Paramount Plus’ newest horror movie “Orphan First Kill'' is the prequel of the 2009 cult classic “Orphan”. “Orphan First Kill'' follows the origins of main character Ester and how she met the family that was teased in the original movie. People who have seen the original “Orphan” know the plot twist involving the character Esther played by Isabella Fuhrman. She is secretly posing as a nine year old girl while actually being a thirty year old woman with a rare disease. All whilst being a murderer.
In the prequel Esther poses as a girl who's been kidnapped from an extremely wealthy family, taken from the original where she was adopted. The family is very welcoming with open arms, except the mother Tricia, played by Julia Stiles, who is suspicious of her daughter's return. The trope of the family being tricked by not recognizing their own child could be really eye rolling but the way the movie pulls it off makes it very interesting.
Actress Isabella Fuhram sat down with Variety magazine and talked about how producers convinced her to get back in the role of Esther.
“It was actually Brent who put his foot down and was like, ‘I’m only doing it if Isabel is Esther,'” Fuhrman says. “He forced the studio to do a camera test with me where I was standing on my knees and they put my hair in pigtails and it was the weirdest day because it was like height of COVID and I hadn’t been on a set since COVID, and I didn’t know who I was working with. But obviously, it worked.”
This is what makes “Orphan First Kill” a very interesting prequel. You can still see Fuhrman as the nine year girl that she is portraying. It doesn’t look forced or somewhat cringe to see a now twenty five year old actress play the role she played at twelve years old. In behind the scenes cast pictures cast members would wear huge platform shoes to keep the appearance of Esther’s height being short, which is very practically movie magic.
Another key standout performance from “Orphan First Kill” is actress Julia Stiles; her portrayal of Tricia Albight is phenomenal and Isabella Fuhrman's chemistry as rival is very good. Her performance makes you root for her throughout the entire movie. The character of Tricia comes off more sociopathic then Esther and It is so good watching her villain in her own way without giving away spoilers.
Stiles sat down with Screen Rant and talked about how it took for her to get in this role.
“And for me, Tricia, I was almost like playing two different characters,'” Stiles says. “I treated it like the beginning part of Tricia, I want it to be as sort of believable and realistic as possible. You know that she is desperate to heal her family and she will protect her family at all costs like she says in the trailer. But then, once she figures out what's going on with Esther, to see how she handles that, I think it's really interesting. And that's what drew me to it. Esther kind of met her match in that way.”
The movie definitely does lack the horror elements but it makes up for how suspenseful it is rather than having everything at once it plays with the audience and have to wonder what will be Esther's next move to get out of this situation while subtle you want Tricia to win too at the end of this.
“Orphan:First Kill” is nonetheless a great prequel story. It has its own audience and people who are fans of the Orphan will definitely watch it because of the origins of the first family Esther met. “Orphan First Kill” is definitely a great Halloween watch.