takes a surprising turn, but the film lacks a scary atmosphere to that extent. Part of this is because the first film makes you believe that an innocent child is capable of creative, violent murder. By the time this movie rolls around, you know Esther’s backstory and she essentially becomes the protagonist rather than the antagonist.

The characters are also a weak element of the film. Something the first film did exceptionally well that it doesn’t get enough credit for is balancing the scares with the character drama. The original Orphaned slowly but surely providing backstories for almost every member of the Coleman family. This movie has Esther being taken in by a family, but no one in that family has anything to invest in. For the first half of the movie, they are a very two-dimensional family, and it feels like a much inferior version of the original movie because the character relationships almost not filled.

Half way through Orphan: First Kill, we have a really surprising twist. The conventional first half leads to a huge surprise, but once the shock factor wears off and you get to sit down for the ride, you realize that the twist has a negative impact on the treatment of Esther’s character. This film commits a similar sin Do not breathe 2 turning a terrifying antagonist into an unlikely anti-hero, and it’s hard not to be afraid of Esther in this film. As a result, the deaths lack an emotional impact and some of the ideas in this film end up being quite ridiculous.

Also, the film is inconsistent with Esther’s backstory established in the first film. Some things stay the same, but some don’t add up at all when you think about it. Due to poor creative choices and boring direction, Orphan: First Kill is a misfire of a prequel, recycling the same tropes and masking it with a few surprising plot twists. It lacks the character depth and fear factor of the original, resulting in a disappointing, empty experience.

Score: 3/10

Like ComingSoon’s audit policy explains, a score of 3 corresponds to “Bad”. Due to significant issues, this game feels like a chore to take on.

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